Your help makes miracles happen. That’s what the families and therapists who work with the children you support through The Red Thread Promise - Jacob’s Fund’s tell us. Harper-Lynn is one of those children, and this is her story.
"She changed before my eyes!" says Tara.
We're standing outside the fence of the indoor arena at McKenna Farms, watching as Harper- Lynn, Tara's 2-1/2-year-old daughter, gives a command for her horse to stop and starts using the horse-shaped whistle her therapist, Rachel, has just handed her.
Harper-Lynn is smiling and talking with Rachel in the bumble-bee voice of a very young child. And Harper-Lynn is little - the smallest helmet is too big for her, so she's wearing a Queen Elsa Frozen hat under it.
Four months ago, Harper-Lynn began hippotherapy, after nearly a year of frightening, disheartening events. At eighteen months, her vocabulary included three hundred words. Then, suddenly, something happened. Within three months, her vocabulary dwindled to thirty-five words; she lost muscle tone and began falling down, and she began having aggression and sensory issues.
As we watch her ride, it seems almost impossible that we’re talking about the same child. She’s composed, sitting upright, carrying out the therapy tasks Rachel gives her.
When she began hippotherapy in November of 2014, Harper-Lynn still wasn’t talking or interacting with those around her, even after several months of therapy delivered in the standard indoor setting.
“But Spirit, her horse, wouldn’t move unless she gave commands: Stop! Go!” says Rachel.
And so she gave the command, and took off, on her horse and in her speech.
Now, Tara says, her favorite subject of conversation is Spirit. She’s always asking, “When can I ride Spirit again?”
Rachel reports that Harper-Lynn has made gains in language and communication, as well as social skills. “The horse is a big draw for her. Her strength and endurance have improved. During therapy, in order to reach the toys we use, she has to reach beyond midline, get the toy, then correct to midline. She’s doing this on the horse using her core muscles, not her arms.”
“And,” she adds, “She has good carryover at home. Her mom continues to work with her.”
Tara’s summation of her daughter’s improvement is less clinical, but just as clear. “People who know us, people at our church, say the change is miraculous. They cry when they see what she is able to do now.”
As she says this, there are tears in her eyes, and mine, tears of joy. Hers for the little girl dismounting from her horse near where we stand. Mine for Jacob Noah Beachy, my grandson, who began hippotherapy here in 2006 and talked about his horse, too, and whose spirit lives on in the lives of little ones like Harper-Lynn through the scholarships we provide in his memory.
“I want more children to have this opportunity,” says Tara.
So do we, Tara. So do our supporters.
It’s through the generosity of people like you, our Global Giving donors, that we are able to change the lives of children like Harper-Lynn. Thank you.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: EVERYONE deserves to eat. Today and every day.No exceptions.
Thanks to your generous support, we have raised over $6,000 to provide food for students at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti! That means YOU have provided 8,000 meals to these sweet kids! What an accomplishment, thanks to your big hearts.
When we contacted St. Vincent’s Director Fr. Sadoni to tell him the good news he said:
WONDERFUL! The only thing we have now in our store is some bags of rice and beans. If we find this money, we can buy more rice and beans and other things like vegetables and meat to complete the meals for the children.
While our mission is to serve these children with medical care, we can not ignore their plight and need for nutritious food. They need—no, DESERVE—to be eat healthy food on a regular basis so they can get the best possible outcomes from surgeries and other medical care that we provide.
Until a permanent food source is set in place, The Red Thread will continue to raise funds for food to sustain the children. The cost for three meals is just $2.25 per child per day! Please share this project with friends and family so we can continue to meet the needs of these precious children.
THANK YOU for your generosity.
Guess which adorable toddler is FULLY FUNDED for BOTH of her club foot surgeries with Dr. Bheki?
Oh yes, that would be sweet little Wes! We introduced her in our last Global Giving report.
Thankfully, Wes and mother Nadine are now in a more 'permanent' home after moving around from place to place. We are praying for this same, stable environment to continue during and following both of her surgeries, to help maintain the pair's physical comfort and emotional support during this time of change.
From Stephanie, on the ground in Haiti: Wes is defined by joy every time I see her lately. She has reverted to the happy self she was when I first met her over 6 months ago. Wes loves saying 'dadada', occasionally 'mama', and a 'bah' sound when she comes over to kiss you. Her emotions are finely in tune with her mother's; her joy is an indicator that Nadine is also doing well. We are all encouraged by the investment of time, talent and prayers being poured into and over them! I'm always on the edge of my seat as I observe her unbalanced walk. Each step is a near fall as she does her best to move around. I just love her perseverance and know that this strong personality will endure these surgeries and rehabilitation! We are prayerfully looking forward to surgery number one and watching God's plan emerge for her.The Red Thread is anxiously awaiting the date for Wes's surgery. Dr. Bheki's surgical team has been delayed in their travels due to the violence and unrest in Haiti. Not only are we concerned for the safety of the incoming team, but also for Wes, her mother and travelling companions as they move into Port-au-Prince for the procedure. Of course, we will let you know as soon as those arrangments are made and Wes's first foot is corrected.
Although Wes is fully funded, there are SO many children just like her that are still in need of surgery. Donations are still being accepted in Wes's honor. Your continued support is deeply appreciated by those who will receive treatment due to your generosity. Please share this report with friends and family so they can follow Wes's story as it unfolds.
THANK YOU! We couldn't do it without you.