Simply stated, volunteers are the engine that keeps things running. We value everyone and their own abilities. Horse knowledge no knowledge, there is always something to do around the facility. Young and Older, doesn’t matter. We will teach you if you want to learn more than you already know but basically, heavy education is not required.
We have many volunteers with all sorts of skill sets and would love to have more. Form retired show experience and handling to mechanical and electrical experience we need volunteers of all kinds horse related and non-horse related.
Volunteering, at its root, is a healthy part of civic and community strength.
What is a volunteer? A volunteer is a person who does some act for another without being under any obligation to do so and without being promised any compensation or remuneration for his/her services. South West Florida Horse Rescue, Inc. (SWFHR) is a volunteer-run organization, and volunteer support is necessary for its success. We could not exist as we do without the tireless giving and tremendous efforts of our equine loving friends.
SWFHR’s Volunteer Program is always in need of well mannered, caring, and responsible people within our community. We do offer credit hours by way community service hours for students, either high school or college, provide proper institution paperwork is provided by that individual.
We have the ability to offer credit hours for workers compensation programs. Compensation organizations must contact us first before any volunteer commitments.
While we have small and large projects to everyday common tasks, no one volunteer is required for any demanded length of time or day. Basically come when you want (within reason… i.e. time of day), leave when you need too. As stated by our dedicated volunteer Gary D. “South West Florida Horse Rescue doesn’t just save horses but they also save people, by providing them a way to give back while enjoying their individual time.”
Normal Volunteer Hours are 8am to Sundown daily. In special circumstances volunteers may start earlier than 8am.
We have a multitude of needs, and we can likely find something for everyone. Click below to view typical volunteer tasks.
If you are not sure where you fit in, we can discuss your capabilities to find out where your skills are best suited.
Volunteers value their experience at our facility. There is a lot of liberty for volunteers to chart there own path. Without ruining our family of cause connected friends, we still must have policy rules that apply to our volunteers. Read the list of Volunteer Rules below.
A note about Volunteer Apparel & Belongings. Due to the nature of general area/habitat and working with horses, for volunteer safety, SWFHR requires that all volunteers wear proper foot protection (no open toed shoe). Jeans are suggested to be worn but not required. SWFHR also suggests gloves, a hat, and sun/safety glasses, when and where appropriate. Additionally, due to the inherent risk associated with horse related activities, SWFHR suggests volunteers have valid health insurance policy before participating in volunteer activities. Volunteers will receive a SWFHR Volunteer t-shirt, when available, and the t-shirt should be worn (but not required) while participating at SWFHR Facility but at any SWFHR event some representing shirt must be worn.
Understand SWFHR is not liable for missing or damaged belongings brought to the facility. If an item is of value, please secure it in your vehicle. We have an open to all refrigerator inside the volunteer room that has beverages available to the volunteers. If you’ve brought something for yourself, please label it.
The first step to becoming a volunteer is to fill out a Volunteer Packet. Inside the packet are (2) forms. A Volunteer Information Sheet and a Release of Liability Form.
The Volunteer Information Sheet will give us all the pertinent information we need to get things started.
The Release of Liability Form is standard policy for all individuals that enter the facility. This form is annually updated and required to be signed on the date of update. The signature portions for your Release of Liability Form is to be signed on your orientation date.
You may email us your completed packet or bring it in person on our orientation days.
Wednesday 11 am – 3 pm
Saturday 11 am – 3 pm
Sunday 11 am – 3 pm
We would appreciate a notification either via phone or email of what day you intend to be out for orientation. When you do make it out for your orientation. Please come through the main gates and close them behind you. Drive down the road way to the “Feed Barn” where you will see the other vehicles parked. Depending on which manager you’ve talked with, one of them will be around to explain things to you. You may start volunteering on your orientation day if you so choose. We get very muddy and wet so proper attire is highly requested for orientation.
Mid day summer can be brutal and most volunteers are not at the facility during this time. Mornings and Evenings are more active times. All volunteers MUST sign in when arriving on one of the 2 Volunteer Hour Logs before doing anything. We like to team new volunteers up with senior volunteers for at least a few visits in order to assure safety and general knowledge of daily activities. Once confirmed you understand things you are released to independently doing tasks.
Before you leave for the day we need all volunteers to clean all tools, brushes, rakes, buckets, etc. that were use and put them a way where they belong. Also volunteers Must sign out of the volunteer hour log.
Credit/Service hours earned by volunteers can help, especially in school environments, for graduation. For your help through volunteering to a local charitable organization such as SWFHR, we can in turn help with your credit hours. The most critical part to all of this is your Volunteer hour log times. Initially you should notify the volunteer manger of your intentions/ needs for credit hours. Your creditor/ institution (school) should have a form or process to accept credit hours. No one institution is the same as the next… they are all different. You need to be clear with us about the process or provide us the forms so we may properly track your hours. It is advisable that you track your own hours to avoid discrepancies.
We will create a special file for each credit hour volunteers. In that file is our in house Service Hours Form for official documentation. You will be presented a copy of this form initially for keeping track of your hours on your own. Should you need another SWFHR Service Hours Form you can ask the Volunteer Manger for one or pull one from the information box in the Volunteer Room. Overall your official hours are tracked through the volunteer hours log which all volunteers must sign when at the facility.
For hours earned by things done away from the facility, such as running a bake sale, you must first be authorize to do so by the volunteer/staff manager. The process for volunteer hours logged in this case, will be similar to the facility with one exception. You must note what was done on each day pre and post project included.