Volunteers Among Us: Saving Horses from Slaughter
With thousands of employees, Syracuse University has an opportunity to make a direct impact on volunteer organizations, both around the world and close to campus. Organizations, including Make A Wish, Salvation Army and United Way (along with countless others), benefit from the donation of time and dollars made by those of us who bleed orange. We want to highlight the great work done by the University community, off the clock. In return, we can shine a little positive light on specific volunteer organizations and the constant need for more help. If you or someone you know is part of a great volunteer activity, please let us know. You can contact Keith Kobland at firstname.lastname@example.org or News Services at email@example.com, and then look for the story here.
One place where staff donate their time is the Sunshine Horse Farm in Oswego County. This video highlights the work they do saving horses, one at a time.
If you care to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Sunshine Horses, click here: http://sunshinehorses.org/
Here is a transcription of the story:
About half an hour north of the Syracuse campus is a safe haven for horses. Sunshine Horse Farm is the brainchild of Kate Starr, who is sickened by the sight of these creatures being sent to slaughter.
Kate Starr: So basically, I used to train standardbreds, and I used to see horses loaded up on trailers and taken to meat.
Janet LaFrance: It’s a lot of work. These animals are grateful for everything we do.
Enter Janet LaFrance. Janet is a supervisor at Parking and Transit Services, and one of 200 volunteers who help run the farm- She cleans stalls, helps to feed and bathe the animals, and has even sponsored one on her own.
Janet LaFrance: He is sunny. It’s his nickname. His name is Brett. His mother is Scarlett.
Along with being a lover of horses, Janet is a believer in volunteerism.
Janet LaFrance: Absolutely. You need to be involved with your community. And you need to something outside of the University more a part of the whole. And it helps put your own functions, perspective. I’m a better worker at SU, I’m a better supervisor because I’m working with animals who can’t help themselves.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of many worthwhile organizations—many of which couldn’t exist without them—this horse farm included.
Kate Starr: We have amazing volunteers. We have probably over 200 volunteers in different capacities. Some did volunteer once every month. Some volunteer every day. Some volunteer, like dear Janet, an amazing amount of time, and also her artistic talent I so much appreciate it. Everyone brings a little special thing to Sunshine. And Sunshine gives them that avenue to shine on that special thing they want to bring in.
But Janet’s not the only orange representative. Her niece volunteers too. As Does Terri Coats and her daughter Meg. Terri works in advancement services. But it’s not uncommon for her to start her early mornings here.
Terri Coats: We feed them in the morning. And then I go home, take shower and go to work. We love horses. We want to get them all adopted.
Janet LaFrance: We feed, we bathe, We do everything we do. Not only for the love of animals, but for no money. And that’s important to people. We need all support we can help. So if anybody can help, either with time or finances, please come see us. “