Volunteer Opportunities in Orange County
G.A.I.T. Program- Guided Animal Intervention Therapy
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us! Seneca’s GAIT Program is designed to help vulnerable children overcome the hurdles that affect their young lives, providing hope and healing leading them down the path of success. There is something magical about the bond between a horse and a child. The authentic environment, the lowering of defenses and the natural progression of trust help children heal by building a relationship with the horse. This is done through the youth caring for the horse, bonding, and having opportunities to build their self esteem when riding. The program allows for creativity, assertiveness, leadership, teamwork, and positive relationships.
As a GAIT Program volunteer, you will be an important part of the therapeutic team. With your assistance, our children will receive the highest quality of therapeutic benefits from their experiences at Seneca. Being a volunteer to care for or exercise the horses used with our clients assists the staff to ensure the horses are mentally and physically sound so that the clients may receive the greatest benefit from our lessons.
We have two types of equine volunteers: Session Volunteers and Horse Care Volunteers. Session volunteers assist the children with barn chores, provide support during groundwork activities, lead horses/sidewalk as needed during riding activities, act as a mentor and positive role model for clients. Horse care volunteers assist with daily barn chores (cleaning stalls, emptying wheelbarrow, feeding, grooming, etc). Depending on experience, volunteers may also assist with exercising the horses.
Volunteers are asked to make a consistent weekly commitment to the program. Hours are to be mutually agreed upon by the volunteer and the GAIT Program staff.
- 16 years old or over
- Complete an application, fingerprints and health screening including a TB test
- Attend volunteer orientation and training
- Weekly commitment
Special Projects or Volunteer Groups
We have ongoing projects, site improvements or one time projects in need of assistance if you are looking for a one time opportunity to volunteer or have a volunteer group looking to donate time. Past projects have included site improvements such as painting, flower planting, vegetable garden update, as well as various donation drives such as back to school materials, holiday gifts, and Halloween costumes for clients.
For more information, call 714-308-2001 or email GAIT@senecacenter.org.