GCHS Charity Giving

By Nancy Brannon

The show grounds may be empty, but the Germantown Charity Horse Show (GCHS) continues its charitable giving to Kindred Place. On August 7, 2020 Ross Herrin, GCHS President, presented Jennifer Balink, Executive Director of Kindred Place, a check for $30,000. The tradition of the horse show giving to Kindred Place has been going on for 21 years (since 1999) and the two organizations have developed a “great partnership,” Balink said. “We depend on the GCHS donation every year to provide our counseling services to those families who cannot afford to pay.”

Though the 2020 Germantown Charity Horse Show was postponed until June 8-12, 2021, several generous sponsors decided to allow the GCHS to keep their donations. This year’s total was $16,800, which is only a “drop in the bucket” from regular sponsorships. Still, the sponsorships help.

In addition to the financial donation, it is a tradition for the GCHS Princesses to visit Kindred Place and sometimes, they bring a pony with them. That is a real hit among the clients!

Kindred Place is a counseling and education center for families that was established in the early 1980s by local Exchange Clubs to provide in-home coaching for parents. Kindred Place offers a range of clinical services that support healthy family relationships, trauma resolution, and positive behavior.

Kindred Place has 14 therapists available to provide counseling services to families and their children for a variety of situations. Balink said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people are suffering from problems related to “isolation, depression, anxiety, what to do about school – every kind of family relationship challenge.” They help over 2,000 clients per year, Balink said. Most of their clients are adults and families with children, who range in age from 2-4 years to teenagers and all ages in between.

Balink said that during the pandemic their caseload has been holding steady, but they have had to make some changes to keep folks safe. “Our group programs are not meeting now, but we have substituted more individual counseling.

“Every Saturday we have a co-parenting class for families who are going through a divorce. The class teaches parents how to support their children and still be parents even though they are divorced.”

One of the newest programs offered is the Mindful Makers course. This kid-friendly course consists of four pre-recorded 30-minute videos, each led by one of their mental wellness professionals. The videos begin with a mindfulness exercise and end with a fun hands-on activity, such as making a Family Quilt, a Gratitude Jar, Play-dough sculpture, and a Settle Down Jar. It’s perfect for children in Kindergarten-4th grade.

As with many other businesses during the pandemic, most employees at Kindred Place are working from home. They’re making their best effort to help folks through tele-health and they’re just a phone call away – (901) 276-2200 – because being at home may be a dream for some families, but it can be a nightmare for others.

Find more information about the services that Kindred Place offers at: https://kindred-place.org/

There are still opportunities for you to support the GCHS. Check out the cool 2020 T-shirts with the GCHS logo and “The tradition will continue.” Want to be “stylin’” while wearing a face mask? Get one with the GCHS logo on the side. Order these items by email: GCHSsince1948@gmail.com. Find more about the show at their website: https://gchs.org

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