Volunteers help horse camp for disabled kids

Posted at 8:30 AM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 08:30:57-05

For these kids, getting up on horse turns often a lifetime of "you can't" into "you can."

At the Sitting Tall Cracker Jack Camp in Grass Lake, kids with disabilities get to ride horses.

It helps build confidence, verbal skills and for Napoleon High School Senior Nathan, it's made him brave.

"I ride it and I'm not scared," says Nathan White who is a participant in the program.

And Nathan will always remember his favorite horse.

"oh, oh, Berren!" he says.

The summer camp is totally free, thanks to the hard work of volunteers for more than 20 years.

"The first weeks it's walking them up the steps and it is tentative, barely going" says Mary Berlin with Sitting Tall, "and then by the last week it's 'wait, wait, wait for me!'"

Now, the Jackson Junior Welfare League is pitching in so kids can continue to saddle up.

The non-profit is throwing a gala at the Ella Sharp Park museum in Jackson February 27th to raise money for Sitting Tall.

"We typically raise in the area of $20,000 to $25,000," says Melinda Kohn with the Jackson Junior Welfare League. "And for any group that's a great source of funds but for a smaller non-profit it really does make a huge difference."

Junior Welfare League members say they couldn't have picked a more deserving group to help.

Because after all, amazing things do happen on top of a horse.

"Maybe a child that never speaks, will say thank you to its horse," says Julie Nelson with Sitting Nelson.

It turns disabilities into abilities, and there are a lot of ways you can help.

You can volunteer, lend your horse to the program, send a donation or come to the gala.

If you want to buy tickets to the event, click here

If you want to help Sitting Tall or get your child involved, call the Jackson County Extension Office at 517-788-4292.