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The Martin Luther King holiday weekend is an opportunity for many to give back to their communities, and seven students from Macon were among those who gave back to The PEACH Pit on Jan. 14 for Volunteer Day.
In the first hour, the young ladies – no males were there – and four of us “slightly” older ladies had disassembled about 20 corral panels, and then relocated and reassembled them to double the size of the front pasture.
The girls were the strategists; they figured out the best approach – actually multiple approaches – and we tackled the job. Some worked in pairs, some solo. Lots of chatting and critiquing and laughing.
Lots of hard work. Lots of smiles.
These young ladies were a late addition to our MLK Volunteer Day. Their “neighborhood mom,” Andrea M. Gibson, left a voicemail for me Thursday after learning about us on a site for the MLK Day of Service. When I called her back, she said she was bringing six girls. When she showed up, seven piled out of her SUV, and she said more girls had wanted to come.
Three other volunteers from Valdosta joined us in the second hour, just in time to round out the top pasture and assist with grooming and moving the horses. They heard about us on online social media group for Georgia clinicians and are interested in equine-assisted psychotherapy.
Good teamwork. Great determination.
Last year, we had airmen from Robins Air Force Base. The coordinator, Jennifer Storms, had received one of our fliers and thought volunteering at our nonprofit would be adventurous. They got the job done … efficiently. They cleaned up debris, pounded stakes, brushed horses, whacked weeds.
Good strategists. Not as much chatting.
The PEACH Pit’s team this year consisted of one person: a disabled Army Veteran. Lots of adrenaline. Lots of determination. Lots of pain. And Ranger candy (800 milligrams of ibuprofen).
One thing the two volunteer groups had in common was energy. Young people. Fit people. Energy.
Oh, to have the energy of youth.
Wait, for the MLK Volunteer Day this year and last year, we did have the energy of youth: Shianne Gibson, Mya Foster, Jessica Wornum, Yalandria Derricho, Legacy Gibson, Tiahna Ball, Zykerria Hill. We had the energy of the young at heart: Elissa McCaskill, Katherine Hosmer, Andrea Gibson, Demetria Cannady, Garrett Carter, Garry Cannady, Sarah Meleco and Gwendolyn Coley.
Together, we accomplished much. We accomplish much at each volunteer day, and we generally have one a quarter. Each volunteer day means we don’t have to pay for those services. Not having to pay for those services means we can minimize the fees clients pay for our services. Not paying for those services means your donations allow us to focus our energy on helping our clients.
If you’re interested in participating in one of our volunteer days, visit our events page (www.thepeachpitgeorgia.org/events). We always feed our volunteers, and we generally have some giveaways and a demonstration of our therapy model.
If you’re interested in donating to The PEACH Pit, you can do so at https://thepeachpitgeorgia.org/matching-funds/. The donate button is on the right side of the page. To double your donation, scroll through the list to see if your employer is there. If so, ask your employer to match your donation.
The day has been long, exhilarating and exhausting. The girls who volunteered likely still are chatting, critiquing and laughing. The rest of us are likely pooped and in need of rest.
Oh, to have the energy of youth. Again. Next volunteer day.