Veteran therapy ranch Dare to Dream has lofty fundraising goals for new barn – Valley Breeze

FOSTER – Pulling from her experience dealing with unseen physical pain, Karen Dalton founded the Dare to Dream on 11 acres in Foster to aid leaving and returning military veterans in the emotional and mental challenges through agrotherapy.

Now, the non-profit is looking to raise $2 million for a state-of-the-art barn and arena to house horses, a training arena, horse stables, as well as offices for physical therapy. Dalton said she hopes to fund the building strictly through grants and donations through her GoFundMe capital campaign fundraiser, titled Helping Our Military and their Families.

The campaign runs through April 1, and is hosted by the United Way. It will also help cover costs to expand Dalton’s residence and Dare to Dream headquarters, at 12 Snagwood Road, to include several more bedrooms to allow clients to stay at the ranch, as well as a function room and bathrooms.

Participating in the same United Way fundraiser last year, Dare to Dream raised $88,000, earning second place for most funds raised of 425 nonprofits. Dalton said $33,000 was put away to expand the facility, while the remainder was used to purchase 10 acres of land adjacent to the ranch to expand the facility.

Over the years, Dalton has had success with several fundraisers and grants, including a $25,000 anonymous grant, a $35,000 grant from the University of Rhode Island’s Greek Philanthropy Week, $10,000 from Honey Dew Donuts, and dozens of corporate sponsorships.

Agrotherpay is a treatment that uses farms to help heal people suffering from physical and mental illnesses. At Dare to Dream Ranch, Dalton focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, military sexual trauma, mild traumatic brain injury and stroke recovery.

At Dare to Dream Ranch, veterans have access to equine therapy, woodworking, fly tying and fishing, kayaking, hiking, can spend days at the ranch, beekeeping, resume writing, career coaching, tiny homes for retreat, and at-risk homeless and more at no cost to the client. The goal is mission-based therapy to teach purpose, structure and camaraderie through farming.

“As a certified health coach, I wanted to do something impactful for military veterans and their families. My goal is to break the cycle,” Dalton said.

In its seventh year, Dalton said Dare to Dream hosts hundreds of military veterans and families each year.

The concept came from dealing with her own pain from fibromyalgia and a divorce, and finding peace and healing through gardening and caring for farm animals. She said coming from a military family, she knew that is who she wanted to help.

“Horses have a hypersensitive fight or flight drive. They reflect what you are feeling, and will mirror that anxiety or fear,” Dalton said.

She is joined by her fiancé, who grew up in Texas and teaches veterans how to raise cattle. Besides horses, the ranch also has milk-producing goats (which means baby goats) cows, chickens, cornish hens pigs and rabbits. The majority of the animals are for therapeutic purposes.

Animals and garden produce are donated to local veteran shelters and food banks. Much of the work done at the ranch happens behind the scenes, Dalton said, including assisting veterans with financial issues, housing, food insecurities and more. Her fiancé recently helped a veteran move his apartment, while Dalton connected another veteran with a washing machine.

“I’m happy I can help in any way I can. It’s a lot of work, but it is good, meaningful work,” Dalton said, who collects disability insurance.

Dalton said she is always in need of volunteers to assist with anything from feeding the animals, cleaning pens and living spaces, farm repairs around the ranch, and more.

“We’ll take all the help we can get,” she said.

By calming the horse and putting the animal at ease, people are also doing the same for themselves.

In the front yard, Dalton has a botanical garden that is dormant for the winter, though she said work is beginning for that and the vegetable garden in the back. She received donated lumber to build a gift shop in the spring, which will sell goat milk-based products created by veterans, as well as their clothing line and honey from the farm’s bees.

Source: https://www.valleybreeze.com/news/veteran-therapy-ranch-dare-to-dream-has-lofty-fundraising-goals-for-new-barn/article_f516d778-9386-11ec-a85f-2bf34afcf3d9.html

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FOSTER – Pulling from her experience dealing with unseen physical pain, Karen Dalton founded the Dare to Dream on 11 acres in Foster to aid leaving and returning military veterans in the emotional and mental challenges through agrotherapy.

Now, the non-profit is looking to raise $2 million for a state-of-the-art barn and arena to house horses, a training arena, horse stables, as well as offices for physical therapy. Dalton said she hopes to fund the building strictly through grants and donations through her GoFundMe capital campaign fundraiser, titled Helping Our Military and their Families.

The campaign runs through April 1, and is hosted by the United Way. It will also help cover costs to expand Dalton’s residence and Dare to Dream headquarters, at 12 Snagwood Road, to include several more bedrooms to allow clients to stay at the ranch, as well as a function room and bathrooms.

Participating in the same United Way fundraiser last year, Dare to Dream raised $88,000, earning second place for most funds raised of 425 nonprofits. Dalton said $33,000 was put away to expand the facility, while the remainder was used to purchase 10 acres of land adjacent to the ranch to expand the facility.

Over the years, Dalton has had success with several fundraisers and grants, including a $25,000 anonymous grant, a $35,000 grant from the University of Rhode Island’s Greek Philanthropy Week, $10,000 from Honey Dew Donuts, and dozens of corporate sponsorships.

Agrotherpay is a treatment that uses farms to help heal people suffering from physical and mental illnesses. At Dare to Dream Ranch, Dalton focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, military sexual trauma, mild traumatic brain injury and stroke recovery.

At Dare to Dream Ranch, veterans have access to equine therapy, woodworking, fly tying and fishing, kayaking, hiking, can spend days at the ranch, beekeeping, resume writing, career coaching, tiny homes for retreat, and at-risk homeless and more at no cost to the client. The goal is mission-based therapy to teach purpose, structure and camaraderie through farming.

“As a certified health coach, I wanted to do something impactful for military veterans and their families. My goal is to break the cycle,” Dalton said.

In its seventh year, Dalton said Dare to Dream hosts hundreds of military veterans and families each year.

The concept came from dealing with her own pain from fibromyalgia and a divorce, and finding peace and healing through gardening and caring for farm animals. She said coming from a military family, she knew that is who she wanted to help.

“Horses have a hypersensitive fight or flight drive. They reflect what you are feeling, and will mirror that anxiety or fear,” Dalton said.

She is joined by her fiancé, who grew up in Texas and teaches veterans how to raise cattle. Besides horses, the ranch also has milk-producing goats (which means baby goats) cows, chickens, cornish hens pigs and rabbits. The majority of the animals are for therapeutic purposes.

Animals and garden produce are donated to local veteran shelters and food banks. Much of the work done at the ranch happens behind the scenes, Dalton said, including assisting veterans with financial issues, housing, food insecurities and more. Her fiancé recently helped a veteran move his apartment, while Dalton connected another veteran with a washing machine.

“I’m happy I can help in any way I can. It’s a lot of work, but it is good, meaningful work,” Dalton said, who collects disability insurance.

Dalton said she is always in need of volunteers to assist with anything from feeding the animals, cleaning pens and living spaces, farm repairs around the ranch, and more.

“We’ll take all the help we can get,” she said.

By calming the horse and putting the animal at ease, people are also doing the same for themselves.

In the front yard, Dalton has a botanical garden that is dormant for the winter, though she said work is beginning for that and the vegetable garden in the back. She received donated lumber to build a gift shop in the spring, which will sell goat milk-based products created by veterans, as well as their clothing line and honey from the farm’s bees.

Source: https://www.valleybreeze.com/news/veteran-therapy-ranch-dare-to-dream-has-lofty-fundraising-goals-for-new-barn/article_f516d778-9386-11ec-a85f-2bf34afcf3d9.html