Volunteer Experience: Katie Bello

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It’s a beautiful morning out here at Storybook Farm, and I can’t help but take a few extra minutes to admire our horses. As I am scanning the pastures, my gaze leads me to Gulliver’s Travels, who immediately makes me think of John. Gulliver has been John’s trusty steed for years now, and John has been a part of my Storybook experience from the beginning.

John came into my life the very first day that I taught sessions. If there was anything that was going to calm my nerves down, it was John’s humor. I remember standing there greeting the families, when I noticed that my clip board was missing. I looked down the barn to find John toting it around, checking off every horse to be sure everyone was accounted for. I knew at that moment that John had everything in control and I need not worry! From that day on, Tuesdays became my favorite day. It was on Tuesdays that I could mount John onto Gulliver and enjoy an hour of his spirit and laughter. It was also on Tuesdays when I could hang out with John’s younger brother, Liam, and get to know his remarkable character as well. As I watch this sunrise bring about a new day, I am taken back by the amount of joy these two boys have brought me. They have made me laugh and do more silly things than I ever thought possible. These two brothers will always be a part of my family, am I am forever grateful for that very first Tuesday when it all began.

The wonderful thing about this ministry is that my story is a common one. So many of these children, horses, and volunteers have formed their own families and will continue to stay connected wherever their lives shall lead. This newness of this morning, the stillness of these horses, and the beauty of these pastures has left me feeling overcome with joy, forever thankful for Storybook Farm.

Watch a short clip of My Storybook Farm experience!

-Katie Bello

Auburn University, Sr.

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