“Treasure House volunteers help me a lot around the barn doing things that I would normally do all by myself,” said Carol Miller, owner of Miller Barn. “Taking care of the land alone would often take me all day – now I can enjoy my afternoon otherwise because the work is done.”
Glendale, Ariz.-based Miller Barn boards horses, offers riding lessons, and is also home to dozens of chickens, ducks, piglets, donkeys, miniature horses and a few barn cats. Treasure House residents have been volunteering at the barn every Monday, Wednesday and Friday since September 2020.
“Everyone has a regular, assigned task. When we arrive, the residents know their responsibility and get right to it,” said Coley, Treasure House operations director. “As a group, we’ve gotten so efficient at completing the chores that Carol needs help with that our duties here are beginning to expand.”
At Miller Barn, no job is too small. Residents help by brushing horses, cleaning stables and saddles, preparing animal food, sweeping, raking, managing hay, collecting eggs and more.
“They all do such a careful job,” said Carol. “Each person gravitates towards something that they like and I can tell a change in many of the residents. Miracle used to be terrified of the horses and now she asks when she’ll get a chance to ride. Many seem to be more outgoing and talkative, and ask if they can do more.”
At Treasure House, every resident has personal goals towards independence, and our staff facilitates that in part by focusing on community inclusion and finding purpose. The volunteer opportunity at Miller Barn is testament to that, and has offered our differently abled community with a unique set of job skills and life lessons.
“We share gratitude for another – Treasure House is impacting my life and I think the work they’re doing here is impacting theirs,” said Carol. “I feel like I’ve made a lot of really good friends.”