WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A local nonprofit was getting some much-needed help before its next class.
Whispers of Hope is a nonprofit designed to assist Texomans with physical and mental disabilities through therapeutic riding at no cost and runs strictly on volunteers.
Anne Flemming has been volunteering for four years.
“My sister started coming out here, and I heard from her how great it was, and I’ve always been kind of interested in animals,” Flemming said. “Just saw an opportunity.”
Flemming and other junior volunteers were helping prepare for the next class.
“We come out, we feed, we have some volunteers come out,” Flemming said. “We taught them how to feed and clean stalls and right now a few of us are just riding for fun and we are also teaching two of our newer children how to ride. So, hopefully, later on, they can become volunteers as well.”
Whispers of Hope’s founder and executive director has worked as an HR manager for many years but she said she felt she was called to do something greater after going to a missionary school.
“On the very last day we were going out to a horse farm and it was for challenged adults and I was just like ‘oh my gosh,’ founder and executive director Mary Elizabeth Pearce said. “Because I’ve raised horses all of my life.”
At the end of the week, there’s one thing that makes the hard preparation work all worth it.
“To see a child smile for the first time,” Pearce said. “When they are scared and have no idea, their parents think they can’t do anything and you get them on the horse and they [breathe out a sigh of relief.]”
To donate or volunteer to Whispers of Hope, click here.