by Wings Volunteers
I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with Wings for a little over a year now. Being around the horses/donkeys re-centers me. My focus switches from worrying about the day-to-day to just enjoying the moment and getting to know each animal’s individual personality. There are some real characters out there! The donkeys have stolen my heart. There’s nothing more charming than a donkey braying (singing) when she sees you walking towards the corral with her lunch bag in tow.
While I like to think I’m helping these beautiful creatures; the truth is, they’re helping me more. It's been a rewarding experience!
Before volunteering at Wings, I had never really spent any time around horses. Honestly, I was scared of them! Over this past year, I’ve had a complete change of heart. The horses I’ve met at Wings have become dear friends. I’m amazed at how they can seem to tell when someone is having a rough day. Their ability to show concern and compassion is undeniable! My life has been forever changed for the better because of my time at Wings. The people that volunteer their time are some of the most dedicated, amazing people I’ve ever met and the equines that count on them are the most incredible and loyal animals I’ve ever seen! Humans Helping Horses Healing Humans. That truly sums it up! The work is hard, but the rewards are immeasurable!
I met Debora almost 3 years ago when I volunteered to go get 3 older miniature donkeys that needed to be rescued. Arriving back at the rescue Debora told she had other donkeys that needed to be gentled and worked with. Since then I have worked with and helped re-home donkeys from PVDR, BLM and others.
I have gone on other rescues and it is a very eye opening experience for sure. I enjoy helping where I can. It is very rewarding.
After being retired from the Forest Service for a year I wanted to do some meaningful volunteer work. I have always loved horses, owned my own as well as used them for 34 years in my career. The Wings community of horses and people is incredible! The horses, donkeys and mules will steal your heart and the people you bond with in caring for them make you want to keep coming back. This experience has been as good for me as anything I could ever do in service, best decision ever!
I love volunteering with Wings. From mucking, sweeping, raking, watering, grooming, etc. (whatever needs to be done) around the ranch is fulfilling knowing that you are apart of the care for these rescued animals. No matter your mood, when you're around the animals they make you smile or smile even bigger. Working events with the minis is extra special; seeing the delight on the faces of children and adults alike.
Over the past 3 months I have volunteered with the Wings Programs, Inc. What a wonderful learning experience! I had not been exposed to caring for horses, donkeys or minis previously. Thanks to Laura, Sherri and Debora for sharing their knowledge and concern for the animals in their care on an ongoing basis. I have had a rewarding experience and I am so glad I met them at the Celtic Festival.
I found Wings through a Facebook post I put out to the community when I moved here and was looking to be around horses again. I grew up with horses and had always had my own, so they’ve been an outlet and safe space for me for over 25 years. I missed being around them so much I felt like I had a hole in my life. I have a history of volunteering with rescues so Wings immediately seemed like a great fit for me! I’ve now been a part of Wings for over a year and a half, and look forward to investing more time. Ive seen the horses come and go, understanding each has their own story, and hoping they all get their happy ending, or a safe place to live out the days they have left comfortably. The people I’ve met that contribute their time here are also wonderful - animal lovers are just the best kinds of people! I feel like I am a part of something, and it’s a place I know I can always go. Thank you for taking me in!
You can become a volunteer and experience the magic of being around horses and donkeys by visiting our Volunteer page and filling out an application.
Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.