Giving Back to a Place of Horses and Healing

October 11, 2021

In September, two groups of employees volunteered at Angel Reins Stable as part of the Cooperative’s ‘My Co-op Cares’ program.

Angel Reins Stable is a non-profit organization, located on 40 acres in St. Augusta, MN, that provides a loving home for horses that are rescued from across the country. Beyond providing a home for these rescue horses, veterans, survivors of human trafficking and others suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety, grief and more are able to participate in Angel Reins Stable’s Pegasus Program utilizing equine assisted learning at no charge.

Our first group of Stearns Electric volunteers helped clean horse stalls, the aisle, lounge and lean-to, making it look nearly brand new. They also helped prep for a future burn pile, did some weeding and wrapped up their day interacting with and feeding apples to some of the horses.

Allison Driggins, Stearns Electric employee volunteer, detailed her experience of the day, “I appreciate working for an organization that gives back to our members and community.  There is no place quite like Stearns Electric! Volunteering at Angel Reins was a great experience to work alongside co-workers, some whom I don’t get to work with daily, and make a difference. Kathy and Joanie at Angel Reins were so appreciative of the help, and it gives me joy to know we were a tiny part of the greater mission they provide to people every day.”

The following week, a second group of volunteers went back to Angel Reins Stable with a big project in mind – building a hitching rail for the horses near the outdoor arena. Employees were able to utilize one of the Co-op’s digger trucks and old poles to complete this pipedream project. Along with the hitching rail, employees also built a wooden bench, boot rack and saddle hangers, and organized tool storage. At the end of the day, a few of the horses were brought out to break in the hitching rail and a couple of our employees even got to ride the horses.

“It was a great day volunteering at Angel Reins Stable, especially being able to build their hitching rail. This was something that we could easily do with our everyday equipment, but we were able to make a big impact toward something they really wanted on-site. Seeing how happy they were made the whole day worth it,” said Stearns Electric employee volunteer, Levi Jessen.

Kathy, from Angel Reins Stable, was beyond thankful for our employees’ service, “To say we are humbled and grateful is an understatement. The kindness and hard work shown to us by Stearns Electric ‘My Co-op Cares’ is unbelievable. The volunteers were a huge help and literally made dreams come true! Together we truly are making a difference!”

The ”My Co-op Cares” program allows Cooperative employees time to volunteer during working hours to benefit communities within our service territory. Three times per year, Stearns Electric sends teams of employees out to local organizations and charitable causes to share their time and talents.

Any employee can volunteer for that year’s events. They don’t know where they will be going or what they will be doing until closer to the event date, so when employees sign up at the beginning of the year, it’s purely for wanting to give back to our local communities.