Molly meets friends she didn’t know she needed

When Molly came to volunteer as a high school sophomore, her goal was to earn community service hours, but she found so much more.

At first, she wasn’t sure how to interact in the class until she met a student named Wayne (pictured above). His endless smile instantly made her feel comfortable. He was like the little brother she didn’t have. He helped her forget about the stresses of high school and just enjoy time at the farm, while she helped him gain strength and confidence and have fun while riding. She loved the experience so much that she continued to volunteer for three more years, two evenings each week, and worked as assistant camp director for two summers.

When the time came for Molly to move onto college, she received some devastating news. She needed open heart surgery. Her dad had a similar surgery and she was afraid. Just after finding out, her mom thought she should get a volunteer sub for her class. But Molly wanted to continue to volunteer. It ended up being the best thing for her – just being with her students and the horses helped her forget about her situation for a bit.

A few weeks later, her surgery was a success. When she got home to recover, Willy, one of our miniature horses, made a guest appearance on her doorstep to cheer her up. She was eager to return and soon was back at the barn volunteering. Once fully recovered, she headed off to college with plans to return to volunteer this summer.

In 2017, Molly was one of 250 weekly volunteers who donated more than 23,000 service hours equating to a value of more than $550,000.

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