Steps to becoming a volunteer:
1. Click HERE to complete our volunteer application.
2. Once that is submitted and reviewed, you will get an invitation to a volunteer orientation which MUST be completed prior to joining the team.
3. Attend a volunteer orientation to learn more and get access to the final forms.
4. Check your email for your release forms and submit those.
5. Join the team! Pick a hands on care shift from the available days and times or schedule alternative volunteer opportunities with us directly.
Read below to see the various ways you can get involved!
Please remember we are ALL volunteer based at this time and we try to answer as promptly as we can! If you don't hear back from us within a week, please reach out again. Thank you!
Make sure to submit an application to get your invitation to scheduled orientations!
Providing attention and care for 15 equines, many of which have special needs, as well as pigs, goats, sheep and cats every day, is a critical task at the farm. That is why we developed a volunteer program.
We get the help we need to be able to provide for the residents and our volunteers receive hands on training in horse and animal care, stable management and basic veterinary/first aid skills. Many of our volunteers are able to fulfill community service requirements for their schools. Several of our volunteers have gone on to get jobs in barn management and the critical skills that enable them to become successful horse owners.
Our volunteers are an invaluable part of our programs. Volunteers typically sign up to perform feed shift duties which include feeding of the animals, mucking of stalls and fields and weather appropriate tasks such as blanketing, bathing and trough scrubbing. Shifts typically occur both in the morning and in the late afternoon/early evening and last from 1 to 3 hours depending on the amount of volunteers assigned to a shift. In repsonsonse to Covid in 2020, we have implented a limited number of volunteers in any single shift which allows for lesson concentration of people and a set of split task areas to encourage volunteers to learn multiple aspects of care for various animal groups.
Many volunteers like to spend extra time with a special horse they connect with. The horses enjoy the additional treats, grooming and extra attention. We accept volunteers as young as 10 to work under supervision in the barn. No horse experience is required and we provide continual training.
Spending time with horses gives our youth a positive outlet for their energy and talents. Working in the barn gets young people off the couch and into the fresh air. The barn chores are a great way to get active and the responsibilities given to the volunteers help to take the focus off oneself and put that focus into the care of another living being that needs you. Life lessons learned from horses are invaluable and the sheer presence of a horse can be therapeutic in many ways. At The Big Purple Barn we take pride in offering a supportive, caring environment that allows our youth to grow into responsible adults while nurturing their spirits.
We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities at The Big Purple Barn! We are always in need of volunteers to help provide the daily care for the horses, but we have other ways to get involved too. Here are just a few:
Herd Care: provide the daily care of the horses, pigs, sheep and goats from mucking to feeding to grooming and more.
Grounds Care: provide grounds maintenance such as painting fences, mowing, edging, planting flowers, painting and repairing barn, jumps, obstacles, etc. as well as improving and upgrading the barn to benefit safety, accessibility and aesthetics for animals and participants. Additional experience handling a skid steer and/or tools is a plus.
Administrative: provide administrative assistants provide help to us in the form of maintaining databases, creating flyers and advertisements, administrating our social networking accounts (Instagram, Facebook, etc) and helping with the creation, copying and binding of a variety of documents.
Graphic Design: assist with the development and design of our branding such as logos, creative photo design, photo editing and publication design. We utilize these design ideas in a variety of formats such as our website, publications, letterhead and sales items.
Photography: assist with photographing our horses at home, during various farm activities and during outreach events. Photos are then edited, cataloged and shared through our various hosting outlets.
Lesson Assistant: We need volunteers with prior riding experience to help in our lesson program. General duties include helping students prepare for lessons, helping with lesson aftercare, handling horses and ponies, cleaning tack, organizing lesson equipment, prepping the ring and assisting in the lesson as needed. Assistants also help teach students basic grooming and handling and help ensure a safe environment.
Lead Line Assistant Instructor: We need volunteers with prior riding experience to assist with lead line lessons from start to finish. Candidates will train to assist in actual lesson formats with the goal to become a supervised instructor to cover lead line lessons or train new assistants.
Committees: We need volunteers to sit on a variety of committees that serve various functions for the farm in terms of management, program development and community outreach. Our board is currently working on a list of committees to develop.
Fundraising: a critical committee that requires many hands! We are looking for people with experience in fundraising planning, grant research and grant writing to help us grow a diverse funding base for our non profit programs.
Tour Guide: Weekly tours are held in the mornings at 10,11 and noon approximately 4 days a week. We need volunteers to greet guests, guide them on tour through the barnyard meeting and interacting with the various animals while engaging and educating the guests. Set up and clean up are part of the tour volunteer responsibility.
Please note that many schools accept the hours worked at The Big Purple Barn for community service requirements. If you are not sure, please ask your counselor first and be sure to let us know you are seeking community service hours for your school. If you need assistance in obtaining approval from your school, please let us know and we will provide you with a package to give to your counselor and help you in any way we can.
To Apply For Our Volunteer Service Program, please click the Google Form in the instructions to complete and submit your application. If you have additional questions, please contact us:
If you feel you have a talent to offer that is not listed here, please feel free to contact Tara and let us know what you can offer to The Big Purple Barn! Thank you for your interest in helping us grow and providing volunteer service to our programs!!