Shining a Light on Volunteering: Equine Therapy and the Boy Scouts of America

Celebrating our volunteers this National Volunteer Month


By day, our employees are focused on powering Texas and serving our customers. Away from work, they are dedicated members of our communities and generous neighbors. In honor of National Volunteer Month, we’re shining a light on employees who are improving the lives of people in our communities.

 

For 10 years, Luminant’s Jackie Robinson has been helping visually impaired children gain confidence through equine therapy.

  1. Jackie RobinsonWhat organization do you volunteer with? I take my horses and share them with visually impaired children at various summer camps. I also volunteer with the Handicapped Equestrian Learning Program, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
  2. How did you become involved? One summer, I had some extra time and knew I wanted to do some volunteering, but I didn’t know exactly what. I thought to myself, ‘What am I good at and what do I have to give?’ That’s when I started looking for an equine assisted therapy program that needed volunteers.
  3. What drives you to this cause? I knew I had the right horse to help out these kids. My mare, Dot, is missing her right eye. As soon as these visually impaired kids found that out, they couldn’t wait to interact with her! It’s like they had an instant bond and could really relate to her. They just light up when they get to ride her, and their confidence and self-esteem just soar. Many of the kids come back to camp each summer, and they are waiting in line for Dot. The parents tell us the kids look forward to summer camp all year so they can ride the horses, especially the blind one!

 

When Ed Cooley’s son was in second grade, he wanted to join the Cub Scouts. Ed agreed to the idea and took him to his first meeting. Seventeen years later, Ed is still involved with the Scouts and is a troop leader in his region.

  1. Ed CooleyWhat organization do you volunteer with? I’m an assistance Scout master and Circle 10 Council chapter adviser. I work with our local Boy Scout troop and I do things at the district level (Garland and Sachse). We meet once a week and do monthly campouts. I also do training for youth and adult leaders and am a chapter adviser for the local order, which is the national scouting camping, honors and service society.
  2. How did you become involved? I found Scouts through my children, who kind of dragged me into it. Then when I got there I realized this is what I like doing. When my son was in second grade, I began volunteering as an assistant den leader. I then became the den leader about three months into it. I’ve been involved with the Scouts ever since.
  3. What drives you to this cause? The thing that keeps bringing me back are the people I get to work with. My closest friends are the adult leaders I’ve met working with them and their children. There’s a phrase that it takes a village to raise a child, and in scouting, there really is a family, a village. Middle school and high school is a really formative age for young men. I think that Boy Scouts gives them a chance to learn how to become a leader for themselves and for their community. They can work at their own pace and try new things without fear of failure. In fact, we want them to fail sometimes, because if they’re not failing, they’re not stretching their minds and abilities. For me, it’s fun to see them grow from sixth graders into Eagle Scouts.

 

“Volunteering is more than giving back; it’s working with people that share a common goal, a vision for what our community can be.” – Ed Colley, IT senior manager at TXU Energy

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