LITTLE BLESSINGS VETERAN OUTREACH SET TO EXPAND EQUINE-ASSISTED PROGRAMS THANKS TO STONECO OF MICHIGAN Ottawa Lake, MI.
The search for a new home for Little Blessings Veteran and Community Outreach is over, thanks to the generosity of Stoneco of Michigan. Increasing requests for the Little Blessings equine-assisted programs offered to veterans and their families had caused the organization to outgrow its current location.
Stoneco has leased eighteen acres, including a 20,000 sq. ft. arena, to Little Blessings, who will utilize the property for equine-assisted and wellness programs, and community outreach events. Located across from Stoneco’s Ottawa Lake facility, the arena will include horse stables, activities rooms, an office, and open spaces to expand equine-assisted services.
Dan Sniegowski, General Manager of Stoneco, noted “Staying involved within the communities is what we strive to do. We are excited about the new adventure to give back in this way and are so happy to help the community to continue to grow and thrive.” Stoneco operates four limestone quarries, eleven plant operations, thirty-two sand and gravel operations, four portable plants and three rail terminals in Michigan’s Southern Lower Peninsula.
Jamie Paxton, a retired Air Force combat veteran, founded Little Blessings in 2018 after her post-service struggles. Paxton notes, “Adjustment to post-service life can be difficult for veterans who struggle with PTSD, suicidal thoughts, and other service-related traumas.” She adds, “This new space will allow us the opportunity to meet the continuing needs of Veterans and their families as they transition to post-service life.”
Little Blessings is one of only two equine organizations in the United States using a multi-week equine program for veterans. Program staff are trained in the nationally recognized EAGALA program using certified mental health professionals, equine specialists, and interactions between horse and client to help veterans find their paths forward. There are also programs for veteran, Gold Star, and active-military families, including wellness programs, spousal support retreats, and first of its kind Military Kids equine program. Little Blessings is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio. All equine-assisted therapies are at no cost to qualified veterans. To learn more about their programs or provide your support through donations, visit www.lbveteranoutreach.org. Watch construction inside the newly named Stoneco Arena on Facebook at FB@LittleBlessingsOutreach.