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The pain of losing a child is something you are never prepared to handle. In 2020, Tonya Hollederer lost her son Cory to PTSD.
For families like Tonya’s the Dare to Dream Ranch in Foster, RI offers help to break the cycle of loss. They offer an alternative therapy program providing military members, veterans, and their families struggling with PTSD a renewed sense of purpose for life.
Dare to Dream is involved with a virtual fundraiser called 401GIVES powered by the United Way of Rhode Island. The first nonprofit that raises $50,000 by April 1st receives a matching grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.
Dare to Dream is a 501(c) (3) non profit organization, run 100% by volunteers. They offer equine facilitated coaching, woodworking, gardening, fly fishing/tying, beekeeping and more.
In 2019 they worked with over 900 service members, veterans and their families among all their programs. In 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, they are still working with over 100 clients. When no other non profit would take community service individuals, they were able to do so because they offer an outdoor facility and are able to space people out within their 11 acres.
They have big plans for their fundraising campaign. The first $50,000 raised in the 401GIVES virtual fundraiser will go to cover essential expenses like hay, grain, shavings, veterinarian bills, farrier bills, insurances and utilities. Some items such as hay has jumped in prices because of a drought in growing areas last year. The matching $50,000 will go to build a gift shop to sell veteran made products to help veterans bring in residual income to the ranch.
Everything over that will help Dare to Dream achieve all their other expansion goals, including an indoor riding facility so their clients don’t have to endure the New England weather or cancel their sessions due to the cold, and to turn the house into a bed and breakfast facility to be used for retreats. Also they plan on adding rooms for events, and want to buy surrounding land to expand their programs and build more tiny homes.
Their Center for Dynamic Learning, led by Kevin Cunha, is teaching inner-city at-risk youth building and engineering skills by turning shipping containers into 100% sustainable tiny homes for veterans. These homes will come to the ranch as they buy adjacent land and expand, and will be spaced throughout the properties to maintain a homey, country-feel that will continue to promote the ranch’s philosophy of using time in nature to heal. Residents will live in these homes at no cost to them in exchange for working the ranch. This will provide agri-therapy and the mission, purpose, structure and camaraderie that they once had in the military.
To help struggling veterans like Cory, the Dare to Dream Ranch is asking for help to make this one day, 24-hour, virtual fundraiser go viral. Log in on April 1st starting at 6am, make a donation and pass this on to friends and family to do the same. www.401gives.org/organizations/dare-to-dream-ranch-inc
About Dare to Dream Ranch
Our mission is to provide alternative therapy programs for U.S. Military veterans and their families struggling with emotional challenges such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety, Depression, Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Our services, include, but are not limited to, utilizing equine therapy, yoga, horticulture therapy, nutritional cooking, woodworking, fly tying, and career coaching. Our ultimate goal is to help our veterans become successful civilians who feel they serve a purpose after returning from their time spent on the battlefield.
What We Do:
Dare to Dream Ranch, Inc. is a holistic and alternative military retreat for service members, veterans and their families. The programs we offer include:
Our programs are designed to help our service members, veterans, and their families with PTSD, anxiety, depression, military sexual trauma and mild traumatic brain injury to overcome their current situations, find their passion, and become successful civilians.
Dare to Dream Ranch Leadership