Special needs, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2021), is any healthcare need related to physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities, as well as long-standing medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, blood disorders, and muscular dystrophy. In the United States, 1 out of 5 children has a special healthcare need that will require more care and attention than those without a physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional difference (CDC, Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs in Emergencies, 2021). Therapeutic riding and hippotherapy has been shown to have beneficial health outcomes for those with special needs and disabilities (The Children's TherAplay Foundation, Inc. (CTF), n.d.; Hyun et al, 2022; Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl), 2022; Zhao et al, 2021). Rising Hope Farms (RHF), located in Claremont, NC, is a Christian-based 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization providing equine-assisted therapeutic riding and activities to people of all ages with special needs (Wartner, 2022).
A bingo fundraiser has been developed to help raise funds for RHF’s therapeutic programs, which will take place at a shop behind Boston Saw & Tool, located in Hickory, NC. The event will be invitation only, due the limited amount of space, and admission to the event will be restricted to the purchasing of a finite number of tickets. The event activities to be marketed will be a catered dinner inside the shop, which is climate controlled, and prizes to be won through games of bingo.
The fundraiser was a success, meeting 4 of the 5 objectives outlined in planning and development. The total funds raised were $4,686.00, with a net funds raised of $3,799.53 after costs. After the event was held, guests continued to support several of RHF’s riders through monetary donation and others gave a one-time donation to RHF.
The RHF Dinner and Bingo Fundraiser was a success, by meeting 4 of the 5 outlined objectives. Feasibility of continued implementation of a dinner and bingo fundraiser annually is contingent on RHF’s ability to repeat this process or a revised version. Continuation and success of implementing this dinner and fundraiser will aid RHF’s mission, as well as provide a much-needed service for individuals with special needs in Catawba County, NC.