Nellie was donated to HOPE Ranch this summer. She is a beautiful 16-year-old Welsh Pony who adds a lot of color to the HOPE Ranch herd! She was donated by Tom and Mary Graff of Austin, MN in early summer. Mary was the main horse person in the family. She has MS and it progressed to the point where she was unable to do things with the horses anymore. Nellie’s two pasture mates died of old age, and she was alone at their farm. As horses are herd animals, being an only horse was hard on Nellie. Tom began having some health issues, and it became difficult for him to care for Nellie. She needed a home where she would have horse companions, a job to do, and people to care for her. They did some research and reached out to HOPE Ranch. (We receive an average of one offer of a horse donation each month. Most we don’t go look at because we don’t have the resources to care for them, especially as most have significant health issues.) Nellie was different. She is healthy overall, an age to be energetic, fun, and calm enough to be a safe and effective part of the therapy herd, and she loves to be with people. She is very well-trained and has quickly become a favorite of clients and staff.
Our beloved Scooter, the oldest horse in the HOPE Ranch herd, passed away at age 34 this fall. He nuzzled his pasture mates goodbye, then walked out to pasture and lay down next to D’Angela’s grave. HOPE Ranch staff and neighbors were with him as he passed. Scooter was a retired Paso Fino show horse with a huge heart, a ton of Brio, and an amazing ability to read and respond to the good in people – most noticeably when they didn’t see it themselves. Scooter was part of the HOPE Ranch herd since he was 13, until his passing. All who helped care for him will remember the “Scooter Game” – no one ever caught Scooter unless he decided he was ready to be caught.
2021 was a rollercoaster of a year with many ups and downs. At HOPE Ranch we had challenges we never could have anticipated with both human and animal health challenges. Kit experienced a serious injury due to the rigors of life on a ranch. We almost lost Sadie, our therapy dog, and our hearts were broken when our beloved D’Angela passed away. That was rough. But we also had several ups. Sadie recovered. Kit is on the mend. Plus, with the help of donations, we were able to finish construction on the Round Pen, which allows us to expand our services and therapy areas, which was desperately needed.
As 2021 wraps up and we look to 2022 we anticipate serving close to 100 clients. We hold 35+ sessions a week and most individuals become long-term clients due to their severe needs. Our clientele is mostly women and children with mental health challenges. In addition, they may have physical and developmental disabilities, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder, and unique medical issues.
Here’s a recap of the rollercoaster ride of 2021.
2021: THE DOWNS
- Covid19 is still here, but we are meeting the challenges. Many of our clients have had an extra hard time with Covid restrictions and concerns thus increasing their mental health challenges.
- Kit had some serious health issues but she is on the mend and looking forward to helping more people as she regains her strength and hires more staff.
- Sadie, our therapy dog, also had a rough summer of health issues. She is back to herself now and looks forward to working with each and every client and guest that comes to the ranch.
- D’Angela passed away. Kit’s first horse, she raised and trained her from an 18-month-old. Together they won the Mid-America Paso Fino Trail Horse Championship (taking 1st place in 4 of the 5-class series) when D’Angela was just 3 years old. It was the first time in a show for both of them. The judges all commented on the bond they had even then. Together they taught many children and a few adults how to ride, often after spending many hours working on the ground to help them work through their fear of horses. D’Angela was always gentle and kind and took care of her rider. She will be greatly missed.
2021: THE UPS!
The Round Pen was constructed, paid for, and is now in use. THANK YOU to the many people that supported this project. The clients and the horses love this new space for therapy and for exercise. We now have more space to work with individuals, families, and groups with the horses in ways we cannot in a rectangular pen. Working with the horses in this setting empowers clients and they overcome their feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness.
The round pen is used as a training tool for the horses to keep them ready for work with our clients, and to expand our space for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning within our psychotherapy program.
The new space will allow us to add 25-35% more clients (12-21 more individuals, impacting 120-210 people). We can now work with more families and larger groups of clients in family and group therapy, providing more services to more people at one time.
- Some of our clients do benefit, because of their mental health and/or medical issues, from mounted activities (with horse being led by an equine specialist and client assisted with side-walkers). These clients experience improved balance, improved communication between the hemispheres of their brain, improved affect regulation and ability to self-soothe, and improved self-esteem and self-confidence. The Round Pen offers these added services.
Approximately 25% of our clients receive Medical Assistance and fall into the low-income category and cannot pay for services nor does their insurance reimburse us fully. COVID19 has increased the demand for our services but not the reimbursement. We are getting more requests for funding assistance through scholarship requests. We need to help these individuals who are struggling with severe mental health crises, but we also need funding to make this happen.
We are hopeful that as our ranch grows so does the support from you, our donors. You help us reach our goals as a Board and an organization, and in turn, help others reach their goal of good mental health. We sincerely ask for your financial support between now and year-end as we continue our progress for 2021 and end the year on a “UP” note and continue to RAISE HOPE for those in need.
Please consider using one of 3 easy ways to donate today:
1. Donate online
2. Call the Foundation office at 507-281-3033 to donate by phone
3. Mail a check made out to:
HOPE Ranch Foundation, 9145 80th Ave SE, Suite B, Chatfield, MN 55923
Yes -we had ups and downs in 2021 but with support from our friends and supporters, we survived.
Matt Nigbur – President HOPE RANCH FOUNDATION Executive Director,
and Kit Muellner – CEO, Founder
Bullying isn’t just about schoolkids or athletes. It’s rampant in many workplaces, no matter the industry. It is said that workplace bullying has become a national epidemic.
In fact, the Workplace Bullying Institute, which has been around for 20 years, conducts studies on the topic and works to combat this debilitating problem. Whether you are an employee or the employer, these facts will serve as a wake-up call.
What is Workplace Bullying?
Bullying in the workplace may occur in many forms and can come from a co-worker, a boss or even a subordinate. Some forms of workplace bullying may be:
- Swearing and intimidation
- Teasing; especially when it takes a personal nature; comments about the target’s work, behaviors, and even family members.
- Snide and mean comments
- Taking credit for your work, even subliminally
- Attempts to make you look incompetent
- Constant criticism
- The creation of impossible expectations and changing expectations or directions in the final moment.
Statistics on Bullying In the Workplace
Does it really happen? Yes. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, it happens in all industries and
there are groups more often targeted than others.
Here are the findings:
- 19% of Americans are bullied, another 19% witness it
- 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace
- 60 million Americans are affected by it
- 70% of perpetrators are men; 60% of targets are women
- Hispanics are the most frequently bullied race
- 61% of bullies are bosses, the majority (63%) operate alone
- 40% of bullied targets are believed to suffer adverse health effects
- 29% of targets remain silent about their experiences
- 71% of employer reactions are harmful to targets
- 60% of coworker reactions are harmful to targets
- To stop it, 65% of targets lose their original jobs
- 77% of Americans support enacting a new law
Workers: What to Do if You Are Bullied at Work
Recognize that it’s not your fault. Take an assessment of your mental and physical health. Being bullied at work can weigh heavily on you and your health. Consider taking time off to clear your head. Very importantly, don’t allow yourself to replay the acts of bullying over and over in your mind. Put a name to what’s happening to you so you can legitimize it; bullying, abuse, harassment, etc.
Once you have done this it’s time to get down to business.
Document the abuse. Not with emotion but with just the facts; time, date, perpetrator, description of abuse.
Expose the bully. Bullying doesn’t get better on its own and if it continues, you are 77.7% likely to lose your job anyway, typically due to either health problems or simply choosing to leave on your own. You actually have little to lose by exposing the bully.
Here’s how: A) Present the case from a business standpoint. It is expensive and legally risky to have a bully in place, which is something a business should care about. They do not care about your emotions or how this makes you feel. (sorry, they just don’t.) Give the employer only one chance and if they stick up for the bully, it’s time to plan your exit strategy.
Employers: What to Do if An Employee Comes to You for Help
You saw the stats. Bullying in the workplace is a big problem and it can be costly. It can even become a HUGE legal issue. Bullying itself is hard to litigate but here’s where it becomes an issue; if the target is female, over a certain age, or any vulnerable group. If the bullying ever became violent, physically threatening or mentally threatening, or starts to fall into the sexual harassment arena. As you can see, you as an employer can easily be the victim of a workplace bully and it’s going to hit you in the bottom line. It may ruin your business and you could even lose your business. Here are steps you can take:
- If an employee comes to you, listen, and even, shut up. Take in what the employee is saying, without offering an explanation or saying things like, “That’s just the way he is” and don’t ever say anything that puts the blame on the target.
- The employee obviously wants to stay in their job so remember that. They simply want the problem solved. Remember the “shut up” advice in point #1. That’s because this is a hairy area and you are not likely equipped to deal with this, which is okay. Most people are not. Take action to correct this: Seek help, pull in counselors or consultants that are knowledgeable in this area. Send the perpetrators to training/counseling.
- Use this as a learning experience. Now is the time to write policies and develop a process for ongoing education and awareness of workplace bullying.
I’m passionate about improving the lives of people in the workplace locally. In fact, HOPE Ranch provides team building, corporate development, and staff retreats to organizations in the Greater Rochester Area, and Greater Minnesota, and Northern Iowa. Just as psychotherapy facilitates individual growth and healing, corporate retreats and development facilitate identification of issues in your team/organization, and development and implementation of real, effective solutions. We see real breakthroughs happen in a safe and helpful environment. If you’re having an issue with your team or suspect you have a bully in your midst (even if you might be the bully) reach out. We’ve helped many others and we can help you.
If you feel the blues during winter months, you are not alone. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is an actual type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. Symptoms and feelings may start in the fall and continue into the cold and light deprived winter months, causing sufferers to feel sluggish, moody and sad.
Don’t write these feelings off. This seasonal funk is treatable with light therapy, psychotherapy, and medications. Or sometimes, a few adjustments in your activities can do the trick.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of Fall and Winter SAD may include:
- Tiredness or low energy
- Problems getting along with other people
- Hypersensitivity to rejection
- Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight gain
If these symptoms sound familiar to you on a mild scale, you can try some adjustments on your own!
6 Do-It-Yourself Remedies to Combat Mild Seasonal Affective Disorder
Essential oils can connect with the area of the brain that controls mood, sleep, and appetite. Add a few drops of essential oils to your bath at night to help you relax before bedtime.
#2 Add Exercise
Exercise helps in a number of ways. A workout will get that sluggish feeling out of your limbs and stimulate those feel-good endorphins. Having a planned exercise routine also gets you out and moving and often lends to socialization. Not to mention, you are going to feel great about yourself!
#3 Get Out In the Sunshine
It may seem daunting, especially when it’s cold, but take the time to bundle up and get out during the light of day. It’s exercise, and you receive natural light therapy at the same time.
#4 Go On Vacation
This is always a good idea. Depending on where you go you may experience more warmth and sunshine. The mere fact of looking forward to vacation weeks in advance can greatly elevate your mood.
#5 Keep a Journal
There’s something magical about getting the thoughts out of your head and down on paper. It’s a way of releasing your thoughts and feelings. Don’t worry about being grammatically correct or having perfect penmanship. In fact, you don’t even have to read what you wrote. Journaling can be very therapeutic, in all seasons. In addition to writing or typing a journal, you may want to journal using art or drawings-and you don’t have to be an artist to use this method.
#6 Make Sure You Get Vitamin D
You may want to talk to your doctor about getting your levels of Vitamin D checked. Low levels of Vitamin D are sometimes associated with feelings of depression. Some studies have shown that Vitamin D supplements have done wonders for elevating mood and alleviating depression.
What if (SAD) Becomes Severe?
We all have days in the winter when we feel sluggish and lack energy. If your symptoms are mild, put the above tips to the test. However, if your symptoms are severe and disrupting your life; long bouts of depression, extreme sadness or using alcohol to manage your moods, then it’s time to contact a professional. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact health professionals immediately.
- Discover their team’s unique dynamics and build on them
- Truly learn to value each team member
- Improve cooperation & communication
- Provide team dynamics & education that will last long after the sessions
It is with a broken heart that I share the news of the passing of our beloved D’Angela.
She had a strangulating lipoma, which attached itself to her intestine & killed it. She was in a great deal of pain and the only thing to do for her was to humanely euthanize her. She is buried here on the ranch out in the pasture.
D’Angela & I have been a team for 26 & ½ years since she was 18 months old. When she first came to me, she was so head shy it took 3 months just to get her to trust me enough to let me put a halter on her easily. Together we went to many horse-training clinics and spent countless hours learning together. By the time I had “finished” (you’re never really done) training her, I rode her bareback without bridle/halter/reins of any kind. D’Angela was an amazing horse. She saved my life at least three times out on the trails. Together we won the Mid-America Paso Fino Trail Horse Championship (taking 1st place in 4 of the 5-class series) when she was just 3 years old. It was the first time in a show for both of us. The judges all commented on the bond we had even then. Together we taught many children and a few adults how to ride, often after spending many hours working on the ground to help them work through their fear of horses. She was always gentle and kind and took care of her rider.
D’Angela helped countless children, youth, families, adults, and corporate groups in her role as a HOPE Ranch therapy horse. She was a special soul who touched, and healed, the lives of many people. She loved being a Mom and raised two of her own foals, and raised our therapy horse, Red Hawk, from 6 months after he had to be weaned from his momma early.
Words cannot express how much I appreciate your kind words and support as we all process and work through this difficult time.
Clinical Director & CEO
PEOPLE FOODCommunity Food Response (C.F.R.)
120 1st St. NE Rochester, MN 55906 Phone
CFR is now located at The Salvation Army Campus downtown Rochester, at 120 1st St. NE (corner of 1st St. NE and 3rd Ave. NE).
Hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4pm to 6pm.
Anyone can come to us for food. They do not require registration and do not have guidelines for receiving food.
All are welcome.
Drive through the parking lot (look for entrance and exit signs) on the west side of our building. They will come out to meet you at your car.
Channel One Regional Food Bank and Food Shelf
131 35th Street SE Rochester, MN 55904
Weekly Food Shelf Hours
Mon – Thur: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fri: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Sat – Sun: Closed
If you need groceries delivered to your home, please call the Food Shelf delivery line at (507) 424-1720. Leave a message with the spelling of your first and last name and a phone number to request a delivery. They will return your call within 2 business days to confirm your delivery date. Deliveries will be made on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All deliveries will be contactless. Please note they are unable to deliver outside of our service area of Olmsted County, MN. With your delivery, you will receive a variety of fresh produce, frozen protein (meat or fish), milk, dairy, eggs, and shelf-stable groceries.
Open Table Food Truck
Beginning at 5:00 pm they are parked at Parkside Park (across from El Gallo food store @ 2245 Park Ln SE, Rochester, MN 55904 until about 5:50 then they head over to East Ridge Estates Apartments @ 2009 17th St SE # 67, Rochester, MN 55904 and serve from 6:00-6:30.
In November winter schedule is as follows:
5-5:30pm Oak Terrace Mobile Home Mailboxes
5:30-6:00 Parkside Estates Mailboxes
6:30 East Ridge Estates Apartment complex.
They also serve burritos from the west side door of Zumbro Lutheran Church (Door 8) from 5:00-5:30 pm.
Each week they serve free burritos, made with halal turkey meat, cookies.
They try to have fresh fruit, or fruit cups and other “extras” as they are able. They are in partnership with Channel One and Minnesota Central Kitchen which means we are distributing prepared meals (made by café relish) each week as well. This means a hot burrito meal on Thursday and meal to take home for Friday.
Our food shelf in Rochester, MN, is the only food shelf accessible to the downtown area. Households can visit twice a month. It is located in our Social Services Center at 115 First Avenue NE. Phone 507.288.3663. They serve over 500 households each year with basic food items like cereal, rice, peanut butter, meats, milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables, and baking supplies. The food shelf is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
A free lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Social Services Center at 115 First Avenue NE. All are welcome.
Our guests are welcome to take free bread from our free bread pantry located at 115 First Avenue NE. Baked goods are collected from Hy-Vee Crossroads to stock our shelf at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday.
125 Elton Hills Dr. NW Rochester, MN 55901
The food pantry is open to all members and the public.
Located in the Lower Level. Open weekdays 9-11 am and 1-3 pm. No income requirements. Open to all Members and the public; targeting older adults. Food donated by members, friends, and local businesses. They encourage members to shop in the food pantry. The inventory varies based on the donations we receive. Some days, there’s fresh bread, cookies, rolls, salads, and always nonperishable foods.
CAT & DOG FOODCamp Companion
PO Box 7478 Rochester, MN 55903
Paws & Claws (Bin on backside of building)
3224 19th St. NW Rochester, MN 55901
SOCIAL MEDIA GROUPSFacebook
Buy Nothing Rochester Area, MN
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is an annual campaign to educate the public about the realities of eating disorders and to provide hope, support, and visibility to individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDAwareness Week 2022 will take place during the week of February 21 – February 27, 2022.
This NEDAwareness Week, we invite you to See the Change, Be the Change. Celebrating twenty years as the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA),
#NEDAwareness Week 2022 is an opportunity to #SeeTheChange by recognizing change within the ever-evolving eating disorders field, and to #BeTheChange through advocacy, awareness, and community building.