Southern STARRS looking for volunteers for classes

Staff Reports • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:37 PM

Southern STARRS therapeutic horseback riding summer classes are currently open, and it’s looking for volunteers to help during classes. 

“We currently have special needs applicants on a waiting list, and with additional volunteers, we can open more classes to serve that need,” said Terry Winfield, executive director and co-founder. 

STARRS provides therapeutic horseback riding to children with physical and mental disabilities or who are victims of a life-altering trauma, such as a chronic illness or loss of a parent. 

STARRS also serves adults with physical or mental disabilities and began its STARRS-4-STRIPES program in the fall 2012 to serve veterans in partnership with the Veterans Affairs health system in Murfreesboro. 

Winfield said volunteers are needed to work Monday or Thursday evenings from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. or Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. until noon. 

“Volunteers work from the ground so no horseback riding experience is required, however, applicants who have experience working with horses or people with special needs are welcome,” Winfield said.

Volunteers must: 

• be 14 years of age or older.

• be able to walk or do short jogs during a one-hour class.

• be able to lift at least 30 pounds.

• complete a volunteer application.

Ongoing individual volunteer orientation and training are held as new volunteers apply.  Student internships and service learning credit are available for high school and college students. 

“Volunteers are required to commit service for 10 weeks but we welcome those who would like to serve longer,” Winfield said.

STARRS opened its riding program in May 2000 and serves about 30 students each week in regular classes, as well as special groups. Southern STARRS is a nonprofit agency and depends on volunteer time to meet client need.

For more information or to download a volunteer application, visit southernstarrs.org  or email volunteer@southernstarrs.org.

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