In April, I uprooted from my family and friends in Ohio, and took a job in Texas; where I didn’t know one single person. Once I was settled in at my new job I began my hunt for a place to volunteer. Volunteering had been a part of my life for as long as I could remember; therefore finding a new organization to volunteer with was important to me. It would not only provide me with the opportunity to meet people, but to fill some of my down time, now that I was in a new place. Volunteering isn’t as bad as some think, it provides you the opportunity to do things you enjoy, meet new people, possibly change your life, and give back to the community.
I found an organization that I was excited to work with, it incorporated two things that I thoroughly enjoyed. The organization was in a neighboring community named Therapeutic Riding of Texas (TROT). TROT was a non-profit organization uses horse back riding as therapy for mentally and physically handicapped children and adults. I was very intrigued by this as I adored working with the mentally and physically handicapped and horses. It was a perfect fit.
Now that I had found a perfect organization to volunteer with and doing something I enjoyed, it was time to meet new people. When you are new in community making friends can be difficult; however by volunteering you meet at least a few people or more that you at least have something in common with. I went to my first class Tuesday to see what TROT was about and how it worked. It was about a 40 minute drive from where I lived to the horse stables in Red Oak, Texas. Feeling prepared to jump in if needed this evening; I was in jeans, a t-shirt and my work boots.
As soon as I walked into the horse barn, I was reminded of what was missing in my life at that time. It was the fresh air and openness, which reminded me of all the time I had spent growing up on my best friend’s farm. I had always loved the smell of the farmland, and today it was fragrant as ever with the hay being cut a field over from the horse barn. Upon entering the barn, there were people everywhere I looked. There were about ten people sitting in chairs talking, most were in jeans and t-shirts. There were another fifteen who were getting the horses out of their stables and prepared for riding. I walked over to speak with the people at the volunteer table. There were two women and one man seated at this table. They were all in their fifties and had grey hair. I stepped up and introduced myself to them and was pleasantly surprised when they stated that they had a new rider coming this evening that they wanted me to work with; based on my background of working with physically challenged individuals who could also not speak. They introduced me to the slew of other volunteers, and assigned two people to me, to be side walkers and assist with my rider.
Little things can mean so much. Now I am intrigued by the place I am volunteering, I have met at least thirty new people and even though I...