Thursday, May 15, 2014

DownEast Supports Bridle Up Hope: The Rachel Covey Foundation

May is Mental Health Month, a time when advocates and activists work to raise awareness about mental illness and to eliminate the stigma that prevents people from seeking assistance. In support of this important cause, we’re donating a portion of funds from our annual charitable fundraising program to a remarkable non-profit: Bridle Up Hope: The Rachel Covey Foundation.

DownEast Blog - Bridle Hope Collage.jpg

Because we want you to know more about Bridle Up Hope and its amazing work, we recently did a Q&A with Stefan Harlan, the organization’s executive director:

What is Bridle Up Hope?

Bridle Up Hope: The Rachel Covey Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to helping young women between the ages of 12 and 25 build hope and confidence through equestrian training. Program participants have a desire to ride horses but have never had the opportunity, and are often suffering from self-esteem issues or have depression, anxiety or a similar condition. The organization currently serves 100 young women each year.

Bridle Up Hope was named after Rachel Covey, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 21. Throughout her life, Rachel battled depression but found relief in working with horses. After her death, Rachel’s parents were inspired to carry on her passion and use it to help other young women.

Where are you located?

Riding lessons are being held at our temporary stables in Highland, Utah, although our ultimate goal is to expand to other locations and offer assistance to many more in need. We plan to build larger facilities and a new headquarters on 128 acres in Alpine, Utah, once we have secured enough funding.

Who benefits from Bridle Up Hope’s equine programs?

Individual riders are of course the first to benefit from our program, since it gives them the opportunity to re-open that door to confidence and hope. But families and close friends also benefit as these young women begin to re-engage with life, communicate better with others and come out of their shells.

What are the biggest needs of your organization currently?

Funding for building our new Equestrian Center, as well as contributions that ensure our program is of absolutely no cost to participants, are priorities.

The Bridle Up Hope Foundation runs on donations made by generous individuals and companies, and the amount we receive determines the number of young women who are able to participate in the program.

What can others do to help?

Individuals can help by donating through our website, or if you live nearby, through volunteer opportunities.

Most of all, we want to get the word out about Bridle Up Hope in order to build awareness about what we do and to gather greater support. We want to network with others who might have an affinity for our cause and would consider helping fund our program. Sharing our website through social media platforms would be a great first step.

Thank you for your time, Stefan, and for the positive impact Bridle Up Hope is making in the lives of so many young women.

Be sure to visit Bridle Up Hope: The Rachel Covey Foundation to learn more about this important non-profit organization and to make a donation. Every dollar helps! We also invite you to share a link to Bridle Up Hope’s website on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.