LUBBOCK, Texas – A nonprofit organization that uses horses to help people is now in need of the public’s help as they are face a major volunteer shortage.

Refuge Services aims to help those with disabilities with equine-assisted therapy. In a typical week, they need around 50 volunteers. However, they currently have 15. Volunteers help care for the horses and maintain the facility. They also play a huge role in making these therapy sessions happen.

Executive director Patti Mandrell said this is the lowest number of volunteers she’s seen in her 23 years of working for the organization.

“It really is impacting our ability to function at the capacity we need to and the needs of everything being met,” she explained. “While they are trying to do everything they can to serve about 160 clients a week, they aren’t able to help as many as they’d like.

She said, “Our volunteers are trying to step up and pull more hours. But it is keeping us from being able to serve the number of clients that we have space and capacity to do so because we can’t add additional sessions without adequate help.”

Volunteering only takes four hours a week for at least three months. Anyone who wishes to volunteer must be sixteen years or older to do so. Mandrell said volunteering gives a person hand on experience in impacting the lives of others in a positive way.

“It’s that pay it forward, give it back to your community; you are impacting our community in a very positive way,” she explained.

For more information on volunteering or giving back to the nonprofit, visit their website or call 806-748-7202.