By Dan Roark

There is always something to do. But particularly so for nonprofits, especially when that nonprofit includes a herd of horses (and a mule) and various other animals. Depending on volunteers (who are very much appreciated) means there will be times when there are – for whatever reason – no volunteers available. The staff is stretched thin, to say the least.

Then there are those times when hours of work with good intentions lead to simple frustration. Times that make you go “what the…hey?”

Sharla spent the better part of a week, in addition to leading lessons and numerous other tasks, cleaning out the gutter in the picture. I call it a gutter for lack of a better term. You’ll see why I say that in a minute. She was under the impression that by clearing it out she would help the water flow – in an ongoing attempt on several fronts to keep the barn from flooding every time there is a heavy rain. You see the big drainage tube at the top of the picture. Which would certainly lead one to believe the water draining from the roof would have someplace to go.

As it turns out, it just runs into dirt – solid dirt. Was the plan to hope the dirt would simply absorb the water? That would depend on the water coming through the tube no faster than a serious trickle. Whoever had the land before Dave and Sharla Kershen acquired it in 2012, built the barn at the bottom of the hill. So to think that the water would be absorbed by hard packed dirt – which would be soaked itself at that point – is delusional. If that was not the intent, what the heck was it?

But wait, there’s more! Here is a picture of the other “end?!” of the gutter (see why I’m not sure about it being called a gutter?). A gutter achieves a purpose. Whatever this is does not. And the grates that were over the gutter kept almost nothing out. Which means when there was a heavy rain, the water would overflow, leading right into – you guessed it – the barn. Rendering it useless on a number of levels.

Fortunately for New Hope as a whole, but unfortunately for Sharla, all it cost was Sharla’s time. No outgoing expenditure was involved. But that is not always the case. Such as the recent examples of the extended period of rain delaying the harvesting of hay, and the illnesses of Olivia and Libby.

If you would like to volunteer, please click on the New Hope website’s Volunteer tab. There is a variety of tasks that need to be done so we certainly have something that could be “up your alley,” so to speak.

And, as always, any donations large or small are appreciated. As involved as we are, even we don’t know what’s coming next.


Ride on and ride for hope.

Donate to New Hope.

Venmo – @NewHopeEquineAssistedTherapy

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *