More than a dozen Western Window Systems employees lent their time last month to the Phoenix-based nonprofit organization Horses Help.
The Western Volunteers group of 14 employees pitched in October 21 at the North Phoenix facility, where Horses Help has been providing therapeutic and recreational activities for the Valley’s special needs population since 1987. This segment of the population’s interaction with horses has been shown to help them break through physical, cognitive, and emotional barriers.
“The Western Window Systems group was awesome,” says Kerri Sorensen, a staff member at Horses Help. “They did a little bit of everything, including planting in the garden, fixing a sprinkler system, and installing lights on the patio in preparation for our Big Bad Barn Bash.”
And one unique resident of the Horses Help facility also proved to be a beneficiary of the Western Volunteers effort, a desert tortoise named Tortilla.
“He lives in a little area we call Tortilla Flats, and the Western Window Systems group planted two gardens for him,” Sorensen says. “They planted a hibiscus, some petunias, strawberries, and some lettuce, which Tortilla already has eaten.”
Western Window Systems HR programs and retention specialist Leanne Harter says Horses Help is near and dear to the company because several employees have seen the direct benefits of equine therapy for members of their own families. After the volunteer effort, the company became the proud sponsor of Chuck, a 21-year-old quarterhorse that lives at Horses Help and works with riders of all ages.
“One of the most endearing aspects of our culture here at Western Window Systems is to see that connection of #oneteam achieved and used altruistically by our excellent, innovative partners to accomplish tasks of service,” Harter says.