Horses & Heroes Inc.
11944 W. 95th Street #153
6715 Mize Road Shawnee KS 66226
Lenexa KS 66215
Silent Communications
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 210-5678
Mission Statement

Horses & Heroes is dedicated to providing the dynamic healing benefits of equine therapy to veterans, first-responders and anyone affected by stress or trauma.Treating trauma is complicated.Our clients, the military and first-responders, are highly-trained individuals who are ready to take action in life or death situations. This makes treating them especially challenging. These heroes experience situations you and I cannot imagine. If left untreated, these experiences can manifest into dangerous side effects:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Unemployment
  • Abusive relationships
  • Divorce
  • Addictions to drugs and alcohol
  • Suicide

According to a 2010 Census, roughly 30,000 veterans call the Kansas City area home. While an astonishing 1 in 3 are affected by trauma, 40% will never seek help. Those who do can expect to wait up to 279 days to receive help from the VA. In the meantime, 22 veterans commit suicide each day!

Studies have indicated that the populations at the highest risk of suicide are the newly separated from the military and those retiring. These individuals who were taught to be tough and resourceful are now finding themselves feeling lost and alone. Asking for help may feel like weakness and failure.

This is why Horses & Heroes offers programs that are designed with these clients in mind:

  • Promotes action and being engaged in their own healing process
  • Incorporates problem solving skills
  • Breaks free of the negative stigma of talk-therapy
  • Offers serenity and benefits of being outdoors
  • Provides immediate feedback for faster breakthroughs
  • Fosters a safe and non-judgmental environment for learning

Our mission is a mission of hope and healing. Our goal is to obtain abundant support so that our services can be offered at no cost to clients. We stepped up to "the call" to create an alternative plan for those who are afflicted by the side effects of trauma and chronic stress. Now we need your support to ensure it continues to reach those who need help.

Our motto, " Dare to reach your hand into the darkness to bring another hand into the light"- Norman B. rice
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Julie L Baker
Board Chair Ms. Julie Baker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Keller Williams Realty
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2014
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement

Horses & Heroes is dedicated to providing the dynamic healing benefits of equine therapy to veterans, first-responders and anyone affected by stress or trauma.Treating trauma is complicated.Our clients, the military and first-responders, are highly-trained individuals who are ready to take action in life or death situations. This makes treating them especially challenging. These heroes experience situations you and I cannot imagine. If left untreated, these experiences can manifest into dangerous side effects:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Unemployment
  • Abusive relationships
  • Divorce
  • Addictions to drugs and alcohol
  • Suicide

According to a 2010 Census, roughly 30,000 veterans call the Kansas City area home. While an astonishing 1 in 3 are affected by trauma, 40% will never seek help. Those who do can expect to wait up to 279 days to receive help from the VA. In the meantime, 22 veterans commit suicide each day!

Studies have indicated that the populations at the highest risk of suicide are the newly separated from the military and those retiring. These individuals who were taught to be tough and resourceful are now finding themselves feeling lost and alone. Asking for help may feel like weakness and failure.

This is why Horses & Heroes offers programs that are designed with these clients in mind:

  • Promotes action and being engaged in their own healing process
  • Incorporates problem solving skills
  • Breaks free of the negative stigma of talk-therapy
  • Offers serenity and benefits of being outdoors
  • Provides immediate feedback for faster breakthroughs
  • Fosters a safe and non-judgmental environment for learning

Our mission is a mission of hope and healing. Our goal is to obtain abundant support so that our services can be offered at no cost to clients. We stepped up to "the call" to create an alternative plan for those who are afflicted by the side effects of trauma and chronic stress. Now we need your support to ensure it continues to reach those who need help.

Our motto, " Dare to reach your hand into the darkness to bring another hand into the light"- Norman B. rice
Background Statement

Our family has strong military heritage dating back to World War I. Each generation since has served in the United States Marine Corps, Navy, or Army. We are not overtly patriotic, however, we do uphold the notion of serving God, our country, and our families.

As a former military wife and mother of two veterans, I know the reality of living on base. Frequent moves across country and starting over with each new duty station was challenging, but the sense of camaraderie brought us comfort. When we moved off base for recruiting duty, I recall feeling out-of-place, isolated, and alone.

Another part of our back history- I also have experience with rescuing horses. Some were beaten and afraid, others neglected to near-death, one, the victim of an accident that left him "disabled." I noticed that each of these horses required unique care, patience, time, and lots of unconditional love. They eventually regained their trust in others, and recovered emotionally and physically. These experiences, with the horses, seemed to be isolated until I was exposed to the effects of trauma within the military culture.

One event in particular left me feeling like I must do something. I was unable to sit and watch while others around me were in crisis. For months, I thought about ways I could possibly make a difference. On October 13, 2014, the date of the birth of my first-born and the anniversary of the suicide of a loved-one, I experienced a powerful, undeniable and unrelenting "nudging" to explore the concept that the horses are part of the answer. I logged onto my computer to research “equine therapy”. I was elated to discover the Equine Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). This established program trains and certifies professionals to incorporate equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) into mental health programs worldwide. When I saw that they have a program specifically for the military, I instantly knew this was the means to help others in crisis. Horses & Heroes was breathed into existence that very day. During the months that followed, our team made a plan, identified our goals, attracted volunteers, and conducted their training. In September 2015, we held our first fundraising event that yielded $1,000.00. In November 2015, we instituted our in-house therapy program using our mini-therapy horse. Our first year proved to be fruitful as we networked, educated, developed and prepared for the challenges of launching a new program scheduled to begin sessions in spring of 2016.

Impact Statement

2016 Accomplishments:

1.  Educate our community about the benefits of equine therapy

CHECK! We are receiving numerous inquiries and interest as the result of our time spent networking and educating. Now we are hearing, "I have heard of you guys" more and more

2. Extend our goal to include more than 40 served

CHECK! Our services directly touched 110 people through our mini-horse program and 29 attendees through the EAL program

3. Complete our research to quantify benefits of equine therapy

PENDING Grant application was completed; grant not approved but requested to resubmit with clarifications; New due date is March 22 2017

4. Produce documentary video

CHECK! Participated in filming, A Journey Back to Normal, documentary about alternative therapies available to those affected by stress or trauma. Pending completion and release in 2017

5. Locate and move to a private facility to offer sessions

CHECK! This was, by far, the most amazing story about how we were able to move to a private farm last Sep and we now have the ability to offer additional programs and private sessions

As you can see, we have accomplished quite a bit in 365 days!

The next 365 days will prove to be even more fruitful as we focus on:

1. Gaining contracts with 2 mental health agency providers across the metro area to provide consistent mental health services for their clients.

2. Securing 5 major corporate sponsors. Let us know if you work for a company that is possibly interested!

3. Building Mini-Horse Program to include MINI's of VALOR

This program is specifically designed to enhance community relationships. Using the irresistibly cute minis we will foster conversations within the community along side our police officers. Let us know what connections you have here!

4. Build volunteer base to include local high school and college students who will work to complete required community hours. Know someone who may fit this description?

5. Serve 40 veterans or first responders, 40 kids and spouses affected by stress or trauma, and 40 elderly or homeless patients

6. Appoint new members for our Board of Directors. Interested?

Thank you for your continued interest and support! Please feel free to reach out to us if you have interest, ideas or questions about our equine assisted therapy programs.

Needs Statement
  1. Identify and place new Board of Directors- Seeking Legal, NonProfit Specialist, Accounting, Retired Military and General business experience 
  2. Secure $52,000 in additional funds to hire full-time Development Director/Non Profit Specialist
  3. Raise additional $72,000 to offer 40 clients our 12-week program at no cost 
  4. Raise $8500 to produce promotional video for educating community about program offerings. Includes finding the funding for this project.
  5. Purchase newer pickup truck & 4-horse trailer ($36,000)
Service Categories
Mental Health Treatment
Counseling
Animal Services NEC
Areas of Service
KS
MO
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Julie Baker(CEO)-The fruition of this program was the result of witnessing the “I’ve got your back” reality regarding the threat of suicide. This format does not allow for the entire story to be told, but the short and quick version is, one Marine is alive today and did not become 1 of the 22 per statistic because of the selfless act of another fellow Marine. My history of rescuing horses inspired the idea of bringing the emotionally-injured horses together with the emotionally-injured people, for mutual healing. I Googled equine therapy and discovered EAGALA, the entity that trains and certifies those to conduct equine therapy. Immediately I went to work to create Horses & Heroes Inc. Our challenges are many! Educating our community, figuring out how to fundraise, installing key people, creating a plan and vision for our future. To address these challenges, we network at every event possible. We seek advice and counsel from those who have successfully raised money, we actively seek key people, we identified that research will add validity to our vision.
 
Janis Elder (volunteer) - "I became interested in Equine Guided Therapy a couple years ago, as I listened to my niece tell of her experiences in working in the industry as an Equine Specialist. I read articles, success stories and poured over websites and personal success individuals have had with this type of therapy. I called professionals all over the country that had been practicing Equine Guided Therapy for years. Through my continued search I found Julie with Horses & Heroes. As we talked about Equine Guided Therapy it became apparent the "Fire" that was in me was being stirred should not be quenched, or ignored; rather it should be embraced. I have a background in horses and Health & Wellness. I have used my Wellness Certification to coach individuals, and groups alike for a better, healthier lifestyle helping them to discover their Best Self, as I call it. It is a great match for me, to watch an individual have self discovery and "AH HA" moments is a true joy to experience. While the horses are just doing what horses do best; being sensitive and intuitive while being themselves. They seem to know their job, no certification needed for them."
 
Elaine(volunteer) - "I feel that my skills will allow me to help the organization provide a valuable service to Veterans in need. I consider helping in this way to be a way to pay back and show appreciation for all the Veterans have done for me and my country!"
Programs
Description
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) - Our program is certified through the Equine Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), which is the gold standard in which all programs are measured. The program is a 12-week, ground-based, team-approach mental health program which uses horses. The team consists of a licensed mental health practitioner, an equine specialist and therapy horses. The horses stand in as powerful metaphors. They are keen to sense what the client might be dealing with and their highly-responsive nature provides the client a hands-on experiential therapy experience unlike traditional cognitive therapy.
Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Animal-Assisted Therapy
Population Served Veterans, ,
Short-Term Success
There are numerous anecdotal studies to measure if equine assisted psychotherapy is effective. These studies measure “how does one feel” after the session. Our program is waiting to be approved for a research grant that may be the very first to verify, on the physiological level, that EAP works and why. Clients report lower stress levels, feeling more at peace, and often times experience breakthroughs while interacting with the horses.
Long-Term Success
Our vision is to provide an opportunity for healing and peace to those affected by trauma, stress or anxiety.
 
Specifically for veterans or those with PTSD, our goal is to be a part of the solution to reduce the number of suicides.
Program Success Monitored By
We anticipate providing data to show lower stress responses, measured through heart variance monitors, improved immune function and reduced stress hormone; measured through saliva testing.
 
These findings may explain the expressed “I feel better,” the improved mental outlook, improved problem-solving skills and general overall satisfaction.
Examples of Program Success
EAGALA Model EAP is grounded in established researched theories of psychotherapy including Gestalt Psychotherapy. Solution-Focused Psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy and Experiential Psychotherapy.
 
Clinical practice has led to academic interest where numerous studies have explored the effectiveness of EAP. Despite methodology weaknesses the findings of studies are remarkably consistent supporting effectiveness of EAP with a variety of clients. Two studies to date, have randomized control groups. EAP was found to be equally or more effective than established interventions in both of these studies:
  • A Comparative study of the Efficacy of Group Equine Assisted Counseling with AT-rick Children and Adolescents. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, Vol 3(3). 254-284
  • Russell-Martin, LA (2006) Equine Facilitated Couples Therapy and Solution Focused Couples Therapy; A Comparative Study. Doctorate of Philosphy, Northcentral University
Description Our equine assisted facilitated learning program is typically used to promote improved communication styles, learn about ourselves, foster better problem solving skills and even used in group dynamics. These sessions create challenges for the participants encouraging creative thinking and solution based results.
Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Animal-Assisted Therapy
Population Served Veterans, ,
Short-Term Success By challenging old behavior and thought patterns, our EAL programming is designed to improve relationships between couples, families and work groups.
Long-Term Success
EAL increases self-awareness, identifies possible thinking and behavioral patterns causing stress or anxiety. Similar to the boy who throws stranded starfish back to the sea, our program is intended to strengthen communities through stronger and healthier individuals.
Program Success Monitored By Testimonials and feedback from EAL sessions will be our measurement of effectiveness. Because our EAL sessions will dominantly be for couples undergoing counseling, small groups from management groups and groups of veterans coming in from PTSD treatment center, we will also be able to collect feedback from unbiased third parties sources.
Examples of Program Success
Our programming starts spring of 2016, therefore we draw from statistics of verified results to support effectiveness of EAL programming.
 
“For someone in the military like me, it is hard to swallow my pride and ask for help. This was a safe environment to open up in. Sometimes the horses talked for me and helped show me the path to save my marriage.” – Name not revealed for privacy
 
“Working with the EAGALA model program was a profoundly moving experience for me. I gained insight and wisdom that I did not think was possible. Any service member who has an opportunity should try it.”
– Luke Leonard, OIF Veteran
CEO Comments
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy has been incorporated into mental health models of therapy for approximately 15 years. Still there is limited common knowledge about equine therapy, and its effectiveness.  In addition to finding and helping clients, this program strives to educate people about the benefits and uniqueness of equine therapy.
 
Often times, the veteran demographic is a difficult one to reach in terms of therapy. These are men and women who have been taught to survive hardships and not dwell on personal needs, and therefor are not always receptive to receiving care. Just convincing a veteran to get help can sometimes be a daunting task. That is why it is important to have board and staff members who are intimately familiar with the military experience and culture; it is the only way our veterans will trust us. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Julie L Baker
Term Start Oct 2014
Experience
Julie Baker
  • Graduate of Mid America Nazarene University with a degree in business management
  • Owner and operator for-profit corporation since 2005
  • Passionate about bringing her experience with horses together with helping those who are affected by trauma, and chronic stress
  • She is a Certified Equine Specialist certified through the Equine Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA)
  • Currently working towards the advanced certification as well as the military designation
Her business management experience includes:
  • Managing veterinary hospitals
  • Owner and operator of a Personal training franchise
  • Fitness Manager of the personal training department for a large fitness club chain
Awards and Achievements:
  • Voted "most inspirational"
  • President's Club recipient two consecutive years in global-sales
  • Leadership academy graduate
  • Grant recipient for professional accomplishments and leadership roles 
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Part-Time Staff 0
Volunteers 10
Paid Contractors 1
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
KCAUSA, Army One Source, FOCUS Marine Foundation, War Horses for Veterans, EAGALA, Camp Valor Outdoors
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association2015
Arabian Horse Association2007
Catholic Charities USA1999
TechSoup2015
Great Nonprofits2016
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments
The challenges we face as a new non profit include:
  • Educating community about our programs
  • Receiving regular donations to offset costs associated with programming
  • Developing board to include contributing members
  • Identifying future challenges and planning accordingly
  • Create dynamic marketing strategy to include promotional video, testimonials and supportive quantitative research 
Actions taken or proposed actions to address challenges:
  • Network within the community to educate and promote our  program
  • Communicate and network with potential donors to seek regular individual and corporate support 
  • Seek guidance from mentors and consultants to create effective board of directors, committees and managers
  • Create business plan with specific goals and timelines
  • Connect with clients who are ready and able to share their stories via video, photographs and text for dynamic testimonials 
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Julie Baker
Company Affiliation Keller Williams Realty
Term Oct 2014 to Dec 2017
Email jbaker@horsesandheroes.org
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Robert Baker American Airlines
Ms. Julie Baker Keller Williams Realty
Ms. Shannon Danley Student
Ms. Nicole LaVine Director of Marketing, Excel
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 30%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 1
CEO Comments
Since we are a new organization with limited knowledge and understanding of how to:
  • Launch
  • Develop
  • Grow a successful non profit
We have hired a private consultant to help us:
  • Identify
  • Plan
  • Navigate
  • Execute our plan for optimal success
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $30,000
Projected Expenses $26,000
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015: Financial data reported using the agency's internal financials.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$9,926----
Administration Expense$2,933----
Fundraising Expense$792----
Payments to Affiliates$0----
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.56----
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue10%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$0----
Current Assets$0----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$0----
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose Cover Arena
Goal $25,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments
990 N postcard filings for 2014,2015, 2016. No PDF form to attach.
As our organizations  develops and grows, we will require advanced methods of accounting and reporting. For now, it is all done in-house via spreadsheets
Organization Name Horses & Heroes Inc.
Address 11944 W. 95th Street #153
6715 Mize Road Shawnee KS 66226
Lenexa, KS 66215
Primary Phone (913) 210-5678
Contact Email info@horsesandheroes.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Julie L Baker
Board Chair Ms. Julie Baker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Keller Williams Realty
Year of Incorporation 2014