WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—What started as a simple dream 20 years ago for founder Mary Elizabeth Pearce, now galloped into a wonderful nonprofit horse haven called Whispers of Hope.
“We went from six horses and 15 children to over 170 kids, 30 soldiers, 28 horses, a new covered area, a brand new barn and all because God had a plan,” says Mary.
Whispers of Hope offer horse rides, lessons or special parties to any child with disabilities or special needs ages two and above. They also give rides to veterans and wounded soldiers.
“We can have children that are down syndrome, autistic, have all types of conditions, we have high schools that come with their challenged children program and do some chores and then they get to ride, and that’s a great thing because they’re learning all different things in the program,” says Mary.
Not only is this a special opportunity for these little cowgirls and boys, but for the staff as well.
“We have no paid staff here,” says Mary, “everyone is a volunteer, we donate our time because of the love of the children, the horses and especially god’s gift that we give.”
Samantha Strange is one of those gracious volunteers, who after more than five years of working at Whispers, says seeing the happiness on kids faces while they ride never gets old.
“This is like the highlight of their day,” says Samantha. “Especially with the virus going on they don’t really get to go out and do anything so when they get to come here, they get to be themselves.”
In order to continue giving riding lessons and taking care of their beautiful horses or 28 acre ranch, WOH relies heavily on donations. It’s Mary’s hope that this year’s Texoma Gives event will wrangle in some much needed funds.
“Our goal was $25,000 this year from individuals or foundations or anyone willing to donate but that money all goes specifically to care for these horses: through hay, grain, vet bill, farrier, and electricity,” says Mary. “There are days when there is not a penny in the checkbook and we have to buy grain or hay the next day, but somehow it always comes through.”
If you’d like to help raise money for WOH during Texoma Gives, click here!