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Fundraiser: Put some weight behind “Thank you for your service”

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Hey exercise enthusiasts, have you ever said, “Thank you for your service”? Well, here’s a chance to truly thank our Veterans and active duty servicemembers.

The Horsepower and Heroes Heavyweight Hack is your chance for a great day of working out while raising money to bring Veterans to The PEACH Pit for a free two-day retreat. All (that’s 100 percent ) of the proceeds will go to fund The PEACH Pit’s Horsepower and Heroes Retreat on Nov. 10-12, 2017.

This fundraiser will include team and individual workouts of the day, with prizes to the Top 3 teams and Top Weights with words "put some weight behind that you for your service.male and female. Registration is $160 per team (two men and one woman per team), and $45 for individual competitors. Additionally, proceeds from T-shirt sales will help fund the retreat.

Register by 10 p.m. April 30 and get 5 percent off (code HAHX).

Why are we doing this? Well, it’s our way of giving back. Our primary goal at The PEACH Pit, founded by a Veteran, is to provide affordable, low cost mental health counseling to all clients, especially our living heroes, our Veterans and servicemembers.

Sadly, a 2016 Department of Veterans Affairs report indicates that about 20 Veterans commit suicide daily. We want to do our part to prevent those deaths. To that end, The PEACH Pit is selecting Veterans from a pool of applicants for the free two-day outdoors retreat at our farm site in Georgia.

The fundraiser was the idea of The PEACH Pit board chair’s son, a CrossFit enthusiast and Army helicopter pilot.

By the way, a hack, in horse terms, is a short trail ride, generally at a leisurely pace. In nonhorse language, it’s an efficient way of achieving a goal.

You’re the heavyweights, we have the horses and the goal is to raise money. Register today for the Horsepower and Heroes Heavyweight Hack.

If you know of a Veteran interested in attending our Horsepower and Heroes Retreat, have them check out that event.

Thanks for helping us thank them.

MLK Volunteer Day video

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Not only did Andrea M. Gibson help bring seven teens from Macon to volunteer at The PEACH Pit on Jan. 14, but she also shot pictures and video. Pictured below are Katherine Hosmer, left, and Jessica Wornum. Check out her work and learn more about what we do.

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The energy of youth

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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.

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.
Kneeling, from left: Zykerria Hill, Yalandria Derricho, Jessica Wornum, Tiahna Ball and Sarah Meleco. Standing, from left, Mya Foster, Shianne Gibson, Andrea Gibson, Legacy Gibson, Garry Cannady, Demetria Cannady, Garrett Carter, Gwendolyn Coley, Elissa McCaskill and Katherine Hosmer. 

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).

This is what the pasture looked like before the volunteers came out.
This is what the pasture looked like before the volunteers came out. The video is what it looked like afterward.

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.

It’s not too late

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You’re not as broken as you think you are. We all are dealing with something. First responders may need more tools to help build resiliency to stress, and asking for help means you can continue helping others.

CHP Officer Kevin Briggs says this to first responders: “Don’t be afraid to be the client. You’ll live longer.”

While today is the last day to register for our free demo on Saturday at 4, it’s never too late to get the tools you need to help yourself. We’re here for you today and always, just as you’re here for all of us. Call us at 478-82PEACH (827-3224) to schedule some time with us and our horses.

It takes courage to ask for help. Be courageous.

#youfirstdemo #firstresponder #eagala

It won’t go away

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World Trade Center lights

Three New York firefighters who helped rescue 9/11 victims completed suicide within a year.

An officer who rescued four people at the bombed Oklahoma City federal building completed suicide. Don’t ignore your mental health.

A paramedic who helped rescue baby Jessica McClure from a well later killed himself.

It takes strength to say, “I have a threshold, and I need help.”

Come join us and our horses Saturday at 4 for a free demo for first responders, an effort to show how you can build resiliency to work through the stressors of the job.

It takes courage to ask for help. Be courageous. #youfirstdemo #firstresponder #eagala

Don’t make a deadly mistake

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The police culture creates a cop trained to use deadly force but not one who handles stress. It takes courage to ask for help. Be courageous. Join us Sept. 10 for our free demo of how horses can help you be more resilient. #youfirstdemo #firstresponder #eagala