What is a volunteer? A volunteer is an extraordinary person with an extraordinary heart. A volunteer is someone who selflessly sacrifices their time and kindness to making not just their community, but the world as a whole a better place for individuals from all walks of life. Volunteers are basically superheroes with amazing powers. The volunteers at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy in Philadelphia epitomize the definition of the word “superhero”. Pegasus is a non-profit therapeutic horseback riding program that offers weekly riding lessons to children and adults with physical, intellectual, behavioral, and developmental disabilities. The riders who participate in the program have benefited greatly. The volunteers play a major role in each aspect of the program. Prior to lessons, they groom and tack the horses, getting them ready. They then lead them out into the arena in preparation for the arrival of the riders. The handler and side-walkers graciously interact with each rider and assists them in their warm-ups and overall lessons. In doing so, they also aid immensely in their development and help them to build a positive sense of self. Pegasus’ volunteers have helped to make the program even greater since its’ inception in 1982. Riders and their families look forward to coming to Pegasus each week partially because of the warm, friendly, safe atmosphere that the volunteers help to provide. Their dedication, hard work, and selflessness does not go unappreciated or unnoticed. This week, Monday, April 16th – Sunday, April 22nd, is Volunteer Appreciation Week. Now through Sunday, be sure to tell or even show a volunteer how much they’re appreciated. Say “thank you”. Give them a high-five. Give them a hug. Smile at them. Give them a little gift. Bake them cookies, brownies, or cupcakes. Remind them of their positive attributes that contribute to Pegasus’ ongoing success. These superheroes give so much to the world, and it’s time we give right back to them. Happy Volunteer Appreciation Week to all of our Pegasus volunteers. Keep up the phenomenal work!

~ Written by Emily E.

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