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Lightship’s Charitable Focus for 2023: Strongwater Farm
Although farming has been around for thousands of years, there are few things other than apple pie that feel more American than farming. This is likely from the expansion of farms due to mineral rich soil, especially in the mid-west, allowing farmers to help support the rapid growth of our nation and economy. Like any other industry, farming has been forced to adapt to current conditions leading the way for the use of technology and new farming techniques. This evolution has led to the creation of specialized farms that often focus on achieving a different set of end goals. One type of specialized farms is therapeutic farms. Therapeutic farms prioritize the well-being and personal growth of individuals through animal-assisted therapy.
This year Lightship’s charitable efforts will focus on supporting a local therapeutic farm; Strongwater Farm in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Strongwater Farm is a therapeutic equestrian centre that strives to enhance and enrich lives by providing education, physical activity, and social opportunities to individuals through equine-assisted activities and services. Strongwater offers programs to a wide range of individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges. Individuals that visit Strongwater typically include individuals with autism, multiple sclerosis patients, veterans with a range of conditions such as PTSD, seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and individuals with substance use disorders. Strongwater strives to create a safe, welcoming environment where individuals can learn, grow, and heal through the healing power of the horse.
As with everything in life, running a farm is not always as simple as it sounds. There are numerous challenges faced by these farmers, including unpredictable weather conditions and food/supply inflation that can significantly affect their livelihoods. In light of these challenges, the Lightship team is planning to help Strongwater Farm in a couple different ways.
So, how can you and I help?
This year we have set a goal to raise $5,000 to help feed all 15 of their horses during the 2023-2024 winter months. These horses are a crucial part of the organization’s mission and provide an essential element to the therapy programs offered at Strongwater.
Over the past year, the cost of hay has increased significantly due to high inflation rates. Raising these funds will help ensure that these magnificent animals are well-fed and cared for, despite the rising costs, so they can continue to bring joy and healing to those who need it most. Our fundraising campaign is open from May 15th 2023 until Thanksgiving, November 23rd 2023. If you are interested contributing to Lightship’s goal, you can donate using the link below:
In addition to our campaign, Lightship is participating in a volunteer day with Strongwater Farm. Participating in a volunteer day is an incredibly rewarding experience and we welcome you to join. We will be volunteering on Thursday September 14th, 2023 and if you are interested in participating, please let us know by September 1st, 2023. We will provide more details about what the day will entail as we get closer to the date.
Together, we can help support Strongwater Farm so that Strongwater can continue to help the individuals they serve. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you for your generosity and support.