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From Volunteers to Family

By Katie Hickman, Instructor Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator, Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrian Program

Alyson Linn smiles to camera. Next to her is a horse grazing in the grass. At Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrian Program (MGH), we call ourselves the “MGH Family.” And that family is filled with people from all over the region who come together with a shared love for the program, our students and each other.

Amber Linn became interested in volunteering at MGH while attending a Homeschool Kickoff. After completing her new volunteer orientation, she jumped right in to make a difference!

“No job was too big or too small. She happily did every task we asked of her. Everything from cleaning stalls and bathing horses to leading and side walking horses in classes,” said Katie Hickman, Instructor Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator, MGH. “We joke that I would come up to her with the most off-the-wall jobs just trying to get Amber to say, ‘No ma’am, I don’t want to do that.’ But she never did. She always said, ‘Yes ma’am,’ with a smile and went off to do whatever had been asked of her.”

Amber loved volunteering with MGH so much that she eventually started bringing her sisters, mom and dad along for the adventure too! Now, the entire Linn family is part of the MGH Family. Alyson, Amber, Aimee, Danielle and Richard have become integral to the work and are a joy to have at the arena. “If you need help, they are right there waiting to jump in,” continued Katie. “When we needed help with our Riders Club practices, they started coming an extra day each week. After bonding with the kids, they became part of our Special Olympics delegation, traveling with us to Troy, Alabama, for the Alabama Special Olympics competition in May 2023.”

After Alyson left for college earlier this year, Amber, Aimee, Danielle and Richard continued to play a large role during summer camp. Richard dressed up as Genie from Disney’s Aladdin to give campers a magical experience while they trotted through the “desert” in search of Aladdin’s treasure. Amber, Aimee, and Danielle worked as horse leaders, side walkers and photographers!

“When this wonderful family first joined our MGH Family, we didn’t know what a blessing they would be to us,” said Hickman. “We are so thankful for the Linns. We love and appreciate all that they do!”