When 10 -year -old Abi Reilley from Nuangola was told she was too young to volunteer on the farm at Marley’s Mission she didn’t give up. Abi decided she could still help the Mission, a local non-profit which uses equine therapy to treat children and families who have experienced trauma, by creating and selling her signature Treatz.
Abi, a fifth grader at Rice Elementary School, started riding this past summer. Her mother Darlene said,“Abi has always loved animals and has frequently visited and brought treats to the local SPCA. She really took to riding and when I suggested she look into Marley’s Mission she was all over it.”
Marley’s Mission Volunteer Coordinator, Tara Iona, was impressed with Abi after reading her first email, “Abi sent a note saying she was a beginner rider, loved horses and wanted to help abused children. She offered to come out to the farm to groom horses or muck stalls. When I told her volunteers needed to be 13 or older she said she would be emailing me at 6 a.m. on her 13th birthday. It is very unusual.”
Abi plans hold a car wash and run a lemonade stand this summer to raise more money for the Mission. With a Capital Campaign in progress to build a new home for Marley’s Mission in Newton Township this summer, her fundraising efforts are timely.
Marley’s Mission is a non-profit organization that provides equine-based therapy free of charge to children and their families who have experienced trauma. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) has shown evidenced-based efficacy in patients who have experienced abuse and now suffer with depression, anxiety and other symptoms as a result of abuse.