A big ask

Two days into the new year, we sent out notice that registration was open for our spring Horsepower and Heroes Retreat for women Veterans.

Horsepower and Heroes logo of horse and U.S. flagIn 24 hours, 112 women Veterans had registered for 15 slots. That’s wonderful and, at the same, sad.

Wouldn’t it be great if all of them could attend and decompress and be among other women Veterans?

What if you could make that happen? Would you?

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to The PEACH Pit to help us help our Veterans. Think of it as a way of thanking them for their service.

You can donate on our website and via GA Gives. The GA Gives donations specifically go toward our retreat. You can also mail a check to PO Box 891, Fort Valley, GA 31030, and put “Retreat” in the memo area.

Thank you for helping us help those who served.

On Giving Tuesday, or any day, give (please)

The PEACH Pit’s primary goal is to provide affordable mental health care for those in need. We believe no one should have to struggle to pay for this basic need.

On this day, please consider helping us help others. We know you have many worthy causes to consider. Please make The PEACH Pit one of them.

If you’re military, retired military, a federal civilian or retired federal civilian, please consider donating through the Combined Federal Campaign. Our CFC number is 27220.

No amount is too small, and, of course, no amount is too large. You also can volunteer your time.

#GAGives on #GivingTuesday: Help us help Veterans

#GivingEagala: Help us provide affordable mental health care

Thank you.

Donation video transcript

Broken bone; broken heart

Horse eyeing a camera
Perry was an asset to The PEACH Pit.

One day, someone will create a technology that can fix the broken leg of a horse, so the horse’s humans won’t have a broken heart.

Perry, an off-the-track Thoroughbred, wasn’t supposed to have joined our team; he was sold to someone and then went lame. His partner, Cash, was being donated, and when Perry’s sale fell through, his owner asked if we could take Perry, as well.

Both immediately went to work during a women’s retreat and a trauma-focused training.

Lately, he’s just done horse stuff, grazing in the back pasture with Cash, another off-the-track Thoroughbred, a mini and a few other older horses.

As best as we can figure, the rain we had hoped for may have hurt Perry, the Alpha horse in the pasture. We think he slipped while chasing a horse away from food.

One day, someone will create a technology that can fix the broken leg of a horse, so the horse’s humans won’t have a broken heart.

We’ve lost a team member, and we’re brokenhearted.

Impact of D-Day

Soldiers leaving a boat and in the water of Omaha Beach, Normandy, during World War II.
Soldiers leaving a boat and in the water of Omaha Beach, Normandy, during World War II.
Assault landing, one of the first waves at Omaha Beach, Normandy. The Coast Guard caption identifies the unit as Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Photo courtesy of Center of Military History.

D-Day affected the world on a large scale. It affected individuals on a personal scale.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious attack in history, we honor the thousands of Allied servicemembers who lost their lives in France in an effort to save the world from tyranny.

D-Day, so called because it was Day 1 of the invasion, was a brutal and important day toward Allied victory in World War II.

It also had a lasting effect in a different way.

A 90-year-old French woman who lives feet from a Normandy beach, for example, reported she hasn’t stepped foot on the beach since she was a teenager, when she saw bodies of Allied servicemembers strewn along the sand.

Untreated trauma can haunt for a lifetime. It’s never too late to get help.

We can help.

Video: Horsepower and Heroes Retreat news coverage

This nonprofit organization is bringing a different kind of therapy to Central Georgia

By Taylor Drake, WMAZ

Published: 10:51 PM EDT May 6, 2019

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — At the end of a dirt road off of River Road in Fort Valley sits a farm with a few cabins, some horses, and a couple of stray chickens.

The land belongs to Gwendolyn Coley, the founder of The PEACH Pit. The Peach Pit, founded in 2014, is a nonprofit organization that works to provide equine assisted psychotherapy to people in Central Georgia.

“Horses are my heart,” says Coley. “I use equine assisted psychotherapy to help people but also work with horses.”

Horse therapy is an alternative for people who may not want to talk about their problems.

“Horses are naturally reflective,” says Coley. “You can talk to the horses if you choose to. They don’t speak any language that we truly understand, but they can help solve some of your problems.”

In addition to working with clients on an individual level, Coley and her team host retreats and events for groups.

Last weekend, The PEACH Pit hosted its third Horsepower and Heroes Retreat for women veterans. The three-day retreat means a lot to Coley, who is an Army veteran herself.

“Sometimes, we’re invisible. There are a lot of programs out there to help men. To have women come here and just be, we don’t get enough of that time,” says Coley.

At the retreat, women participated in several activities like meditation and yoga to relax and get in touch with themselves.

Coley’s organization gives back to the Fort Valley community, but has still remained a well-kept secret.

“Every time I accept a speaking engagement, people are like, ‘I didn’t know you were here!” Coley says.

With her equine therapy, Coley is also trying to de-stigmatize and therapy.

“That is one of our big goals,” says Coley. “There’s no harm in getting help — in fact, it can be helpful to get help.”

At the end of the day, Coley loves seeing clients improve with the help of her horses.

“We’ve had people come in with some really complicated stories,” says Coley. “They come here and start seeing results immediately. That amazes me every single time.”

To learn more about Coley and The PEACH Pit, you can visit their website or Facebook page.

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