Riley’s Place, which we wrote about in our story on the adoption of the miniature horses, LINK recently received the 2009 Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s “Animals Helping People Award”. COWngatulations for this well deserved award. Based on information from their website Riley’s Place is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Peninsula children who are experiencing chronic or life threatening health problems and/or challenging family situations such as homelessness. Through interaction with animals the programs offered through Riley’s Place children are allowed to experience the joy and healing that spending time with animals and enjoying and appreciating nature can bring. The facility is named after an inspirational little girl, Riley Church, who lost her battle with cancer and the comfort which a horse named Loolipop provided to her.
Horses are not the only of our barnyard friends which bring joy to children. Riley’s Place has a “Four Legged Friends on Wheels” team which visits children and their families at Ronald McDonald House and Shelter Network-Haven Family House. For example, recently “Robin” a cuddly bunny was adopted from the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. Robin joined the sheep, Shaun and Sheryl, for a visit to Ronald McDonald House.
Riley’s Place is partnering with Woodside’s National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy (NCEFT), and is operating their Programs from NCEFT’s 12-acre facility here in Woodside. Riley’s Place will have its own barn for our special animals and a peaceful garden.
NCEFT is a non-profit corporation that improves the lives of children and adults with disabilities by providing equine-assisted therapy and equine assisted activities and promoting research and education in the field of hippotherapy. NCEFT was established 37 years ago (amoozing!) and its facility includes a fully restored 1920 dairy barn, covered arena and open arena with state-of-the-art footing, sensory trail, and paddocks to accommodate over 50 horses, a shady picnic area, and a 4-acre pasture. The facility meets or exceeds all ADA requirements and offers an Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy Clinic. Also from their website, NCEFT leases approximately 30 stalls/paddocks to members of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Mounted Search and Rescue Team and Bayhill EquiSport Therapy and Rehabilitation Center. These two organizations complement the proud statement: “Every square foot of the NCEFT property is utilized for healing and hope for individuals, families and horses. “
We are proud to have them as part of our COWmunity..