Daily Point of Light # 2749 Aug 18, 2004

Denny Deibler has been a faithful volunteer at Heartbeats and Hoofbeats Therapy for the past year and a half. He comes every Monday and volunteers for eight hours. Mr. Deibler is available no matter what the weather or how he is feeling so he can help with the disabled children.

Mr. Deibler’s duties range from cleaning out a horse stall to making sure treatment areas are clean. He also helps build handicapped accessible ramps and works one on one with the children while they are receiving therapy on horseback.

In order for the therapy to be successful, they have to have dedicated volunteers. The volunteers are vital and ensure the safety of the children. They also help with the myriad of chores that are necessary in this setting.

Each child that Mr. Deibler works with seems to connect with him. Because of his attitude, charisma and personality, he is always able to get the most effort out of the children he works with during their treatment sessions.

Heartbeats and Hoofbeats currently has 160 children with a variety of disabilities who are treated on a weekly basis. They have seen dramatic results in the child’s ability to perform certain tasks after being in the program. This strengthens their muscles and improves their mobility and coordination. They have even seen children who can now communicate for the first time in their lives due to their therapy.

Most of the children are able to be more functional at home and in school, and it has given them a tremendous sense of improved self-esteem. They are finally successful at something that is therapeutic as well as fun. The children are able to experience improved memory skills and can figure out how to complete several steps to complete a structured activity. After working with Mr. Deibler, the children do not feel so isolated in their wheelchairs, walkers or adaptive chairs. They can now interact physically and socially with Mr. Deibler and the other volunteers.

The children are treated one to two times per week and are in the program as long as they are mastering the goals that have been established for them. He helps make positive changes in the lives of children with disabilities and gives more happiness to their every day lives.