The Barnabas Horse Foundation provides equine-assisted psychotherapy for abused and traumatized children, women in crisis and veterans. Barnabas received a $3,340 grant from the Waccamaw Community Trust Fund in May 2015, helping four individuals be trained as equine specialists for therapy sessions. Since its inception in 2011, the Barnabas Horse Foundation has managed to move from its humble roots of yesterday to a successful, ever-growing today.
Horses have always had a special place in the heart of Sue McKinney, Founder of the Barnabas Horse Foundation. As a mother of five, children also have a very special place in her heart, and she searched for a way to connect her two passions. A family crisis guided Sue to start an organization dedicated to helping those affected by abuse and trauma find peace in spirit, body and mind, and the Barnabas Horse Foundation was born. In 2013, after a year of fundraising and securing their 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status, treatment of children affected by abuse and trauma began. A partnership with the Rape Crisis Center in 2014 brought women in crisis to the farm to begin healing through the help of a new four-legged friend.
Today the Barnabas Horse Foundation embraces what it truly means to be a nonprofit organization. Currently 60-65 sessions of Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) are offered by Barnabas every month, free of charge. This year, services were included to help veterans returning home from combat. Expanding services represents the reality, according to McKinney, that “abuse and trauma are not discriminatory.”
Earlier this summer, WCF Board Member Cheryl Adamson made a visit to the farm, where she was impressed by the many board members present who shared the organization’s story and answered questions. “This was a demonstration of their support for their organization and its mission,” Adamson shared.
The maintenance of the farm and the care of the horses is completely volunteer-run. Approximately 20 volunteers, including some board members, are very active with Barnabas, donating their time to the farm at least quarterly. Even those simply visiting the Grand Strand find their way to the farm, helping set fence posts and painting the horse barn.
One week from today on Giving Tuesday, the Barnabas Horse Foundation will begin its single largest fundraising campaign in its 4-year history. Their goal? Raise $2 million in two years. Through this monumental fundraiser, Barnabas will be able to purchase their current farm, which is rented, or a similar property. While purchasing the farm will take a large portion of the money raised, there are also plans to build two indoor riding facilities on the property. These new facilities will allow healing to continue regardless of Mother Nature’s uncontrollable temper. At the end of the day, these improvements will allow “us to stand fully on our own four feet,” said McKinney.
Those interested in helping the Barnabas Horse Foundation can contact Sue McKinney, Founder, at 843-241-3331 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions of supplies, money or time are always greatly appreciated. You can learn more by visiting www.barnabashorse.org.