Canines new to the facility must be temporarily isolated until they receive a medical check, vaccinations, micro-chip, and are spayed/neutered before being made available for adoption. They are currently housed in a converted horse barn with concrete flooring, which is difficult to keep clean and dry. Texas Humane Heroes successfully converted several stalls to eight above ground, self-contained kennels but need an additional ten to fill the remaining space and meet housing demands. The grant will be used to purchase these kennels, providing a safe, warm and healthy environment. Texas Humane Heroes’ on-site facilities team and volunteers will handle kennel installation.
About Texas Humane Heroes:
Texas Humane Heroes finds loving homes for dogs and cats rescued from over-crowded municipal shelters throughout Texas. Over 95% of animals saved come from municipal shelters that euthanize to free up space. The group works to place these animals into loving homes through their HERO Adoption Program. The primary goal is to eliminate pet homelessness in Texas. Texas Humane Heroes draws families and individuals across Texas who seek to adopt dogs or cats, or utilize low-cost spay/neuter and vaccination clinics. Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 pets per year are saved and re-homed through Texas Humane Heroes. The group is 100% funded by donations, grants and modest fees for services. Texas Humane Heroes does not receive any local, state, or federal government funding.
This year Leander will open its first athletic fields dedicated exclusively to baseball. Three lighted fields have been constructed in Benbrook Ranch Park, where Leander will sponsor its first formal youth baseball program! But the beautiful new fields have no scoreboards due to budget limitations. Leander Parks & Recreation will use the grant to purchase and install an electronic scoreboard at one of the fields – a feature the new players are sure to be proud of.
About Leander Parks & Recreation
Leander Parks & Recreation (PARD) is a department within the City of Leander whose responsibilities include the management of nine City parks, the Crystal Falls Golf Club and Leander Public Library. PARD sponsors five city-wide events and ten recreation programs. Special events include: Liberty Fest; Bluegrass Festival; Spring Egg-Stravaganza; Kite Festival; and the Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting. Recreation programs include: Little League Baseball; swimming lessons; water aerobics; fitness classes; Lego, art and science camps; active adult day trips; movies in the park; concerts in the park; and Christmas tree recycling. Leander PARD serves people of all ages.
The Leander Leadership Class created “Laces for Leander” in 2013 to provide new school shoes to as many of the district’s 2,200 qualifying students in-need as possible. In 2015, Hill Country Community Ministries (HCCM) took on the event. They work throughout the year to raise money and collect new shoes in preparation for Laces for Leander back-to-school distribution event held two weeks before the first day of class. The event gives children the opportunity to ’shop’ and try on new shoes for the school year. Some come with literally nothing on their feet. The sense of pride and confidence the recipients take into the new year sporting Nike’s, Adidas or other name brand shoes is amazing. Some have never owned a pair of new shoes! Last year HCCM distributed over 400 pairs. The grant will significantly increase the number of students who are able to walk away with a new pair of shoes.
About Hill Country Community Ministries
Hill Country Community Ministries (HCCM) is a coalition of churches assisted by area businesses, civic organizations, service clubs and concerned individuals that provides food, clothing and other assistance to people in crisis and those living in poverty in southwest Williamson and northwest Travis counties. Their goal is to serve clients with the dignity and compassion of neighbor helping neighbor. In addition to the ‘Laces’ program, HCCM operates a Food Pantry that stocks nonperishable food and essential personal care items. Their Clothes Closet provides serviceable, gently-used clothing for children and adults including coats, jackets, new socks and underwear, and blankets.
In 2013, Leander ISD was forced to eliminate financial assistance for students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams because of state and federal budget cuts. With each test costing $92, this great opportunity can quickly become cost prohibitive for many families. The grant will allow LEEF to provide additional need-based scholarships for the AP testing that helps students achieve greater levels of academic success.
About The Leander Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF)
The Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) is dedicated to providing resources that support innovation, enrichment and equity in pursuit of academic excellence within the Leander Independent School District. LEEF supports its mission through three main program initiatives: ‘Foundations for Learning’ focusing on early literacy; ‘Enriching Great Teaching’ through innovative teaching grants and professional development; and ‘College Ready, College Bound’, designed to build an education and career-ready culture among all students.
The Create a Rider – Nurture a Learner project provides therapy to special needs youth ages 12 -18 in a professional equine facility. The partnership between horse and rider improves the participant’s physical, mental and academic abilities, enhancing their capacity to reach full potential as an adult.
The grant will provide a full year of weekly one-hour sessions to additional students in need. Funds will be used to pay instructor(s), enhance/expand the educational/skill-building activities learned during mounted therapy, and assist in providing care for therapy horses.
About Open My World Therapeutic Riding
Open My World was founded by Donna Roland, a passionate horsewoman and retired special education teacher, to offer both Equine Therapy and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy to special needs students. Their therapeutic riding instructors and curriculum conform to Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (P.A.T.H.) guidelines. The program has served over 275 clients through approximately 10,000 equine sessions. Over 50 students are currently benefitting from therapy, with an additional 15 on the waiting list. Their goal is for all participants to develop a sense of peace and healing in a nurturing, compassionate environment where individual success is celebrated every day.