Archived Story

Doris Higgins: TEC center gives special needs kids thrills

Published 10:38am Tuesday, September 15, 2009

•  Andrew has numerous health issues which kept him homebound for many months. He recently became a rider at Therapeutic Equestrian Center which enriches the lives of those with special needs through horse related activities.  Andrew has rediscovered the joy of moving. He has advanced to the point where “his” horse, Bojack carries his oxygen and he can actually gallop. The first time this happened he shouted “Awesome!” Give Andrew and other people with special needs this awesome experience by volunteering today as a horse leader or sidewalker.

The Therapeutic Equestrian Center is hosting a family-fun fundraising event called “TEC Fest” at The Stockbridge Equestrian Center in Watervliet on Sunday, Sept. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. The event will feature a dinner, live and silent auction, musical entertainment, riding demonstrations, children’s activities, door prizes and Games for all ages with free Prizes. TEC is located at Stockbridge Equestrian Center, 615 N. M- 140, Watervliet. Mailing address is PO Box 1250, Niles, MI 49120.  For more information about TEC visit their website at www.tecfarm.org, email info@tecfarm.org or call (269) 429-0671.

• Berrien County Veterans Affairs Office gives veterans a ride to the VA hospital in Battle Creek. You can volunteer one or two days a month to drive their van. All van expenses are provided and drivers get a free lunch at the hospital.  This is a full day commitment.

• Campfire Fire USA River Bend Council serves the Michiana area by building caring, confident youth and future leaders. Did Campfire or another organization make a difference to you as a young person?  You can pay it forward by serving on one of the committees or by considering serving on their board.

• The work of the Benton Harbor Street Ministries is supported by the Berrien County Association of Churches’ Thrift Store. You can support their work when you volunteer to sort clothes, set up attractive displays, clean up, or volunteer as a cashier.

• V-Junction is a social volunteer group sponsored by the Volunteer Center. They meet monthly and do Saturday Volunteer Projects. On Sept. 19 at Czars you can volunteer to help at a benefit concert featuring Ron Zelvis, Jester and Sons of Psyience. They are raising money for dance and music classes for young people in Benton Harbor.

• Capstone Family Support Center provides services that strengthen parenting. You can make a difference when you volunteer as a parent aide/coach. You will work on a team with families on parenting and life skill development. Training will be provided and some mileage reimbursement may be available.

• Do history and the Great Lakes excite you? You can learn all about maritime history and culture, as well as, the Great Lakes waterways at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven when you become their volunteer grant writer.

Blood saved lives on 9/11.  You can save a life by donating today!
For a complete listing visit www.berrienredcross.org.

Thursday, Oct. 1 – Andrews Academy, Berrien Springs:  8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For a complete listing visit www.miblood.org.

• Join First Church of God in creating a special evening for teens and adults with special needs. The Prom:  Evening with the Stars will include dinner, dancing, arcade games, mini golf, karaoke, and a comedy club on Oct. 3. Volunteers should be at least 15 years old. 200 volunteers are needed for this event so get a group of friends to come with you.

• Come learn many of the ways you can get involved by visiting the Volunteer Fairs at Lake Michigan College.

Monday, Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Napier Campus (Benton Harbor)

Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bertrand Crossing Campus (Niles)

Doris Higgins is the executive director of the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan. Reach her at: director@volunteerswmi.org, 210 Main St., Suite 237, 605 Pleasant St., Niles, MI 49120. Call 683-5464, or visit www.volunteerswmi.org.

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