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Grant Spotlight: HETRA

Organization Name: Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA)

Mission: To improve the quality of life both physically and emotionally of adults and children of all ability levels through equine-assisted activities.

Funded Program Description: This year The Kim Foundation has partnered with HETRA in order to serve individuals with mental health conditions of all socioeconomic statuses through Equine-Assisted Services. HETRA serves many individuals with mental health and dual diagnoses (a physical disability as well as mental health condition). Each our programs provide benefits to these individuals including Adaptive Riding, Therapy Services, Adaptive Carriage Driving, Equine Services for Veterans and Life Skills. Participants receive many benefits from our services including learning stress management skills, resiliency, mindfulness practices, building self-confidence, and more. This funding provides scholarships to participants with mental health conditions in each of our programs and ensures that families in financial need can continue to receive the benefits of our programs.

Successes of Program or Inspirational Stories: Gerald is just one example of the many participants whose lives have been changed with the help of organizations like The Kim Foundation. This is his story.

“After serving in the Air Force for 30 years, I discovered I was exposed to massive doses of Agent Orange. As the years passed, I started to have nightmares and realized I needed to seek professional help to obtain some coping techniques for when the nightmares became overwhelming.

“I contacted the VA and was entered into their PTSD program. It helped me to receive limited relief, but it didn’t take long for me to start searching for another avenue to get the coping techniques I needed. When I heard about HETRA, I decided to contact them and find out if they might have the program I was searching for.

“I was invited to visit their facility to meet the Mental Health Therapists and other Veterans enrolled in their programs. I was impressed with the staff and their obvious concern in wanting to help me and other Veterans by partnering with horses as a way to move forward.

“During my time there, I have been provided with the coping skills I need. I learned various strategies to cope with my PTSD reactions and how to overcome them. I feel that my enrollment in HETRA’s program was the best thing I could do. My nightmares have been reduced and I when I do have one, I know the steps I need to take to avoid them. When I meet other Veterans I tell them all about how much the staff at HETRA have helped me to get my PTSD under control.”

Other Comments: We sincerely thank The Kim Foundation for helping us continue to change lives one stride at a time.

Contact Information:
Edye Godden, OTR/L, HPCS
Chef Executive Officer
402-359-8830 ext. 104