Honoring Longtime Supporter and Volunteer Michele GreenburgJuly 20, 2021
Horse barn volunteer Michele Greenburg works with a 14-year-old student to groom a horse. The teenager is speaking softly to the horse as he gently brushes its coat, “Does this feel ok?” Michele asks the student to reflect, “How is this horse telling you that it feels ok with what you are doing?” Encouraging the student to look at physical cues of the horse, they discuss the various visual indicators of the horse’s comfort. Beyond just grooming a horse, Michele is reinforcing to the student how physical cues, of an animal or person, can communicate feelings without words.
A true champion
“Michele is a great example of how volunteers play such important roles here at Green Chimneys,” states Ed Placke, Executive Director. “And Michele’s many roles, as a board member, volunteer, supporter and advocate, enable us to benefit from so many aspects of her expertise. We are truly fortunate to have her with us.”
Combining career expertise with lifelong interests
For Michele, it’s a natural combination of her expertise and her passions. “My husband and I came for a visit at the suggestion of a friend in late 2011. We were so impressed we gave a donation right on the spot,” says Michele. Then in early 2012, she returned to Green Chimneys to generously lend her expertise as a forensic interviewer and trainer working with children, by providing training to clinical staff. Michele was asked to join Green Chimneys’ board of directors in 2013.
Volunteering with children and animals
Upon her retirement as a clinician, Michele added hands-on volunteering in the horse barn to her activities in support of Green Chimneys; combining her professional expertise in working with children with her love of horses. Having observed and interviewed children in her professional life, Michele is attuned to watching how children react to horses. “Children are able to regulate so easily with a horse,” states Michele, “and horses are so good with them.”
“The program staff at Green Chimneys gives me and my fellow volunteers such a great experience,” states Michele. “They model techniques and behaviors for the volunteers and are great with the children and horses. I am happy to be a part of it.”
And Green Chimneys is thrilled to have Michele! Although our volunteer program was on pause during a portion of the pandemic, we’ve been slowly and safely welcoming back volunteers, Michele included. Throughout this critical time, Michele has remained keenly involved as a board member.
Honoring a decade of support
In recognition of her outstanding commitment to the children and animals of Green Chimneys, Michele will honored at our Annual Gala on October 7, 2021.