Mama to an autistic boy to hold photography fundraiser for SIRE
Magical unicorn mini sessions to benefit nonprofit that provides horse therapy
On October 24, Tiffany Harston, owner of Tiffany Harston Photography and mama to a five-year-old autistic boy, will host a fundraiser for SIRE, a nonprofit that provides therapeutic horseback riding.
“I am so excited to hold this event for SIRE,” says Harston. “I have been volunteering at SIRE for two years and they do such important work. Having a non-verbal, autistic son myself, I appreciate the patience the staff and volunteers have. I also know how beneficial horse therapy is to these kids and adults and I want to help in any way I can.”
SIRE provides therapeutic riding and other horse-related activities to individuals with a diagnosis of psychological, physical, or cognitive disability. The number one diagnosis they serve is autism. And riding is extremely helpful to these clients. In fact, 100 percent report growth in at least one of the following areas: strength, emotional stability or social skills.
Riders rely on SIRE even more because of COVID-19
Because of COVID-19, daily life has become very dysregulated for many riders, making it vital for SIRE to continue to provide services. These kids and adults rely on schedules and many have not been able to go back to school or day programs. SIRE provides some assemblance of normal for them during uncertain times and changing schedules.
“Because of the pandemic there is an even greater need for our services,” says Bolton. “In fact, for the first time in years we have a waiting list.”
SIRE needs funding now more than ever
Also because of the pandemic, SIRE’s annual fundraising gala along with other major fundraisers were abruptly canceled. In addition, they had to employ additional staff and implement updated safety and sanitation procedures.
SIRE is planning on using the money raised from this event for one farrier visit for the horses to have their feet trimmed. But they are also hoping to spread the word and gain more volunteers.
Fundraiser to raise funds and awareness for SIRE
“One of the goals for this fundraiser is to spread the word about SIRE,” says Shayna Bolton, Site Manager of SIRE. “And as word spreads and we increase ridership, there’s an increased need for volunteers and funding. So, while we hope to raise money with this event, we also hope to gain volunteers.”
The mission of SIRE is to improve the quality of life for people with special needs through therapeutic horsemanship activities and therapies and educational outreach. The number one diagnosis they serve is autism. Although riders ages can range from three years to senior citizens, the greatest percentage of riders are children. And riding is beneficial to these clients. In fact, 100 percent of SIRE riders report growth in at least one of the following areas: strength, emotional stability or social skills.
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