May 2022 -
Brenda semi-retired from a stressful project management career in 2017 and attended an orientation session for WindReach Farm Volunteers that same year. She has been a volunteer through many phases of her life, as a student, parent and throughout her career. When Brenda retired, she not only wanted to "give back" to her local community, she wanted to be involved with an organization that would enrich her life.
April 2022 -
Andrew started volunteering at WindReach Farm in 2015. His sister, Megan Burbidge, who is one of the riding instructors, asked if he could come out for a few weeks to help as they were short on volunteers. Andy enjoyed volunteer so much he has stayed well beyond his initial commitment for several reasons - all related to happiness.
March 2022 -
Tracy loves horses and it was the therapeutic riding program first brought her to WindReach Farm. “It's an amazing facility. Despite the fact I've been riding since I was eight years old, I've learned so much from the riding instructors and the body/mind connection with these glorious animals. I always say you volunteer to help others, but really you're helping yourself in so many ways,” says Tracy.
February 2022 -
Five years ago after losing her husband to cancer, Bev was looking to find a place where she could spend time giving back as she felt that would be very important to her life going forward.
January 2022 -
Lesley started volunteering in animal care at WindReach in 2016. She had recently retired from a rewarding teaching career and wanted to continue her journey as a lifelong learner and find another way to contribute to the community. Lesley wanted to go back to her first love, which was working with animals.
December 2021 -
Maya volunteers because she wants to help provide a space for people with varying levels of abilities to be able to experience things they wouldn’t be able to experience outside of WindReach. One of her favourite parts of volunteering is working directly with animals and helping provide them with quality live. It is also pretty amazing to watch animals grow up in front of you.
November 2021 -
Luis volunteers because he wants to help people have a better quality of life. “I find it very rewarding the work that I do at Wind Reach farm. You can see the impact on the adults that we help. I also like to belong to a community of positive minded people,” says Luis.
October 2021 -
Rosemary knew when she retired and had the time; she wanted to give back to the community in some way. With her lifelong love of horses, WindReach was the perfect place to do so.
Rosemary mostly volunteers at the stables where she helps with lessons, grooming and tacking up and any stable chores that need done. She also helps at many special events. Rosemary has a passion for all things equine, lots of energy, and a love of helping people.
September 2021 -
When asked why she volunteers, Maureen replied that she finds it rewarding and enjoys being part of something she is passionate about. “I do it because I want to, not because I have to.” replies.
Maureen spends most of her time volunteering at the stables, but has also volunteered at special events as well as The Royal Winter Fair and the Markham Fair.
August 2021 -
Lea started volunteering in May of 2015. Luckily for her, she met Volunteer and Operations Manager, Kelly curling and saw the perfect opportunity to get involved through volunteering. She had retired from a very rewarding and much loved teaching career of 34 years and wanted to have a new experience while doing something purposeful in her community. WindReach Farm was the perfect opportunity!
July 2021 -
Cori has been volunteering since she was a child. She volunteered in a therapeutic riding program when in university, and was immediately drawn to the Farm’s therapeutic riding program when she accompanied her students on a visit to the Farm in 2007. When she retired from teaching in 2013, she started to spend more time volunteering in the programs at the Farm.
June 2021 -
At WindReach Farm, Harry has several roles: he assists with his daughter’s therapeutic riding lessons; he recruits and coordinates volunteer set-up and tear-down crews for major events; and he has sat on the WindReach Farm Foundation Board since 2014, where he is currently the Chair.
May 2021 - Amanda Taylor
Amanda has helped in many areas at WindReach, including: animal care, therapeutic riding lessons, on-site tours, off-site visits, special events, community work days, and summer camp. Her favourite volunteer job is helping with therapeutic riding lessons and seniors’ tours. Amanda loves horses and working with individuals with disabilities, so the stables is a great fit for her. Seniors also hold a special place in her heart.
April 2021 -
Joe is both an academic and an education administrator, so feels his contribution to the farm has come in the form of both administrative leadership and insight into the curricular aspects of WindReach Farm’s programming. Notwithstanding Joe’s professional background, he tries to bring passion to his volunteerism at WindReach, because there are so many participants counting on the Farm to be at it’s best, and if he can help even a little bit, he knows that he will have done his part.
March 2021 - Ginny Petch
Volunteering at WindReach has given Ginny so many memories, but one which she will always treasure was assisting Eleanor with the birthing of a lamb last spring, and having the honour of it being named after her! To this day, despite her husband’s request, they have not once had lamb for dinner. Each spring, Ginny enjoys watching everything come to life, particularly all the new baby animals.
February 2021 - Meagan Rollo
Prior to coming to WindReach, Meagan had always enjoyed working with people and animals. She brought this knowledge and experience with her to her placement at the Farm, where she continues to learn new things every day. When volunteering, Meagan always has a positive attitude, whether it is leading a tour, planning activities for different events, or working with the animals.
January 2021 - Sharon Semeluk
Sharon had the opportunity to take lessons when it was open to volunteers and, although she is more comfortable with her feet on the ground, found that riding provided her with a valuable insight into the experience from the program participants’ perspective.