Hello Friends of Personal Ponies,
Thank you again for your support and for helping us to spread a little pony magic around the country. This spring we have used some of our donations to help move ponies to new volunteers. There are several ponies in North Dakota that have needed to move because one of our families experienced many hardships and could no longer care for them. The funds you provided were very needed and appreciated.
We have other ponies in South Dakota that will also need to be moved as soon as possible and your donations will help with that as well. Otherwise, we have used your funds to help us with buying hay for those in need and gelding a pony or two!
We are also in the process of saving money where we can to help support some of our volunteers that need money to come to our National Conference in October in New York. This conference happens once every two to three years and is the only time our volunteers can sit down face to face and share stories, learn from each other and make plans for their programs. It is truly a valuable experience and so needed since we are all spread from one end of the country to another.
As always, I encouarge each of you to please share our program with those you know and let them know that you supported us and hopefully they will too.
All the best and with gratitude,
Dear Friends of Personal Ponies,
We can almost say winter is behind us! This is always something we all look forward to because spring means shedding pony coats and more time to be out and about with the children we serve. Some of our volunteers though are lucky enough to live in warmer climates and have spent all winter out and about making pony magic!
The funds we had collected for 2012 have been very helpful and in this report I just want to share a few places we have used the donations received through 2012. We had one family in Michigan that lost their jobs and were not sure they could keep the ponies for their children. We were able, because of all of you, to provide enough funds for hay and feed for the winter are happy to report that the family is soon working again and life will be good!
We also had a long time volunteer pass away towards the end of last year who housed five of our ponies and ran a community program for Personal Ponies. We were faced with relocating the ponies and making sure they could be cared for in the interim. We provided funds for hay and feed and basic care and tehn were able to transport the ponies to a new volunteer who has taken over and actually expanded our program in Minnesota.
We also had a darling young boy who had surgery. He had many surgeries and many of you may remember him because we wrote about him once before. Through our donations, we were able to bring to him a pair of driving ponies upon his return from the hosptial. We also were able to buy him harness to use so he could drive them.
And the list goes on. We really are deeply appreciative of the support from each of you. It allows the chance to reach out to so many and keep the magic of our ponies alive for the children that we serve.
All the best,
First and foremost, Personal Ponies wishes each of you a very happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. Thank you for being part of the magic we work so hard to offer all year by providing a small UK Shetland pony to any child that might benefit from the loving interaction of our fury friends. As the year comes to a close, I cannot help reflect on where we have been and what our needs are heading into the new year.
As usual, we have had a busy year of moving ponies and having new volunteers enter our program, helping those with economic and health struggles, getting ponies from point a to point b and c and d, and working out our plans for future breeding. We are fotunate, thanks to those that have provided economic support to us, that we have had the funds avaiable this year to be helpful to many volunteers all over the country. This includes situations such as a single mother in Michigan lost her job and did not want to have to return her ponies. We have used the funds donated through Global Giving to help pay for hay and support the ponies while she searches for a job. Another time we used the funds to send money to transport ponies from Virgina to Georgia to surprise a young boy as he came out of his 8th surgery at age 7.
Two of the biggest areas we need to increase our donations is transportation and emergency support. There is nothing more stressful for a family that loves and needs their ponies to have to return them due to economic and usually temporary hardship. And the other area is getting our ponies to the kids that need them is very costly and we need to increase what is available nationally to help folks get the children their ponies. The other area on Santa's list are funds that will be put aside to further develop and preserve our breeding program. Keep in mind that all of the ponies in our program are bred by us and we take full responsiblity for their lives from birth to death. Right now there are 1400 ponies in our care and we have to always keep an eye on the future and maintain the high bar of excellence in our breeding.
Personal Ponies has gone to great lengths to find bloodlines and develop a breeding program that ensures our ponies are well suited for the job they are doing. This is something that many are unaware of as they are not invovled in the building blocks of our foundation which is ponies that are suited for this job!!!!! Imagine ponies that are wide, round low to the ground and have a gentle heart and are willing to stand for hours while a child that is differently able brushes him/her or sings to him/her or even sits and reads to him/her. You get hte picture!
I am sharing a few photos here that are my personal favorites from this year. Please, if you will, share our program with others and consider us as you determine how you spend your charitable donations this year. We really need you and I hope you have a warm smile as you view our pictures.
Many thanks to all and Happy Holidays,
Dear Personal Ponies friends and family,
The Global Giving project has been a great help to us over the past couple of years. Many people find it amazing that we have 1400 ponies around the country in our program and volunteers in almost every state and Canada and have no paid employees. Every single thing we do is volunteer and no one is paid a penny for our services and we never charge for what we do. Each volunteer works hard to be able to fund their local programs and the National office is here to support them when needed. The funds we have raised through GlobalGiving allows us to provide extra support in various situations such as traveling ponies to their new caretakers and child, helping with unexpected health issues, helping when one parent has lost a job and hay is needed for a few months while a new job is found, etc.
One area I rarely talk about but is in need of additional support is our breeding program. So much so that I wonder if it is not worthy of a new project through GlobalGiving. Much of what we raise money for through this program is to respond to needs in the moment. Our breeding program, however, is part of our larger vision and it is the roots of what we do. Many people, especially those not in the world of equines, might not realize what extensive time and energy has gone into finding the right bloodlines and breeding stock for our children. Since many know dogs more than they might know ponies, it is the equivalent of finding the perfect breed and bloodlines to reproduce the kind of dog that might be a service dog, one that might go and spend time in nursing homes, versus a pit bull (and I do know many gentle pit bulls but my point should be well understood).
The UK Shetland is the breed of choice for our program because of their hardy and gentle disposition. We traveled all the way to the Shetland islands to import some of our breeding stock and just about all of our ponies are bred by the program and to have this temperament. This breeding knowledge, expertise and effort is of great importance to our success and at this time in our history we are ready to invest in its future. Over the past several years we have done less and less breeding mostly because of the economy. We did not want to irresponsibly bring more ponies into the program if the demand was not there and with the economy so difficult, it was unlikely that more would be needed . As the economy is easing, although not enough for most, we are looking into our future and how we will maintain the program at the highest bar of excellence possible. We cannot place anything but the most gentle, healthy ponies in the care of children with special needs and this is done with great care and consideration.
This next coming year we intend to spend some of our time and energy in investigating options to import additioanl breeding stock if we can find bloodlines we wish to consider, to investigate, research and possibly test an artificial insemination project, and to find additional funds to support our current breeders who need support for raising foals and handling the cost of caring for breeding stock. The one area that Global Giving can help with that is so important is getting our breeding stock into the right parts of the country. We do our best not to move our other ponies too far from one volunteer to another but breeding stock need to move where they are needed and that requires greater investment.
Anyone who has spent time with our ponies and seen them interact with a child will fully understand how important the effort is that we have made. The pictures here tell it all. Hope you enjoy.
All the best and deep appreciation for your support,
To the friends and family of Personal Ponies,
Change is the one constant we all know is true. Yet it is always a difficult process. This summer we have said good bye to several of our very long term volunteers, folks that have been dedicated and active for 15 years or so in helping us achieve our mission to bring a little magic into the lives of those that need us. As one door closes another opens and we are so pleased to have several new State Directors join us and see them bringing new enthusiasm and energy into their communities.
One of the aspects of change for us is the fact that ponies need to get from one volunteer to another. It has always been our priority that ponies born and bred in a state stay in that state. We always did our best to only move breeding stock around the country and to keep our promotional and placement ponies close by. That is not always possible for many reasons and now, with gas prices as high as they are, moving ponies within a state has become very challenging. Last month it cost us $700 to move ponies from Louisianna to Mississippi. It cost $350 to move ponies from one town in Minnesota to another, and it cost about $500 to move ponies from South Dakota to North Dakota. These were not seriously long hauls but the cost is high. Especially for families already burdened with high health care costs for their special children.
Right now we have several ponies in Wyoming that need to get to Idaho for two families that are waiting on ponies for their children. We also have ponies in Colorado that need to get to Arizona to reach a young 16 year old child that awaits her ponies to arrive. We have a pair of ponies in North Dakota that need to make it to Canada if at all possible and the list continues.
Sometimes we are fortunate and a transporter will donate his or her services to our program but mostly we raise the funds to pay what is needed. Any help is so very much appreciated. And please do pass on our information and let people know about us. We are 100 percent volunteer, in all states and Canada, and never charge for what we do. Join us in reaching out to others and making a little magic in the lives of children that are differently able.
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