Therapy Side-Walker & Barn Help | Shining Hope Farms | SHARE Charlotte

Shining Hope Farms

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Year Founded:
Local Leader / Exec. Director:
Milinda Kirkpatrick
Main Address:
328 Whippoorwill Lane
Mt. Holly, NC 28120
Shining Hope Farms - Charlotte Location
3701 Kidd Lane
Charlotte, NC 28216
Shining Hope Farms - Conover Location
6347 St Peters Church Rd
Conover, NC 28613
Volunteer Opportunity:

Therapy Side-Walker & Barn Help

Where would I be volunteering?
We have two locations, one in the North Lake region of Charlotte (3701 Kidd Lane, Charlotte, NC) and one in Mount Holly (328 Whippoorwill Lane, Mount Holly, NC). Each farm has its own schedule, but the same tasks and structure.

What will I be doing?
Here at Shining Hope Farms volunteers usually do one or a combination of two things:

1) Barn work
This can include a variety of activities like grooming the horses, filling water buckets, mucking out stalls, tacking horses, sweeping, etc.
2) Participation in the arena for a therapy session or riding lesson (minimum age of 13)
This includes acting as a side-walker (someone who helps to hold a child steady on the horse while walking around the arena for a session) or as a horse-leader (someone who leads the horse around the arena and is responsible for the horse during a session)

We can also usually use volunteers for a) help in our office, b) for our special events, and c) for special projects. If you have special skills we're sure we could use them!

We understand that our volunteers may have tons of experiences with horses, some experience with horses, or even none at all! We want our volunteers to be happy and comfortable so we are always willing to work with your schedule, interests, and skills and abilities.

When can I volunteer?
We understand that people volunteer for a variety of reasons. Some individuals need to meet a certain amount of volunteer hours, some only have an hour to give each week, and some may want to be around the horses all day! Fortunately, we can usually accommodate and help with the structure you are looking for.

It does so happen that we can only have volunteers when we have therapy sessions or riding lessons going on. We have a relatively steady schedule each week, but it can fluctuate depending on client cancellations, if we have added new clients into the schedule, and the weather.

Our current schedule follows at the end. Please keep in mind if you will be side-walking or horse-leading for a session you must arrive at least 10-15 minutes in advance of the session.

How much time do I have to commit?
Did you know we provide our services free of charge to the majority of our participants? We can only do this because of amazing people like you! Unlike many organizations, we rely on our volunteers much like staff members. If it weren’t for our amazing volunteers, many of our therapy sessions would be too short staffed to go on. Additionally if we can’t rely on having consistent volunteers, there is no way for us to know how many children we will be able to serve each week.

Because of this, we prefer each of our volunteers to commit to at least a couple of consistent hours a week for at least eight weeks.

How soon can I start?
We require all volunteers to go through a volunteer training before they can begin volunteering. Trainings are offered about once a month in a group setting and involve an orientation to our nonprofit, safety standards, horse-care, barn chores, side-walking, and horse-leading in sessions. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please let us know so we can schedule you for our next volunteer training. The training takes place at our Mt. Holly farm, but it trains volunteers for both farms.

We want to make this a great and enjoyable experience for you! Volunteering is fun and volunteering around horses is even better!

Here is our current schedule (which is subject to change):

Gaston/Mount Holly Schedule:
Monday – 8 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 6 PM
Tuesday – 8 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 5 PM
Wednesday – 11 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 5 PM
Thursday – 8 AM - 12 PM & 1 PM – 5:00 PM

Mecklenburg/Charlotte Schedule:
Monday – 8 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 6 PM
Tuesday –8 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 5 PM
Wednesday – 8 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 5 PM
Thursday – 10 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 5 PM
Friday – 9 AM – 12:30 PM

(Volunteers are not required to volunteer for the entire block of time, but can choose a block of time that works for them during our morning or afternoon sessions)

** All volunteers must have health insurance!


Open to

Suitable for Kids: 

Ages 13-17

Skills Needed

No skills required


Next occurrence is
Fri, 01/22/2021  
Repeats every day from Aug 6th, 2020 to Aug 6th, 2021.
Opportunity can occur at any time, day or night, within a selected date range.

Location Details

At Nonprofit's Location
Indoor Project
Outdoor Project

328 Whippoorwill Lane

Mt. Holly