Congratulations to Charlie Egli–PALS Volunteer of the Month for April!
Charlie Egli began volunteering at PALS following his retirement in April of 2010 after a PALS presentation at his local church sparked his interest. Having been raised on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, Charlie enjoys working with different types of livestock and thought PALS might be a good fit so he attended the PALS volunteer training session to learn more. Charlie notes that he enjoys working with all the PALS horses and being a sidewalker for the clients, “Like all volunteer engagements, I receive much more than I give. Watching clients react in sessions developed by extraordinary PAL personnel, is very rewarding! PALS is definitely “Making Strides, Changing Lives!”.
Thank you to Charlie for your continued service and dedication to PALS, our riders, and our horses!
Looking for a home for your horse?
PALS is excited to be accepting boarders at our new facility located on the west side of Bloomington!
Our professional staff is dedicated to the well-being of all our boarders and their horses. Our barn features:
A standard monthly rate of $350.00 per horse.
Contact Annie for more information! gro.yparehtslapnull@einna or 812-336-2798 ext. 6
People and Animal Learning Services (PALS) has been awarded a grant totaling $50,000 by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County in support of the organization’s “Gallop for Growth” capital campaign.
Designed to provide a matching funds opportunity for supporters of the campaign, the grant will ensure the acquisition of a new program facility for the PALS program by March of 2013, providing an opportunity for expanded service offerings and community collaborations.
The facility acquisition and associated program expansion will allow PALS to support more local individuals in need of therapeutic services. In addition to the expansion of current service offerings, additional program development will allow PALS to expand the program’s reach and influence to serve populations not currently participating in the organization’s therapeutic equine programs.
“PALS has provided over a decade of service to individuals with disabilities in the Indiana community, and increased demand over the past several years has necessitated the need for an expanded location for the program” said Executive Director Fern Bonchek. “The grant provided by the Community Foundation will considerably support our initiative and acquisition of the new facility.”
About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County
The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County administers more than 160 funds that produce grants which help provide a better quality of life for the people of Bloomington and Monroe County, Indiana. The Community Impact Funding Initiative is designed to fuel innovative ideas and lasting impact within our community by granting funds to nonprofits for the purpose of meeting our community’s most pressing needs or seizing upon its most compelling opportunities.
December 1, 2012
As parents of a child with autism, it is frequently difficult to find activities for our son Jake. Like others with autism, Jake has a difficult time communicating, especially his interests or preferences. This is further complicated by his unwillingness to try new things. So, when Jake emphatically said, “Ride it” to express his desire in riding a horse, we did everything we could to find a program that he could participate in—and one that had the professionalism and sensitivity to deal with his special needs. We count our blessings that we found PALS.
A child with autism has challenges and needs that require specialized patience and care. The staff and volunteers at PALS know how to talk, instruct, and understand Jake. We cannot adequately explain the joy our family has seeing the look of delight on his face that comes from riding his horse. Even though he may not be able to verbally describe his excitement, we can see this joy every week through the smile on his face and his desire to leap on his horse to “Ride it”!
Each week, Jake looks forward to an activity that is his own and that he enjoys. As parents, we are delighted to have the opportunity to provide him with the chance to participate in something that he not only enjoys, but is beneficial for him as well. Many people are unfamiliar with the benefits of therapeutic riding for people with developmental disabilities like autism. In addition to the physical benefits attained by those with disabilities such as increased strength, mobility and self-esteem; therapeutic riding has some additional benefits for those with developmental disabilities. Improvements in language use, conversational skills and social functioning can also be achieved by clients diagnosed with autism who participate in therapeutic equine programming.
Having the opportunity to be proud of individual achievements and to experience success is so important to Jake and to the countless others who are diagnosed with autism annually. At PALS, Jake is surrounded by others who have similar goals; in fact, more than 50% of PALS clients have developmental disabilities and face challenges similar to Jake’s.
We are grateful to PALS for helping Jake to find his voice, and for helping him develop a passion for an activity that has affected his life in so many positive ways. We ask that you thoughtfully consider supporting PALS this holiday season so that they can continue to fulfill their mission of providing such a unique therapeutic service to the residents of this community and surrounding counties. We feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to experience what PALS has to offer clients like our son and want to thank you for all your support and dedication to the program.
The Headdy Family
JD, Ann, Jake and Kristen Headdy
PS. Did you know?
The most that each PALS client pays for a lesson is $35! The total cost of each lesson that PALS provides is $122. This leaves a gap of $87 per lesson and we depend on friends like you to cover this gap so we can keep our lesson fees down for the PALS clients. A session at PALS consists of 10 lessons and clients generally ride for 3 sessions (30 lessons) a year. This means that the total funding gap for one session is $870 and $2,610 per year on average for each client. Funds raised from this end of the year campaign will ensure affordable services for all in our community.
On November 10, 2012, five “Littles” and their “Bigs” participated in the pilot offering of Project LEAD, a collaborative effort between United Way member agencies People and Animal Learning Services (PALS) and Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of South Central Indiana. Project LEAD, an Equine Experiential Education (EEE) program, is designed to provide BBBS clients, or “Littles”, with skills essential for becoming productive community citizens as well as enhancing the relationship they develop with their mentors, or “Bigs”. By exploring skills through a variety of activities utilizing PALS’ equine partners, participants are engaged intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically allowing them to experience a variety of successes and failures, reflect on related experiences, and discuss their application to future experiences and actions.
Participants in the program took away a variety of experiences and lessons from the weekend’s 4-hour program. From exploring the amount of trust a Little has in their Big, to how communication skills have the potential to affect an outcome, participants identified a number of skills and experiences they took away from the program. One Little noted that she “…learned how to give better directions.”, while the Bigs noted things like “I see how Daisy trusts me…”. Mark Voland, BBBS Community Programs Director had this to say about the day’s program, “We have been doing programs/retreats for number of years. I really don’t think any were any better than today. I saw kids smile, laugh, give directions, follow directions, and speak louder.”
Continuing the partnership into 2013, PALS and BBBS will provide additional opportunities for Littles and their Bigs to participate in Project LEAD during both the Spring and Fall program seasons.