GE Healthcare Aids Horse Comfort, Builds Rider Course

 Both horses and humans had a great night’s sleep after GE Healthcare’s volunteer brigade finished work on SIRE’s Fort Bend facility at Richmond State Support Living Center.

As part of a community volunteer and team-building project, 25 GE Healthcare employees journeyed in from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi to refurbish horse stall flooring and construct a new rider sensory course.

“It was an impactful and rewarding day,” said Tino Parra, account executive at GE Healthcare. “We received more than we gave that day, and we were so grateful for the opportunity. We enjoyed serving in a completely new and different volunteer project.”

Team members overhauled a dozen horse stalls: They removed old shavings, bedding and foundations from each unit and installed fresh materials for premium, equine living comfort.

 In addition to sprucing up the horses’ living quarters, volunteers installed the foundation for a new SIRE rider sensory course. The work was extra challenging because the materials were delivered two weeks prior to the project. Volunteers persevered, despite the mud and fire ants encountered while digging out railroad ties that had become buried from heavy rains. They carried railroad ties to the sensory course location, set them into place and painted ground poles, which make up obstacles to be traversed by horses and riders using the course. Three other volunteers painted 10 poles in just two hours.

“Each of the volunteers was very passionate about giving their very best,” Tino said. “At the end of the volunteer project, everyone felt so tired, but we were filled with such a sense of purpose and meaning. Many of us had the opportunity to get to know some of the riders and learn a little bit more about children and adults with special needs. We are looking forward to our next onsite volunteer event at SIRE.”

Fort Bend Site Manager Helen Evans welcomes GE Healthcare’s return anytime.

“Volunteers and companies like GE Healthcare are the key to SIRE’s success,” Helen said. “Their support and enthusiasm make such a difference and create an avenue of new possibilities in the lives of our riders. We are so thankful for all the GE Healthcare team did.”

Learn more about volunteering here.