Leave Hoofprints on Some Hearts This Christmas
Fragrant, festive green wreaths wrapped in strings of lights and adorned with radiant red bows gazed at me last week all across Moore County from door fronts, telephone poles and even the backs of a few cars and trucks.
Reminding me that, only days before Christmas, I was still largely stumped on the present front.
Then again, isn’t it almost required for college students to have a natural affinity for procrastination?
Anyway, last week I decided to start at least thinking about Christmas gifts. Not an easy task. No one wants to be that infamous person whose attempts at gifts tend to end up on the floor of a dusty storage closet or in someone’s garage.
Think practical — that’s the name of the game.
While having a three-way phone call with my mom and aunt Monday night, one part of the conversation caught my attention.
“So, Evi, is there anything I can get you for Christmas? Anything you need this year?” asked my mom.
“Or, would you just like me to contribute to your church’s music program? Make a donation in your name, like I did last Christmas?”
“Oh, yes, that would be wonderful,” my aunt replied. “Anything would be so much appreciated. A tiny church like us, we’re always in need.”
Always in need. That really hit home.
Horse people, and the horse community in general, are always in need of something.
A new heavy blanket for a clipped foxhunter, a pair of sleek black gloves for the upcoming show season, some 50-pound bags of senior feed for a trusty old retiree — gifts like these won’t be in any danger of falling out of use. Don’t forget to shop locally, when possible.
And on the non-material front, perhaps give a small donation in a friend’s name to the Carolina Horse Park Foundation or the Walthour-Moss Foundation, both of which serve all comers, from the competitive show rider to one who enjoys casual early-morning hacks on the trails.
On that note, you can’t forget the Moore County Equine Emergency Response Unit, a medical team of area veterinarians and volunteers that provides services locally and around the state; Prancing Horse Therapeutic Riding Center; and Healing Hearts Equine Rescue.
In the spirit of holiday season giving, a touching story came my way last week from Libby Schmittdiel, who runs Healing Hearts, based in Carthage.
An anonymous donor wanted to do something in memory of the children killed in the tragic Newtown, Conn., shooting, and chose to give 20 bags of grain to the rescue, one for each of the 20 children who lost their lives.
Once Moore Equine in Southern Pines got wind of the contribution, they called Schmittdiel and said they would match whatever the donor had given in store credit, allowing her to buy whatever feed and supplies she needed from Moore Equine.
Another call the next day came from a woman also wanting to donate in memory of the children, and she made a financial gift to the rescue’s Moore Equine account.
Christmastime giving has pulled Healing Hearts out of the financial hole they have been stuck in since the summer.
The donations in light of the Connecticut tragedy moved Schmittdiel to tears, and own eyes are watering as I finish writing this column.
It’s as though the children’s memories can live on through the troubled horses and ponies reborn at Healing Hearts and rehabilitated for a new life.
Making a difference in such a beautiful way — I can’t think of any better celebration of the Christmas holiday.
Contact Sarah Brown at email@example.com.
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