Little Annie All Dressed Up
Photo courtesy Team Velvet
Team Velvet Bookshelf
People will often explain how the influence of trauma has changed the trajectory of their lives. I remember on eight-year-old. He wrote a story about the September eleventh tragedy which went something like this:
“A mother has five sons. ‘I love you sons’ she said. She worked in the towers in New York. When the plane hit the towers, the love ran out of her and into the sons. Here is one of them. When he grows up, he will help in the world. He has that much love.”
Team Velvet, Inc. is currently having child volunteers craft a Kind-ness Tree in the horse barn to remind all of us many ways kids transform trauma and obstacles into kindness toward the world. Such kindness can help nature, family, animals, and other children.
The Kindness Tree will display drawings from kids 6-12 that illustrate children’s ideas. Mail drawings to Team Velvet, Inc., PO Box 268, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553 along with the first name and age of the child and parent email address. All drawings will be posted on the Kindness Tree and parents who send an email address will receive an email certificate for each young artist.
Upcoming events: In March, the announcement for the next Visits with Horses class for children ages 10-12 will be posted. The four-week program involves strengthening emotional intelligence and resiliency in kids based on the childhood classic Black Beauty. Parents must accompany the child and there is no fee for the program which is held at our therapy horse farm in Flemington. Details follow in March.
Team Velvet, Inc. is a 501c-3 organization that provides nonmounted equine mental health counseling for children ages 6-12 who experienced trauma. For more information call Psychologist/Director Dr. Susan Edwards at 609 924 4330 to refer a child. Donations can be made at the website or via mail at Team Velvet, Inc., PO Box 268, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553.
Photo courtesy Team Velvet
Group photo of program volunteers including therapy horses Buddy (left), Precious (center), and Little Annie (far right). Board members front, far right Dr. Susan Edwards and Dr. Kathy Piparo Team Velvet Inc. Board of Directors Secretary Dr. Kathy Piparo and President Dr. Susan Edwards recently honored program volunteers at Team Velvet’s therapy facility Journeys End Farm in Flemington, NJ.
“Without volunteers like you,” Dr. Piparo explained, “we could not provide our horse therapy program for child trauma. Your selfless acts of kindness are the backbone of running a successful all-volunteer organization.”
Team Velvet volunteers work inside the barn, help with facility and pasture maintenance, and decorate the farm with seasonal displays. They also staff fundraisers like the recent “Photo Opps with Santa and His Holiday Horses” and ongoing programs. Some groom the therapy horses and serve as horse handlers in the “Visits with Horses” program designed to strengthen emotional intelligence and resiliency in children ages 10-12.
Dr. Edwards describes the diverse nature of Team Velvet’s dedicated group. “We have volunteers who just like helping , others who are ‘giving back’ to life in gratitude for what they feel has been given to them, and still others who honor a deep love of children by assisting a children’s charity that provides horse counseling in child mental health offered free to families.
Some volunteers are reminded of their country roots when they enter our farm and some just like horses. The sense of peace accompanying entry into a horse farm is a powerful emotion difficult to explain. “
Edwards continued: “I recently asked a newer volunteer who works about four hours a week what she liked about volunteering on the farm. An executive woman with an impressive career who is weekly mucking stalls and sweeping barn aisles offered a response that surprised me.”
“It’s the magic,” Mary said. “Horses and being close to the earth remind me of the powerful love that animals and nature have to offer. In my day-to-day life, I often forget that. When I leave here I always have a smile on my face.”
Dr. Kathy Piparo reminded the group that ultimately their efforts assisting Team Velvet Inc. help children heal from the effects of trauma when she said, “Your selfless kindness can help us make a difference in a child’s life. “
For more information on Team Velvet Inc. or to refer a child age 5-12 call Psychologist/Director Dr. Edwards at 609 924 4330.
Team Velvet Inc. is a 50l c-3 all-volunteer charity totally funded by donations and grants. Tax-deductible donations may be made via the website/PayPal or via mail to Team Velvet Inc., PO Box 268, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553.
Photo courtesy Team Velvet
Author’s Note: Earlier this month we received a grant to provide non-mounted horse therapy for a year to one child age 6-11 with multiple handicap and/or developmental disability who has experienced trauma. A parent or helping professional can refer the family of the child to Dr. Susan Edwards, Psychologist/Director via email at email@example.com, answering service 609-924-4330 or cell 609-216-1910. Please share this note as there will be no fee for this service.
At this time of year we look both back at the events of the past year and forward into the goals of the coming one.
Team Velvet Inc. continued to provide nonmounted clinical horse therapy without fee to trauma children as well as provide general developmental strengthening of emotional intelligence and resiliency through the Visits with Horses Program, Parts One and Two. Using the text Black Beauty by Anna Sewell as well as providing live interactive activities with the program’s therapy horses, the feedback from parents and children was exceptional. We will continue to offer this program for 10-12 year olds in the coming year and may expand into psychoeducational services for nine year olds.
We are looking for two donations of $2,000 each that will allow us to publish a book on managing traumatic flashbacks for kids and one on emotional healing. We also seek permanent supporters whose donations will strengthen the sustainability of our charity.
Thank you to everyone who contacted us with kind words and donations in special memory of our beloved therapy horse Velvet. His picture is included in the electronic edition of this month’s edition along with the quotation under his photo in our barn. “Forever Velvet: his love lives on through us.”
Team Velvet Inc.
Christmas Lights with Santa!
Thursday December 7th & Friday December 8th, 6-8 pm
See SANTA & this Explosion of Lights which is one of the largest private Christmas light displays in Hunterdon and surrounding counties. This is a slow drive-by event where Santa will greet passersby and accept voluntary donations to benefit Team Velvet, Inc. CLICK HERE for event details and to RSVP.
We are pleased to have this kind, gentle gelding join our
helping herd for children.
Buddy is a draft/Quarter horse/paint mix with a kind spirit who will carry on the special bond established by Velvet as the lead male horse in the herd. We thank everyone who is helping
Buddy feel at home.
CLICK HERE to read more about our new horse Buddy!
Each day there is a child who experiences the death of a loved one, witnesses violence, is victimized by crime of intense bullying, disfigured by an accident, or other countless events - all resulting in severe childhood trauma. In the extreme, child trauma may cause flashbacks, blackouts, and may result in severe and harmful physical behavior.
Team Velvet, Inc. provides multi-modal horse therapy for traumatized children ages 5-12 with psychologist Dr. Susan Edwards. Therapy horses may be involved in interactive games, kick a soccer ball, dance or be taught liberty performance. Children do not ride the horses, they interact while working towards goals of increased self-esteem and resiliency over adverse childhood events.
Team Velvet has treated 40 families with children who have experienced severe trauma. Many of these children have been referred to us by other professionals who found the child's problems intractable with traditional therapies. We do not have the funding and resources to treat all of the children referred to us. Therefore, we are seeking generous donors to help us to be able to accept all referrals of the most emotionally vulnerable children.
Our successful, continuing counseling service is located on our farm in Flemington, NJ. If you have any questions whatsoever about our history, therapy methods, potential therapy costs (if any) beyond insurance coverage, success stories, to arrange a visit to our farm etc., see out "Contact Us" page on how to contact Dr. Edwards directly.
Psychologist Dr. Susan Edwards and the helping horses of Team Velvet, Inc. are offering a series of group sessions for children ages 10 to 12 to help them grow in two ways related to good mental health. The program includes non-mounted activities with the horses designed to address emotional intelligence so that children are more able to recognize and cope with feelings - their own and those of others, and to help strengthen child resilience in facing and overcoming life's obstacles. Parents may accompany their children but sessions are focused on child learning.
SESSIONS ARE SATURDAY 1-3pm
Children can attend one session or the entire series.
Session 1 - July 8th - Growing in Positive Power and Self Confidence
Session 2 - July 15 - Self Esteem
Session 3 - July 22 - Self Image
Session 4 - July 29 - Self Efficacy
The program is FREE but registration is required via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email child's name, age, and session date(s) attending.
Group size is limited so register early.
Susan Edwards PhD, Psychologist
Christina Piparo, Peer Mentor/Former Volunteer of the Year
We Make Children Smile
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YOU Can Make a Difference in the Life of a Child
The continued success of Team Velvet depends on generous contributors like you. We are in urgent need of funds to ensure our continuing operation. Your donation provides therapy scholarships for children and help feed and care for our therapy horses. Your dollars can help to heal a child's heart and mind, one smile at a time.
Tax-deductible monetary contributions can be made through PayPal via our "Tax Deductible Donations" page or mail checks made out to Team Velvet, Inc. to PO Box 268, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553-0268.
From Little Annie, Buddy, and The Therapy Horses of Team Velvet Inc.
Team Velvet, Inc.
A Non Profit 501(C)(3) Charitable Organization
Equine Facilitated Mental Health Services for Children
Understanding Bereavement, Giftedness, Grief and Loss, Treatment of Trauma, Adjustment Issues
"Our horses work in the arena of a child's heart"
Services are provided at NO CHARGE to the families.