Below is Barrington Area Volunteer Connection’s thirteenth installment of their profile program, highlighting nonprofits using BAVC for their volunteering needs. Keep reading for the profile of SOUL Harbour Ranch.
Interview with Anne Arroyo – Volunteer Coordinator | Soul Harbour Ranch
How do you utilize volunteers in your organization?
SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program utilizes volunteers in various ways. The core of our program is recruiting volunteers whose path leads them to be registered handlers thru Pet Partners. There they will lead visits at the ranch and in the community, schools, and hospitals. We also utilize volunteers for helping to care for the herd with feeding and cleaning of the barn, as well as misc barn chores as needed and admin work that includes marketing, fundraising, and volunteer coordination.
How has your organization handled the challenges during Covid, as far as your services, programs, staffing, etc?
SOUL Harbour Ranch went digital in 2020. Not being able to visit in person or accept guests to the ranch, we embraced technology and started Live events on Facebook, Zooming, Skyping, etc. We did not realize how it would expand our audience not only locally but also internationally. Our volunteers also participated more in the care of the horses as well as maintaining the barn.
Are there any new programs or new initiatives you will be implementing for 2021?
We have a partnership with the Barrington Police Department and started SOUL K.I.D.S. which stands for Kindness, Inclusion, Diversity & Service. We are looking to utilize our herd, comprised of miniature horses, miniature donkeys, dogs, and cats to spread this positivity.
Can you share your favorite volunteer moment or story?
A favorite volunteer moment was going to Alden Estates nursing home and seeing how excited the residents were to see us. We saw people overcome with emotion and that helped reinforce why we do what we do. Even thru a pane of glass, you could feel that our teams were connecting with the residents. Some also took it a step further and dressed up in costumes.
What tips do you have for new or existing volunteers?
Make sure you have fun and not take things so seriously. Keeping yourself fulfilled, will spill over into everything you do.
What advice would you give to other nonprofits that need to make use of volunteers?
Do not be afraid to ask volunteers for help with other items they signed up for. Make sure you get to know them and their background. Never know what professional skill sets they have that can help.
Interesting in becoming a part of Barrington Area Volunteer Connection? Join us today at volunteer.thebavc.org!