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2019 Open House
October 26, 2019
Our Open House was a wonderful afternoon. Everyone enjoyed the interaction with the horses and many experienced the magic of these gentle giants.
We are grateful to all who donated. Your generosity directly helps those who have served.
HEAL Open House
October 27, 2018
Those who chose to take a chance on the weather were rewarded with sunshine and a great afternoon.
Our guests enjoyed delicious food including fresh empanadas, updates on our work, a silent auction, demonstrations and time with the wonderful horses that are the backbone of our program.
Quote from attendee
"I'm not a veteran, ... but HEAL really resonates with me because my paternal grandfather, who was a Purple Heart veteran from his jeep running over a landmine in WWII in Europe, was a farmer and raised cattle and horses on the farm next to ours as I was growing up in Oklahoma. He suffered from persistent PTSD for the rest of his life after the war and loud or sharp noises would trigger a very strong reaction in him...Until HEAL it never occurred to me that he was probably drawn to raising horses for the therapeutic effect -- but I bet that had something to do with it."
June 8, a group of Norwich University alumni spent the afternoon at the farm learning about HEAL's work. They took part in team building activities and spent time with our staff and the horses.
Group activities like this benefit the participants and HEAL, spreading the word about the mission and goals of our organization.
Veterans Realty Group
Recently HEAL hosted Veterans Realty Group and other veterans who were interested in learning more about the work and potential benefits of equine assisted psychotherapy and equine assisted learning. It was a beautiful day to spend at the farm getting to know a dozen horses up close and personally as the group worked together to problem solve and experience the power of the horse/human bond. As one attendee wrote: "It felt so good connecting with these astounding horses today. I also learned more about myself in a completely different light. The calm sensation standing next to one is hard to describe. I can't thank you enough for the time the HEAL team spent with us. I truly and honestly believe this can help our scarred vets and first responders in ways that modern science can't even compare. In short I love what you are doing and will do whatever I can to help promote your services." (Bill, U.S. Army).
After the group activity, participants engaged in Join-Up sessions, which were originally developed as a tool to work with horses. Today, corporations, educators, government leaders and HEAL use Join-Up as a platform because it has value in an infinite number of applications -- it is about a balanced existence, encouraging trust, reliability and comfort from others, but it can only occur when an underlying desire for partnership exists on both sides. Trust keeps the process alive. Each one of our participants were in awe of this eye-opening and moving experience. They recognized that Join-Up goes far beyond horses -- it's about philosophies of communication and relationships and participants realized that horses and humans thrive in a cooperative and safe environment and falter in a climate of fear and submission. The connections made during this type of activity enables participants to experience the power of a horse’s ability to sense danger, respond to peace and calm, and Join-Up with a horse. This experience is often a gateway to an individual's own self-understanding, situations in their lives and their issues with anxiety, depression and stress.
Thank you to our donors for enabling HEAL to serve our veteran community. Thank you, veterans, for your service and helping get the word out to other veterans and their families-- we are available for individual and family equine assisted psychotherapy sessions. We are here to help in a safe and confidential environment and we hope you come back to HEAL soon!
3rd Anniversary Celebration
Saturday November 4, 2017, The HEAL foundation held its 3rd Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser. As one enthusiastic attendee Mike Kiepura said
“I have experienced a glimpse into the work HEAL is doing using horses to address the devastating impacts of PTSD with our military and their families and I am amazed by the healing power they achieve. Supporting HEAL and the fantastic work they do is my way of tangibly supporting the great military who provides and preserves the freedoms we as a nation enjoy. "
At the event, guests enjoyed interacting with horses in a Join up session, great food from A la Carte Catering and heard a presentation on PTSD and Moral Injury by retired Army Chaplain and therapist Mark Knox PhD.
The HEAL Foundation a 501(c)3 public charity would like to thank its sponsors, The Roberti-Kiepura Foundation, MCG: Mansfield Consulting Group, Howard P Sachs and Associates, Daniel and Ginny Clendenin, The Bingel Family, The Pond Doctor, Altus Consulting, Davis Equine, The Honorable Al A. Swift. Linda and Paul Nichols, War Collar Industries, Mansfield Law, RulyScapes, Solutionworx, Full Circle Equine, Ragnarok Technologies, and Manning and Murray PC.
Memorial Day 2017
HEAL proudly welcomed military families on Memorial Day. The response was phenomenal and rewarding. Thank you families for spending part of your important day with us and thank you HEAL donors!
"I think I now know why God made horses--especially mine--so big to take on the heaviness the world has put on us! So appreciative of the relief the horse provided through HEAL. I truly believe in what you are doing and I wish I could be here every week, thank you so much for your love and support!" - April R. Brandon, Brianna N. Brandon, Johnathan C. Brandon
SSG Stacey C. Brandon
"Your equine therapy program is amazing! I truly felt connected to my horse. At first I wasn't sure if family members in my situation would be the best fit for your program but I loved it so much I'm looking forward to bringing our kids to HEAL. Love you guys and can't wait until next year!" - Elizabeth L. Robinson
Gary A. Robinson
U.S. Army 1985-1991
Died in a motorcycle accident - 3/12/2008
Veterans Day 2016
"Participants experienced the power of the horse/human bond firsthand and learned about the endless potential of that bond. We heard words like: empowered, calm, connected, happy, astonished, challenged, all day long from the participants and I know everyone left understanding the potential benefits of equine assisted learning and equine assisted psychotherapy" said Lisa D'Alessio, therapist for HEAL.
After the event, one of our veterans who served in Italy in World War II summed up the day by saying "I can live on this day for a long time."
Memorial Day 2016 - HEAL Partners with TAPS
HEAL hosted a day long program for TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) participants. TAPS is an organization that provides services to family members who have lost a loved one on active duty with the Armed Forces.
The HEAL program was held during TAPS annual meeting on May 28. Participants engaged in four activities with 12 different horses. Led by Equine Specialists Mary Fox, Autumn Rae and Rebecca Morrison and Mental Health Professional, Lisa D’Alessio, the participants found the program to be compelling and restorative. We believe many will seek similar programs when they return to their home states. One participant texted after the event:
"Thinking of you today as I prepare to ride in the Memorial Day parade with a heart not quite as heavy and shoulders not quite as loaded thanks to HEAL!! And especially thanks to HEAL leadership team! Tell my Joey hi and thanks for loving me even when the circumstances said not to. I will never forget it!"
HEAL thanks its donors for making this event possible. Together we made a difference.