POTOMAC, Ill. (WCIA) — Kids in Illinois are learning invaluable life lessons. But in this case, the teachers are horses at Hooves of Hope in Potomac, Illinois.
Addyson Tholl, a sixth grader at Potomac Grade School, is one of those kids.
“I came this summer for like their four-week program and I really want a horse, but dad says no. So this kind of gives me a chance to take care of them and see them.”
The program is called Wrangler Sessions and it’s for seven to 18-year-olds. Through the program, Tholl has learned how to clean a horse’s shoe. She also knows how to ride the horses, brush them, feed them and more.
Hooves of Hope also has an outreach ministry using their mini horses. They travel to schools and companies teaching practical life skills. But Mary Remole, a co-founder of the non-profit, is excited for what’s to come.
“Well this is our future. We’re hoping to have a game room here, with an extra bathroom. We’ll have some rooms here for other areas of our hooves of hope and gateway family services with sensory rooms. then down here we’ll have our large office open area for conference rooms.”
It’s going to cost $330,000 to make the expansion a reality. So community donations are a great need for them.
Stan Remole is also a co-founder and grew up in the same location. He also discovered blueprints to the barn at age 13 and built most of the inside. For him, seeing those same kids give back is what makes their work meaningful.
“We’ve had a lot of kids that have gone through the program and come back as volunteers. That’s really rewarding and exciting to see them grow. that’s when you know you’ve maybe touched somebody’s life.”
Hooves of Hope started 10 years ago, but since then has touch over 1,000 lives. Both Mary and Stan thank the community and their volunteers for making it possible.
If you would like to donate to their barn expansion, you can do so here.
To learn more about Hooves of Hope and their programs, please visit their website.