As tornadoes have ripped across the United States over the last couple of days with the promise of more to come, many have wondered how to help those affected by the storms. The PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund was created to help centers affected by such disasters.
One center, the Staten Island Recreation Association in New York, received help from the fund after Hurricane Sandy. “Moving horses and equipment to another location is not an easy task. Luckily for us we have a plan in place for just such emergencies,” said Megan Delmar, the executive director. “I spoke personally with many of our elected officials and they all had the same message: If the storm was going to do what they were predicting, it would be bad. I don’t think at the time any of us imagined what bad would really look like.
“After the storm, our driveway was completely blocked by debris, and the entire property looked like one huge lake,” Megan continued. “I have 6-foot fencing on portions of the property, and you could barely see it. There was no way to survey the damage at this point due to the incredible amounts of water. How would we ever get rid of it? Would the property ever be usable again? As I stood there looking at all the water, my only thought was ‘Thank God I got the horses out; they would have never survived.’ There was just too much water. Any shelter they would have had was now gone.
“We had spoken to our insurance company who informed us that we weren’t covered for flood and that even if we were, content is not covered. FEMA will not provide funding to not for profits. So when I received the letter from PATH Intl. stating that we had been approved for a grant from the Disaster Relief Fund, it once again reinforced my commitment. We are in the process of rebuilding.”
While it is still too early to tell what damage the 2014 tornadoes have done to PATH Intl. Centers, it is never too early to help. Your donations to the PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund will help centers like the Staten Island Recreation Association. Visit www.pathintl.org and click the Donate Now button at the top of the page. Questions? Call Megan Ferryat 800-369-7433, ext. 107.
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. The association certifies professionals and accredits centers that each year help 56,000 children and adults with physical, mental and emotional challenges find strength and independence through the power of the horse. Currently 850 member centers offer therapeutic riding, and other therapeutic horsemanship activities including hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, carriage driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, and under the direction of the PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful programs. There are nearly 52,000 volunteers, 4,232 instructors, 7,503 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Centers.