Contributions to Helping Others

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Here at LexLin Gypsy Ranch and in our personal lives we feel that helping others in many ways is extremely important in life.  We strive to help out those in need in ways that enable them to improve their lives, help out others who are devoted to helping improving others lives and seek out programs to become involved in that improve quality of life and land for future generations around the world.

Gypsy Gift Program

Each year we donate LexLin Gypsy Horses to organizations and individuals who demonstrate either a willingness to help others in need, have served our country sacrificially and will continue to do so. Timone – Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) LexLin Gypsy Ranch presented Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, STAR with Timone, a Gypsy Vanner Gelding on October 9, 2010. Timone was introduced to the program during the summer and is currently training to become a therapeutic riding horse. Timone is adapting well to his new environment as STAR anticipates he will be a great asset to the program. As stated by Eric Barton, “Gypsy Horses are in their element when working with people who need an understanding and calm but capable horse that thinks through situations before responding rather than reacting too quickly to unexpected events.” “Timone is our first exposure to this breed and we are very impressed by his quiet, friendly demeanor. We are excited to have him as part of our team,” claims Lynn Petr, Executive Director of STAR. Petr adds, “He will especially be good for adult and heavier riders who require lots of assistance as he is not too tall, yet very strong. This combination allows our side walkers to reach the rider with ease. Timone will be perfect for our Horses for Heroes program which is designed to assist disabled Veterans.”  Visit our blog for more updates on Timone and STAR. Old. No. 7 – TLC Riding Academy It was a hot, sunny Saturday when we arrived at in Humboldt, TN on July 23, 2011 but that didn’t keep all of friends, family and community away! We were greeted with a fantastic reception as we drove with people clapping and waving anxiously awaiting Old No. 7’s arrival. There was a TV setup with a video on TLC and its mission, a great scrap book of some of their students and more information on AGHAF and LexLin Gypsy Ranch.  TLC Riding Academy was founded in 2006, as a therapeutic horseback riding program for persons with disabilities.  Horses are used at TLC to assist with activities that help individuals with physical and emotional challenges.  They assist all ages of people from young children to adults in their 80’s. There is a small per hour charge fee for lessons/activities but no one is turned away for their inability to pay! There is no doubt that Cheryl and Tom who own and run the academy do it out of a great love for people and horses. We look forward to updates from TLC on how Old No. 7 is fitting with all their other horses. You can read more about TLC on their website,www.tlcridingacademyinc.org. Visit our blog for more updates on Old No. 7. LexLin Gives Back – Honoring Our Heroes Annual Program Each year we dedicate one of our Gypsy Vanner geldings to helping raise awareness of the many heroes out there in everyday life. Whether they are serving overseas, or here in the states these men, women and organizations are putting others freedom, safety and needs ahead of their own. We initiated this program in 2011 with honoring Veterans that had served or were currently serving our nation over in Afgahnistan and Iraq. Chris Kelly of Texas was our first hero to be selected by LexLin clients, friends and facebook fans and approved by LexLin as the winner of LexLin’s Braveheart, a lovely 2010 Gypsy Vanner gelding. Chris’s local community was actively involved in featuring him on a radio talk show. Chris generously thanked everyone for their support by hosting a large welcoming BBQ  upon Braveheart’s arrival. The following year we chose to honor Firefighters within the US based on feedback provided by our facebook fans.  Jason Warrenfeltz was the top hero in our web based contest. He won the hearts of many fans and friends to become the owner of LexLin’s Swade, another 2010 Gypsy Vanner gelding. In 2013, we chose to let LexLin fans select the category of heroes and the Gypsy Horse who would be given. Injured veterans and organizations who support those veterans won the selection poll by a landslide. Stormy of LexLin, a 2010 black and white tobiano Gypsy Vanner gelding won the hearts of many and was selected as the 2013 Honoring our Heroes Horse. With 29 applicants, of which about 50/50 were individuals/organizations two applicants rapidly rose to the forefront of the voting phase. One was an outstanding individual who’s support was well organized by a family member and the other was the Equest Hooves for Heroes program in Texas. Equest provides North Texas veterans and their families with equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) through this program. Stormy is in training to be the first horse dedicated to assisting Veterans in need. We’re excited for what’s ahead for our LexLin Gives Back – Honoring our Heroes program in 2014! Visit our Honoring our Heroes section for more information on the heroes and information coming soon regarding 2014. Gypsy Vanner Gelding Partnership Program We’re excited to launch a new program to partner with individuals would be willing to raise and train a Gypsy gelding in preparation to donate them to Equine Assisted Therapy programs.Watch for details to come soon!

Smoky Mountain Service Dog Fundraiser

LexLin Gypsy Ranch and Vanquish Worldwide have teamed up to raise money to train and place 2 service dogs for disabled veterans through Smoky Mountain Service Dogs. Being a disabled veteran can present what often seems like insurmountable challenges. In January of this year NBC News reports that for the first 11 months of 2012, 177 active duty military personnel took their own lives. That is more than the 176 combat related fatalities. Army suicides have increased 54% since 2007 when 115 took their own lives. In Tennessee alone there are 495,000 vets with approximately 13,000 of them being 70% or more disabled. Though the needs are overwhelming, there is something you can do to help. Join us through your donations and by spreading the word about this fundraiser. Smoky Mountain Service Dogs is dedicated to serving veterans with physical and psychological disabilities. They are a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization providing tested/approved mobility assistance service dogs to disabled Veterans at no cost to the Veterans. Additional info about Smoky Mountain Service Dogs can be found at www.smokymountainservicedogs.org and on our Facebook page. Donations will be accepted through Sept 28, 2013. Each dollar donated will be doubled by our sister company, Vanquish Worldwide to meet our goal of raising $25,000 to cover placement sponsorships for two service dogs. Visit http://www.razoo.com/story/Lexlin-Vanquish-Fundraiser-For-Heroes to make a donation today.

Construction of Schools

We hold education as a vital component to the success and wellbeing of many around the world and promote it via a variety of facets. We recently donated $175,000 in materials and labor to the construction of schools in both the Congo and Pakistan.

Faith

Our faith and active participation with others in community led us to donate $70,000 to religious and faith based organizations in Blount County, TN in 2012.

Farm and Ranch Land Conservation Programs

Since 2012 we have been actively involved in farm and ranch land conservation through North American Land Trust which is an organization dedicated to the purpose of providing long-term stewardship of our natural heritage. We invested $2.9 million in 2012 to conserve farm and ranch land that we own here in Tennessee to help ensure that land is conserved for active farm and agricultural production. You may ask why we are involved? Urban sprawl across the country takes over two acres of productive agricultural land every minute. Land is a vital link in this nations food and fiber chain as it helps support wildlife habitat, clean air and water, local food supplies and open space. Farming and ranching is a way of life that supports qualities which are highly valued by society and go beyond the scenic vistas and rugged landscapes. Properly managed agricultural operations protect critical habitat for game, fish, and other wildlife; agricultural soils, watersheds and scenic and recreational recourses. These farm and ranch lands sustain families with close ties to the land and rural community way of life. Land trusts help by addressing specific regional needs with varied land resources by implementing easement programs that create new and divers strategies to protect farm and ranch land. The land trust community has protected 37+ million acres which is an area greater than the mid-west farm belt which supplies most of the food in our country. Visit http://www.northamericanlandtrust.org for more information on farm and ranch land conservation.

Supporting Orphans, Disabled and the Homeless in Blount County

In 2010 -2011 we donated $170,000 to directly support orphans, disabled children and the homeless in Blount County.

Americans for African Adoptions

Americans for African Adoptions was founded in 1986 and is a US licensed adoption agency and non-profit organization. Eric and his wife Mechelle adopted 2 children from Ethiopia via this organization and continue to donate funds to support their various orphanages in Africa. To date Eric has committed $65,900 to AFAA, and he is also on the board of directors for the organization. www.africanadoptions.org
  1. $9,800 continuing education for 4 people
  2. $24k commitment from 2008-2011 to provide full time services
  3. $4,600 for accounting services
  4. $4k relocating rock quarry workers
  5. $500 monthly salaries for orphanage workers
  6. $5k for 6 months of rent for Ugandan orphanage called “Oasis”
  7. $18k in travel expenses

Some Additional Contributions Made Over the Years

Training for African women in the marketplace Donation to Mike Ross organization for Christian based training for Baptist Mission to Angola, Congo Support to Ethiopia Liberia Sierra Leone organizations that support families to adopt children. Assisted and funded the removal of 100 plus children and 44 women from extremely dangerous working conditions in an African rock quarry. The women and children are now able to live on their own land, supporting themselves through agriculture. Donated $10,900 to the American Angel Gypsy Horse Foundation. This program donates Gypsy horses to organizations that help children with disabilities that use equine therapy.  www.aghba.org Christmas 2011 – Eric’s five children donated $1,000 to the Blount County homeless shelter.