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LAVIDGE Volunteers Plant Flowers, Pull Weeds at Hunkapi Farms
IMPACT employee volunteer program digs in to help equine therapy program
PHOENIX - (April , 12, 2023) LAVIDGE IMPACT volunteers get their hands dirty for a good cause.
Such was the case on when nearly a dozen employees of the Phoenix-based ad agency took time away from their daily work to plant flowers at Hunkapi Farm in Scottsdale.
The flowers will eventually be sold to help support various equine-programs offered at the 10-acre farm designed to help children and their families navigate challenges related to autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, emotional disorder, addiction disorder and post-traumatic stress.
As beautiful as the sunflowers and other blooms will be, the true stars of the farm (besides those who own and operate it) is a herd which includes a donkey named Walter, a paint horse named Buddy, a bull named Gilbert and a dairy goat named Thumbelina.
They are among numerous animal rescues at the farm from a pot belly pig to hens and turkeys which have all found new homes at Hunkapi.
Since joining the farm in 1994, Buddy has learned to be a sturdy therapy horse. Walter, a charmer with big brown eyes, came from a kill pen in Texas by way of a local rescue group. Gilbert, well, he managed to escape from a truck in 2018 a day after his birth and was spotted walking alongside a road in Gilbert.
Their tales of hope provide comfort to those they interact with at the farm by showing them that life is always filled with opportunity—trauma and other challenges aside.
“The Hunkapi programs all have one aim—to use the bond between horse and human as a catalyst for positive growth in the lives of our participants,” its website states on its mission page.
After LAVIDGE volunteers toured the farm meeting the furry and feathered cast of characters they pitched in to pull weeds from the farm’s community garden. Located just outside of the perimeter fence, the garden provides butter lettuce, tomatoes, spinach and other fresh vegetables available for anyone in need.
It all started with a research project conducted at Arizona State University beginning in 1996 to determine if children with AD/HD and autism could benefit from horseback riding. By 1999, it had grown into the Hunkapi program, which led to the independent non-profit now located in Scottsdale.