In my 14 years of parenting, one aspect I have yet to master is the dreaded birthday party. There’s the cleaning — if you’re hosting. The entertainment — and subsequent cost. The food. And please, let’s not forget the treat bags. Kids who attend your party will have fun. With any luck, your child will remember the party and then you’ll spend the next 364 days trying to one-up yourself.
But what if your child’s fun helped someone else? What if birthday parties and celebrations benefitted more than just the birthday child and his or her friends? What a wonderful world it would be!
We all know the adage about leading horses to water. But Charlotte-area resident and longtime equine enthusiast Harry Swimmer had a different idea about horses and perhaps its the horses who lead us where we need to be.
In 1994 Swimmer began Misty Meadows Mitey Riders on his horse farm in Weddington to provide provide free, certified equine-assisted therapy to young people with a range of disabilities, including muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome and autism and over 700 children have benefitted from his organization.
It’s no secret that teenagers make mistakes. They forget to turn in homework assignments, stay out past curfew and sometimes they’ll get a free pass to detention.
In some cases, there are teens who find themselves in grown-up situations. For teenage girls, it can mean becoming a mom before getting their high school diploma. Whatever the cause of their situation, at the end of the day they’re still kids and we should treat them with love and compassion.
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