Harmony is back at Harmony Farms, a charity overcomes the challenges of COVID-19

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Harmony Farms horses are inspiring and give hope to the struggling and infirm



LOOK: The Harmony Farms riders range in age from a four-year-old autistic boy to an 87-year-old woman suffering the ravages of a stroke. Referred by doctors or therapists, they struggle with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, multiple sclerosis and strokes. This video was made in 2012.

Some Harmony Farms volunteers have 15 to 20 years of service with the nonprofit. Above, 18-year-old volunteer Karen with Diamond and Spud.

Harmony Farms uses equine-assisted therapy to help children and adults who suffer from a wide range of cognitive, physical or emotional disorders, from cerebral palsy to autism.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — The pandemic has taken a toll on all charities, but for nonprofits like Harmony Farms, the results have been near catastrophic.

Harmony Farms founder and director Pam Rogan had many sleepless nights during the days of COVID-19, given that she had a dozen horses to feed and a mortgage to pay, with no fundraising events possible. and without generating revenue.

“From March 2020 to August, we lost $48,000 in revenue,” she said. “It was a huge blow.”

Fortunately, to the rescue came government grants and stimulus aid, as well as support from the Doug Flutie and Margaret R. Binz foundations.

“With their help, we were able to raise $52,000 in December 2020,” Rogan added.

It was a big help, but Harmony Farms was not out of the woods.

“Last year was harder for us than 2020 because we didn’t have a raise,” Rogan said.

Harmony Farms horses are inspirational and give hope to the struggling and infirm. They can and do change lives. Harmony Farms uses equine-assisted therapy to help children and adults who suffer from a wide range of cognitive, physical or emotional disorders, from cerebral palsy to autism.

Harmony Farms attempted to resume its therapeutic riding program in September 2020, but had to cancel classes due to a lack of volunteers, a keystone of the program.

“Some volunteers didn’t come back and we didn’t have enough people to do the classes,” Rogan said.

Harmony Farms uses equine-assisted therapy to help children and adults who suffer from a wide range of cognitive, physical or emotional disorders, from cerebral palsy to autism.

Horses can react to subtle changes in people’s emotions, feel depression and anxiety, and react to these emotions.

Through equestrian activities, individuals gain self-confidence and reduce anxiety. Research has shown that this type of therapy lowers both the stress hormone cortisol and blood pressure, while increasing the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin.

Luckily, there is harmony again at Harmony Farms which can once again work wonders with the horses as volunteers return and the number of riders increases.

“Donations are also resuming,” Rogan said.

Some Harmony Farms volunteers have 15 to 20 years of service with the nonprofit. They resumed their duties as soon as possible, but the pandemic has still caused a shortage of volunteers and more helping hands are needed. The volunteers also groom and saddle the horses, train them and clean their boxes. Those who prefer indoor environments can help with administrative tasks and fundraising events.

The Farms’ flagship event, the Buckaroo Ball, is back for its 30th edition this year. It will be held on Saturday, October 1 at the Space Coast Convention Center.

Some Harmony Farms volunteers have 15 to 20 years of service with the nonprofit. They resumed their duties as soon as possible, but the pandemic has still caused a shortage of volunteers and more helping hands are needed.

“Harmony Farms would not be possible without volunteers,” Rogan said.

Many riders need three volunteers: a handler and two side walkers. The volunteers also groom and saddle the horses, train them and clean their boxes. Those who prefer indoor environments can help with administrative tasks and fundraising events.

Unlike some organizations, Harmony Farms has no minimum time expectation from volunteers. Experience is also not necessary.

“We teach them what they need to know,” Rogan said.

While the minimum age to volunteer is 13, there is no upper age limit, and some volunteers take advantage of their golden years in the great outdoors to help with the horses. Volunteers can start at any time.

Harmony Farms horses are inspirational and give hope to the struggling and infirm. They can and do change lives.

In addition to volunteers, monetary donations are always welcome and can be made at harmonyfarmsinc.com, where a wish list can also be found. To volunteer, call 321-543-2974 or 321-631-9433.

SOME HARMONY FARMS VOLUNTEERS have 15 to 20 years of service with the nonprofit. They resumed their duties as soon as possible, but the pandemic has still caused a shortage of volunteers and more helping hands are needed. (image Harmony Farms)

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