From the Executive Director's Corner Stall
When I reflect on this first year since organizing Forever Amber Acres Animal Sanctuary (FAAAS) as a Non Profit 501c-3, two feelings in particular come to mind; thanks and hope.
I’m thankful for the donors who have already entrusted our organization with their hard earned dollars, their services and their donated items so that we can continue to provide optimal care to our special rescued horses and other animals. These animals all look cute and cuddly on the outside, but none of them come without hefty monthly maintenance costs for their medications and the special diets required to keep them alive and well. They depend on you greatly, for they couldn’t continue to thrive without your support.
Less than one year ago, FAAAS was a one woman show. Today, I’m surrounded by the support of a dedicated team of Board Directors and an Advisory Committee. Each of these folks has their own family and job outside of FAAAS. Yet without fail they continue to meet with me every month and to assist in making sound business decisions and innovative strategies to strengthen FAAAS, so we can become a strong, sustainable organization. This makes me hopeful that we will be able to continue our work rescuing additional horses and other animals that need our help and care.
I’ve been inspired by the dedication and continued interest of our volunteer staff, who care for the animals multiple times a day, 365 days a year. Today we have 10 dedicated students and adults that give up precious hours consistently, to provide care, patience and love to these once abused and forgotten animals. They continue to recruit their friends, family and coworkers, spreading our mission as we spread compassion and work toward putting an end to abuse, neglect and slaughter. Our volunteers drive from distances near and far because they believe in us and love our animals and I am thankful beyond words.
Looking back on the progress we’ve made in such a short period of time leaves me hopeful that 2014 will not only be the Year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac calendar, but the year our voices are finally heard and we see an end to America’s horses being transported across our borders for inhumane slaughter and human consumption abroad. I’m hopeful that with your continued support and by continuing to tell your friends about us, we will succeed in becoming financially stronger, enabling us to expand our facility so that we can rescue and adopt out additional horses this year. To make a donation in support of our mission, please go to www.foreveramber.org DONATE:
Please join with me in turning these hopes into reality in 2014. Together we can leave our thumbprint on this great earth by helping the forgotten, voiceless animals that need us.
With great thanks for your generosity,
Freedom’s “Crafty Cape” brings him to FAAAS
Freedom is a shiny-coated, speedy thoroughbred horse that recently joined the expanding Forever Amber Acres Animal Sanctuary family. Originally a well-respected racehorse, Freedom found himself running his final race at Beulah Park Racetrack on April 5th of 2012. Nine days later, he was found behind a barn near Columbus, Ohio. After arriving at FAAAS with Michele Bolinger, Freedom, originally known as “Crafty Cape,” began to settle into his new surroundings, appreciative of the acreage where he grazes voraciously amidst his newfound happiness.
This energetic and high-spirited horse resides in an 18’x16’ stall built for a king – or a playful thoroughbred. He is happy wherever he is, whether in his stall, in the fields, or in the dirt that he loves to roll through. A very curious and “crafty” animal, Freedom loves to tease volunteers by playing cat-and-mouse in the fields when it’s time to stroll back in for grooming, a game where he loves showing off his speed and strength. When he’s decided the night’s volunteer has had enough of the game, he’ll cooperatively return to his stall, occasionally leaving presents along the way as any thoughtful horse would do.
Playing with his grooming tools on the wall as the lucky groomer removes the dirt from his coat, Freedom transforms from a dirty, scruffy rascal to a handsome prince of the herd. He also is very curious as to what the volunteers are doing when they are doing it, and cannot help but always be at your side. His stupendous appetite must be constantly feed to keep this well-oiled machine running.
Freedom is a beautiful horse, both aesthetically and personality-wise, and he’s a very well behaved boy. Currently he is being trained for pleasure riding by Michele and the other volunteers. This will be a giant baby step forward in Freedom’s rehabilitation, assuring him an action-filled lifestyle for many years to come. To make a donation to help support Freedom or any of our animals go to: http://www.foreveramber.org/animals/horses CLICK DONATE
Student Volunteer, FAAAS
Volunteer of the Month Highlight
This month we want to acknowledge the outstanding commitment and contributions of David J. Lyons
, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army (Retired). “DJ,” a native Ohioan, born in Ravenna and raised in Wooster, served our country for 21 years, 17 in airborne. He completed 3 tours in Afghanistan and Iraq during a 30 month period, and was medically retired in March 2013.
Since first volunteering at Forever Amber Acres Animal Sanctuary in September 2013, David has made considerable improvements to our facility, actively worked hand in hand with Michele in training and rehabilitation of both Passion and Freedom, uncovered an alternative source for our demanding sawdust requirements that will realize hundreds of dollars in cost savings in 2014, not to mention the countless hours of vitally important routine shift work caring for our rescues and maintaining the barn environment these past 5 months.
We wouldn’t want to embarrass David by calling him our super-hero, but he is a super volunteer if ever there was one, especially in this brutal winter we’re experiencing!
David currently resides in Wooster, Ohio, with his 15 year old daughter, Chelsea, who also volunteers at FAAAS. When he's not volunteering at the sanctuary, he loves fishing, shooting, 4 wheeling and off-roading, creatures large and small, and all things nature. For a guy who never spent time around horses before joining us, seeing David around Freedom, Cody and Passion now, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t been around horses his entire life… and it’s hard to imagine Forever Amber Acres Animal Sanctuary without David.
Thanks, DJ! We appreciate you!!
Want a rewarding volunteer experience like David? Contact us at http://www.foreveramber.org/contact
Secretary and Board Director, FAAAS