Georgetown County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs (GCBDSN), a 501c3 nonprofit, is Hugs' fiscal agent. As such, GCBDSN helps with fundraising and performs Hugs' financial administrative tasks at no cost to the Hugs program. This relationship allows virtually 100% of donations and grants awarded to the Hugs program to be used to directly fund equine therapy for its riders with disabilities.
𝑮𝒆𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝑪𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒚 𝑷𝒂𝒓𝒌𝒔 & 𝑹𝒆𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, under directorship of Beth Gilfillin Goodale, is largely the reason our special events are so playfully and comfortably successful. Not only do they provide comfort items like tents, tables, chairs, and porta-potties, they also set up the games and photo booth that make for so much fun! And, while Beth herself is an amazing volunteer for 3 small group sessions every week, the staff at the Rec. come out to provide much needed help during our volunteer intensive events.
𝑮𝒆𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝑪𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒚 𝑺𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒍 𝑫𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒕 facilitates the participation of 7 special needs school classes that each come for 9 week sessions during the school year and several field trips for other special needs classes to boot! Not only do they give us a nice donation every year, they directly pay for each class's transportation to and from the barn every week. Ask the special ed teachers...that's a BIG DEAL! AND, they allow some district employees to be AMAZING and much-appreciated volunteers during these sessions. Come on out, and you might just see Associate Superintendent for Finance and Technology Lisa Owens Johnson, District Buyer Crystal Eaddy, Special Services Executive Director Michael Caviris, or Special Services Director Miriam Daniels helping a rider with special needs. Most importantly, this relationship with GCSD assures that kids who normally wouldn't be able to receive the life-changing benefits of therapeutic horseback riding because of family schedules and ability to transport, CAN.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝑷. 𝑩𝒖𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆 𝑭𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, under the executive directorship of Geales Sands, has been instrumental in Hugs' growth. From funding our well-used equestrian lift in 2006 to funding specific groups of riders over the years, to offering advice and consultation, to spearheading and providing the platform for #PalmettoGivingDay every year for Georgetown non-profits, they were to first to give Hugs a broader vision of what we are able to do. In 2019, with matching gifts and donations, Palmetto Giving Day alone provided funding for 1/3 of our annual budget, critical to our being able work to change the outcomes for the almost 100 children and adults with disabilities we served regularly during the year.