Purvis, Miss. - This week's Kindness in Action highlights a Purvis family who helps children with disabilities.
Since 2008 the Archer family has shared their horses to help people with developmental and emotional growth.
It is a Christian-based program that offers Equine Therapy during the Spring and Fall.
Founder and Director Gina Archer said, “Absolutely there is a need, and we started evaluating and just talking with the different teachers and parents and they were all about starting something like this.”
The family along with workers and volunteers rally together to run the program solely off donations. It partners with families, schools, and community organizations.
“First for developmental growth, we see confidence levels, that is the main thing that we see" said Archer.
She continued, "Smiles, children with different special needs where they can play soccer and other things like that, they get to interact with all the activities that we do, the games that we play, and they come back wanting more.”
Jessica Bazor, a mother of a rider, said her family has participated with the program the last 7 years and she can see the physical and emotional difference in her son.
“When he gets on them, his face lights up, he just loves the horses" she said.
Bazor added, "When Jacob gets on the horses, you immediately can see Jacob stand up and sit up on that horse, and he is getting that upper body strength that he needs.”
As for one rider, Shelton Duncan, who has ridden the last 2 years, he said he will continue to come back. “Oh yes, I love riding horses.”
Purposeful Refuge hopes to build a covered riding area to provide Equine Therapy all year long.
To learn more about Purposeful Refuge you can click here.