Healing Of Our Veterans Equine Services, or HOOVES, is a program aimed at helping veterans struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction through the use of rescued horses in Swanton, Ohio.
For years, the program has changed the lives of many veterans and their families at no cost to them but now the organization is facing financial problems and may be forced to shut down, reported 13 ABC News.
After moving the program from farm to farm for many years, Executive Director, military veteran, and horse lover Amanda Held finally found the ideal property in late 2018. She was then offered a partnership and a large financial contribution, allowing her to move forward with the purchase of the dream farm. Then, the potential partner backed out, taking their large financial contribution – the down-payment on the new farm – with them.
Now, HOOVES is looking to raise $100,000 so that they can stay on their new 30-acre farm and keep helping veterans. If they are unable to reach this goal, the horses will have to be rehomed and the program may shut down forever.
“This program is my heart – it’s my life’s work. To think about not having that is pretty devastating,” Held said.
“Thinking about never being able to do this again reduced me to complete despair. This is my life’s purpose,” she continued. “Each one of the horses out here also has a story. They have been rescued and they in turn give back by helping these veterans.”
HOOVES says it can cover the monthly expenses of the farm, and they can afford the mortgage, but without the promised donation, they just don’t have the funds for the down payment.
“What she’s doing out here is she’s [Held] saving lives every day – that’s no exaggeration,” said Joe Bublick, an Air Force veteran who participated in the program last summer and now works as a volunteer on the farm.
“She has changed my life and made me a better man for my kids, a better man for my wife, and just a better person. “
If you would like to donate to help keep HOOVES up and running, please donate to their GoFundMe here.