It’s been another amazing year at Windows To My Soul.
These are the core tenants of Windows To My Soul that inform everything we do and every decision we make. Our work and the models we practice are based on contemporary medical research that explains the physiological and psychological impact of chronic stress and traumatic experiences on human development through all stages of life. This research shows, and we believe, that connection, relationship and community is the resilience building path to living a happy, fulfilled life despite the experience(s) of extreme trauma.
Kim Young, LMFT, and her horse Moon Dancer, joined our clinical team in October of 2015. Kim is our first fulltime therapist and between her work and the efforts of our outstanding volunteer leadership team, in 2016 we’ve conducted over 200 sessions and touched the lives of over 50 individuals. This is nearly a 70% increase over the 135 sessions we conducted in 2015 and it looks like we will hit 200% by the end of the year. We continue our work with individuals that have a developmental disability. We have greatly expanded our services to veterans, which now account for over 50% of our clientele. Most recently we have seen an increase in work with families, adolescents and small children.
This year, thanks to our good friends and neighbors, we’ve had 17 volunteer horses participating in the services and events offered by Windows To My Soul. In March we began a collaboration with the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown, California. Our goal is to offer veteran retreats at the Wild Horse Sanctuary with mustangs, tamed and wild, serving as therapeutic partners. In the meantime, the Wild Horse Sanctuary is providing horses for our clinical team trainings while we host adoptions for their younger horses. Comanche, a 12 year old mustang, born, raised and trained at the Sanctuary has joined the Windows To My Soul equine therapeutic team. Already adored by our clients, Comanche serves as a mascot and rich reminder of the power in horses helping humans and humans helping horses.
Our human volunteer community continues to grow as well. We’ve added Richard Cramer to our board to help us with marketing, created a six person volunteer leadership team and increased our volunteer list from 50 to over 120. It is in community participation that we find fulfillment and purpose in life. That act of contributing to something that is bigger than ourselves helps us suspend, even for a moment, deeply concerning aspects of our own life to help someone else get a leg up in their life. This is the Windows To My Soul community - clients, volunteers, donors - always digging deep, always saying yes, always finding a way, always giving of time and money. We are so very grateful!
Almost all of our clients require some level of financial scholarship. Services are never declined based on one’s inability to pay. As we grow, Windows To My Soul is even more dependent on your contributions to continue providing the life changing services to our community.