First Nature Notes: Fall Festivities at the Ranch
Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,
We have some VERY EXCITING NEWS to share…but first, a thank you to those of you who make our wine-tasting fundraiser a success! We were happily surprised by the generosity of those who attended and were delighted with the feedback we got about the event, the ranch, and especially our programs. Congratulations to the raffle winners who won Serenity Sessions, a trail ride, and their very own home wine tasting. We were also excited to welcome one of our dear board members, who was coming all the way from Tampa for the event, to stay in our guest bedroom at the ranch, the very first time anyone has stayed overnight there. She told us that she had a very restful night and that she’s never experienced such calming quiet and such darkness…even when camping!
Halloween is around the corner, with the end-of-year holidays not far after. The year has certainly flown by. Our little nonprofit seems to have finally turned a bit of a corner in terms of visibility, credibility, and revenue. We’ve been aching to share this news widely, but have had to wait for permission to share beyond telling those we have seen in person. First Nature Foundation has been selected as Nonprofit Of The Year by the Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce! We’re not sure how it happened, but we certainly are tremendously honored and overjoyed at this recognition. We will be celebrated at an awards dinner at Disneyworld’s Epcot in early December in front of several hundred chamber members and sponsors. We are hoping this award will help us attract more sponsorships and donations.
We’ve finally been getting some slightly cooler weather here in Central Florida, with one night below 60 degrees. Days are back in the mid-80’s, but that’s better than the upper 80’s and low 90’s we had in September and earlier this month. Because it still gets pretty darn warm, we have taken the preventative step of clipping two of our horses, each of whom gets a pretty thick winter coat that makes them sweaty and uncomfortable for most of the fall and even much of the winter. Take a gander at Goldilocks, shorn of her dense and coarse coat. She’s so much lighter than usual, in more ways than one! She and Buster took their clipping quite calmly, despite having a well drilled across the street which created a heck of an alarming sounding ruckus!
Our current Horse Wisdom for Heroes cohort will be graduating, appropriately enough, on Veterans Day. We are so proud of them! Some of them are already working in jobs they started while still in the residential treatment programs at The Transition House. Last program session we had them bathing some of the horses, including Buster, for his first time ever participation in the HWfH program! Congratulations to Buster… he’s come a long way. You can see photos from our programs on our Facebook and Instagram. And just last week Lotus Behavioral Health contacted us wanting to double their programming!
We have buy in from Help Now of Osceola County to bring survivors of domestic violence to the ranch for our Horses Healing Hearts program and are looking for a sponsor. Might you consider donating toward this program so we can roll it out?
The leadership at The Transition House LOVED their customized Horseplay for Leaders playshop earlier this month. Here’s what one of them said about the program: “It demonstrates so many important skills that make for more effective leaders! The horses integrated into the learning makes this an experience like no other. Amazing!” When we asked what they liked least about the program, just about everyone said something like this participant: “It’s an excellent program…I wouldn’t change anything.”
Do you have a team or group that might be interested in a program or event at the ranch? We do have some days available this fall, so if you want to bring a group out for a program book now before we fill our winter schedule.
CHECK AT THE END TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN HELP US!
We need your word of mouth to prosper! As a nonprofit, we depend on your support to continue to offer our programs and events. Fortunately, there are many ways to support us! See below for more information. We invite you to come out to the ranch if you haven’t been in a while. Reach out and we’ll get a tour on the calendar. The horses would be delighted to see you and have you give them a treat!
How Can You Help?
Everyone has a talent or resource that is valuable. It could be time, money, contacts, or a love of horses. Every little bit helps, and your support can make a big difference in our mission. Here are some easy ways to help:
Volunteer: Your time and skills to help with our horses, facility, or programs. Or are you interested in serving as a board member for our nonprofit? We are still looking!
Donations: You can make a one-time donation, set up a recurring donation, or donate in-kind gifts, such as treats or equipment that can assist us with our programs and serving our clients. You can donate here!
Advocate: Spread the word about First Nature and share our mission to equip our community with leadership skills for the 21st century.
Sponsor a veteran or a teen: It takes $500 to sponsor just one veteran for their 6-week Horse Wisdom for Heroes program, or $300 for one session for the Horse Sense for Teens program. Consider donating and sponsoring a veteran or teen.
Fundraising: Have you helped a nonprofit with fundraising? If so, we’d love to speak with you!
Simply reply to this email to get started with one of these items today!
Kerul and Crew
First Nature Ranch / First Nature Foundation
“Where the past, present, and future of leadership come together for the dignity and benefit of all.”