VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (5/28/14)--The We Promise Foundation, the charitable arm of $1.9 billion-asset Chartway FCU, Virginia Beach, Va., donated $43,500 to help 40 children with disabilities benefit from equine-assisted therapeutic riding lessons.
For the third straight year, the grant to EQUI-KIDS will help provide weekly riding lessons to help riders strengthen muscles and improve their balance and coordination. Just as importantly, sessions will provide lessons in communication and socialization as children bond with horses and learn from instructors.
"Our foundation and its supporters and volunteers are deeply dedicated to making a difference in our communities," said John Blum, We Promise Foundation chairman. "The joy and freedom children experience, the leadership skills they gain, and the therapeutic progress they make is remarkable. This program is unmatched, and we are humbled to help children who can benefit from it."
For a person whose disability confines them to a wheelchair, riding lessons provide independence and a rare chance to move with strength and grace, according to EQUI-KIDS. For a child with autism spectrum disorder who rarely speaks or avoids eye contact and touch, lessons break boundaries, helping children connect with both animals and people.