I went to see the “Hope Rides” program in action today at the horse stables near the river.
Everything was simply amazing.
Thanks to the fabulous generosity of the horse club, who is donating the time with staff and horses free of charge (wow!) until it gets too cold to ride, the grant that we received has been able to go towards purchasing safety equipment and mainly transportation costs via a hired van.
The kids live in different parts of the city, and it’s sometimes hard for them to take public transportation like bus, subway or taxi due to strollers, wheelchairs, and the reluctance of drivers to pick them up.
In addition to the joy of watching these kids experience near-ecstasy as they ride high above the ground and the medically therapeutic benefits of riding, there have been some unexpected bonuses from this experience.
Such as the van driver totally getting into it and being the main person lifting and holding the kids on the horse.
He is taking a loss on the miles driven and hours spent, yet doing it with exuberance.
Also the families are getting some wonderful social time together, along with various volunteers–both Chinese and expat.
The staff of the stables are definitely much more aware of the personhood of children with disabilities and of orphans.
The foster moms enthusiastically share their personal stories and amazing blessings that they have received as a result of taking in a vulnerable child, with everyone they meet, and their joy is contagious.
Think about what you can do in your hometown this fall and beyond to help those vulnerable children and families through your support and encouragement in simple yet meaningful ways.
I have a ton of ideas, but that’s for another post.