Parent/Caregiver Appreciation Night

In an effort to honor the Parents and Caregivers of our students, and to provide them with an experience that would broaden their perspective of their child’s experience at Renew, we held our first-ever Parent/Caregiver Appreciation Night. We had an adventurous and fun group of parents, caregivers, and grandparents join us for dinner and a trail ride on August 27, 2018 for the event. With childcare covered, we believe this experience offered this group a night out to enjoy and have fun, in addition to helping them better understand the connection their children have with “their” horse. There is nothing like experiential learning and being at the barn. We are blessed to work in such a setting and provide these services, and to see the numerous and vast array of results

Our Summer Helper, Ella

Our program has been enhanced with the help of Ella over the last few months. She has served as temporary support for our busy summer and it has been a pleasure to have her as a therapy horse for our program. Just for fun, we’ve spent some time talking with Ella’s owner, Kim Juergen, to get some fun facts to share. Here is what Kim had to say… Ella recently turned 6 years old. Kim has owned her since she was about 3 months old. She is actually a paint horse, although she doesn’t have any spots. Ella is the type of horse that will do anything and go anywhere for you. She shows little fear, is incredibly willing, and flexible. Ella has been successful on the extreme trail course and the

Hoofbeats of Hope Grief Camp

  A chance to cry, to mourn, to celebrate, to have fun, and to make new friends.  This is what happened at Hoofbeats of Hope, Renew’s special day camp for children and teens who have experienced the death of a loved one.  Sixteen campers spent two days at Renew this summer to gain coping skills for their personal grief journey in partnership with a special horse. We were blessed to have Tasha Federinko, LPC, PATH Intl. ESMHL, and EAGALA certified professional facilitate the camp.  She collaborated with Melissa Conner, Executive Director, PATH Intl. ESMHL and Advanced Instructor, along with four additional Renew staff holding PATH Intl. professional certifications (Shaina Stirkwerda, Kelly Leikert, Kayla Tuinenga, and Abby DeZeeuw) as well as Renew volunteers trained in grief and trauma to come alongside

August WHY

Thank you to Daisy and Becky for providing statements for this month’s WHY piece. For those who are visiting the blog, Renew thanks you for YOUR role and how you are able to provide support! If you are just learning about Renew, welcome! We’d love to provide more information for you. If you’re interested in volunteering, donating, visiting the barn to watch a lesson or simply have questions – please feel free to contact us. For questions about volunteering – contact Kelly at To discuss sponsorship opportunities – contact Melissa at To schedule a barn tour and watch a lesson – contact Shaina at To provide a statement for future WHY pieces and share why you support Renew – contact Michelle at Click on the image above to enlarge.

“It has been so great experiencing Renew with Ben’s Hope residents!”

  We received a special message from a Ben’s Hope staff member and wanted to share… “It has been so great experiencing Renew with the Ben’s Hope residents! What you guys do is amazing! Here’s a little bit about my experience… For the past year, I have been lucky enough to accompany some of the Ben’s Hope residents to their weekly horseback riding lessons at Renew. It has been incredible to see the immense changes in the residents and the improvements they have made. One resident refused to put on his helmet the first time we went and now he puts it on independently. Another participant had never ridden before and now he can independently use his reigns to direct his horse when to turn, when to stop and when

Welcome: New Volunteer Coordinator & Certified Instructor

  Help us in welcoming Kelly Leikert in her new position as Volunteer Coordinator! Kelly has been a dedicated volunteer since 2013 and we are thrilled to have her as a part of our team in a new way. In her role as Volunteer Coordinator, Kelly will be handling all of the scheduling and education of volunteers at Renew. She will be our point-of-contact for volunteer documentation, volunteer scheduling for lessons, and she will also be leading our monthly volunteer orientation. In addition, as of June 2018, Kelly became a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor! She is now teaching lessons for Renew and we are grateful for her dedication and passion for our program, students, and volunteers! If you haven’t met Kelly yet, please introduce yourself and give her your best

Ride-A-Thon 2018

Our 2nd annual Ride-A-Thon, held on Saturday, July 28th turned out to be a great day! Our teams for the event did an outstanding job raising funds in support of our program. We were able to utilize our online fundraising platform with GiveGrove for the first time and overall it was a positive experience, and most importantly we feel our supporters felt it was helpful and user friendly. We had 6 teams of riders who enjoyed our half-mile outdoor track and completed an obstacle course set up with various challenges and for a range of riding levels. Instructors presented each rider with a champion ribbon as a way to celebrate each person and their accomplishments. After a busy morning, we were able to sit back and relax together while enjoying

July WHY

Renew continues to be blessed with exceptional people! Volunteers, sponsors, Instructors … all come together to influence the culture and services we provide to our wonderful students. Your time, your donations, your passion – are invaluable to us! Click on the image above to enlarge.

Thank You to Holland Junior Welfare League

  We are thankful for our faithful supporters, the Holland Junior Welfare League! Their most recent grant award to Renew provided funding for 12 local public school students to either receive lessons or to attend a week of summer day camp. In addition, we were excited to have sponsorship for a new program this year where we offered a camp experience to four siblings of our therapeutic riding students.  This funding has richly enhanced our program offerings for the summer, and this would not have been possible without the generosity of the Holland Junior Welfare League.   On behalf of the students who are benefitting, as well as from our Board, staff, and volunteers, thank you!

Together, We Are Better

  Renew is a special organization… we believe in serving our students to the best of our ability, supporting our community, and helping each other. We value each person, no matter their strength or weakness and strive to provide experiences that improve quality of life.  We are called to love one another – this is how we love.  At times, it’s a moment of encouragement, a cheer of excitement… at other times, it’s a listening ear or a sincere smile… or maybe even a gentle touch, the security of support.  Each of us has a purpose and makes a contribution. Without you Renew wouldn’t be quite the same. Together, we are better.