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'A PLACE OF HOPE' | Kentwood organization invites community to meet its horses

Equine Assisted Development helps people from a variety of situations find peace through connection with horses.

KENTWOOD, Mich. — The cool, September wind blows through the mane of a horse. A crowd of young children gather round to pet it. Some of them are afraid of an animal that is much larger than they are, but eventually, they reach out their hands and run their tiny fingers through its tan coat.

For Equine Assisted Development, that's what it's all about people making connection with horses. For years, they've been using equine therapy to serve people in a number of situations.

"We started working with majorly the inner city youth and with sex trafficking victims. But then throughout the years, everything has switched over and we work with many different varieties of groups," said executive director assistant Mikala Vanderband.

For many people, Equine Assisted Development has been "a place of hope."

"When people feel like they're at the end of their rope, they come here and they get a glimpse of what hope can be. It's a place of peace and rest and a place of happiness," said founder and executive director Deb Vanderband.

On Monday, the organization invited the community to its farm to show their appreciation and to thank people for their support after a May 2021 fire destroyed much of the property. The event was called Unity In Community.

The event included opportunities to get up close with horses and goats and enjoy food and games. It also served as a fundraiser, so the organization can continue its mission. If you weren't able to make it, but would like to help through a donation or as a volunteer, you can do so through the organization's website.


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