Dear Community Member,

As this decade comes to a close, I am encouraged to look back upon the many relationships and lives, human and equine, that have touched me through Forward Stride. We have spent the last 50 days sharing some of those stories over social media with you. They are just the tip of the iceberg. We could fill years with similar stories and we continue to build more of them every day. It warms my heart to hear and see all of these tales of triumph and love.

When I reflect upon the journeys I have been lucky enough to share with many of those lovely individuals, I am struck by the numerous memories of them that have influenced my life in very positive ways. Parents have given invaluable child rearing tips. Clients have given up valuable riding and instruction time to check in on me or on other staff members when we were struggling. Coworkers have taken turns waking up in the wee hours to provide extra care for our herd. Horses have provided strong backs and kind hearts to lean on. Volunteers have shared laughter and tears every day. Donors have surprised us with meaningful gifts, allowing our operations and capital improvements continued growth. Above all, I am supported, inspired, and challenged to grow and learn by everyone I have met through Forward Stride.  

All of these supports, large and small have contributed to Forward Stride’s ability to fulfill its potential and its mission, reaching out to even more individuals and groups this year than ever before. In 2019, Forward Stride served 505 individual clients through an average of over 200 weekly client sessions and several large group opportunities, adding up to more than 9,200 service hours. Our volunteers have donated over 19,000 hours of their precious time. Our financial donors have contributed over $1,090,000, ensuring our unique services continue to be available to our community and that we can continue to expand our facility to fulfill future needs. 

Thank you for being a member of the Forward Stride community in the past decade. We look forward to seeing what the 20s hold in store for us in the new decade as we all work together to fulfill our individual and collective potential.