One of my dreams is to just be a philanthropist and give extensively of both my time and money to charities that I’m passionate about; however, as several friends like to remind me, you usually need money to be a philanthropist…and if we’re honest, I’m probably currently more in the state of being a charity case myself. (Thank you horse habit. 💸💸)
Nonetheless, I like to give back to a select few organizations throughout the year, and particularly on #GivingTuesday! If you’re an equestrian thinking of donating or getting involved with a new 501(c)3 this year, here are five registered non-profits – that I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with in some capacity – that I totally recommend! 🙂
Giving to any of the listed five charities is super easy online!
(Equally easy is shopping online…which I’m not advising/give to charity first!!…however, if you do find yourself online shopping for super inexpensive stuff AFTER donating to charity, might I recommend these extremely comfortable, only $14 leggings and these equally/possibly more comfortable slippers, pictured above.)
1. The Salvation Tree School – This one is simultaneously barely horse-oriented and the one that I’m the most passionate about! The Salvation Tree School provides an education and meals to hundreds of poor and needy children in India. The equestrian tie-in? The school was founded by Timmy and Laurie Sharma, who also founded and own popular equestrian apparel brands Equine Couture and TuffRider. The school was initially started as a means of providing a free education to the children of the Equine Couture and TuffRider factory employees, but it’s since grown to serve so many children in need! The school continues to be made possible by a portion of all Equine Couture and TuffRider purchases, and by donations! You can even choose to sponsor a student of your own here!
2. Horses Healing Hearts – This is another incredible organization that I’ve had the privilege of getting involved with in a limited capacity, and I’ve attended a handful of their sessions in person and have always been so impressed and moved by the work they’re doing! The Horses Healing Hearts program takes in children of alcoholics and substance abusers and teaches them the value of caring, confidence, responsibility, and much more through riding lessons, time with the horses, and ‘circle time’ where they go through a corresponding curriculum. When I’ve attended, it’s always been amazing to me to hear how much the kids open up and what they have to share in their ‘circle time’! You can learn more and donate to Horses Healing Hearts here.
3. Brooke USA – What I like about all of these organizations that I’ve chosen to list is that they’re not just helping horses – they’re helping horses help people! Brooke USA is a prime example of that! In third-world countries around the globe, many people rely on horses, mules, and donkeys to carry water, harvest food, etc., etc. By providing an education on how to properly care for these animals, free veterinary care, and way more than I even know of or can easily, briefly explain, Brooke USA is able to support the people and communities who depend on these animals. You can learn more here.
4. The EQUUS Foundation – “The EQUUS Foundation supports organizations that:
– shelter, rehabilitate, and retrain America’s horses at risk for abuse, neglect, and slaughter, and re-home them with careers as athletes, companions, teachers, and especially healers.
– provide opportunities for horses to change people’s lives, especially people with special needs.” Details here!
5. PATH Therapeutic Riding Programs – I am a huge fan of therapeutic riding and a big believer in the amazing benefits that riding can provide an individual, particularly those with special needs or physical limitations and disabilities!! Rather than listing one or two therapeutic riding programs in particular, I encourage you to find a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International member center near you using their ‘Find a Center’ tool here! In addition to financial donations this Giving Tuesday, many of the therapeutic programs are often looking for volunteers which can be an extremely fun and rewarding way to give back!
One more thing! Even if you’re not planning on making any donations this Giving Tuesday or this year, if you’re shopping on Amazon, you can still give back to the charity of your choosing! If you’re not already using Amazon Smile, make smile.amazon.com your go-to for Amazon shopping, and select a non-profit to have a portion of your purchases benefit every time you shop!