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Archives for February 2014

Meet Our Vehicle Production Manager – Eric

We have many friendly and helpful staff working at Rawhide. Each staff member has their own important role which makes it possible for us to fulfill our mission in helping at risk youth and their families. Our Vehicle Donation Program is a vital part of completing our mission at Rawhide, and there are several individuals that help make our Vehicle Donation Program work efficiently.

Eric’s Role

Eric Hess is our Vehicle Production Manager. He oversees the flow of donated vehicles through our Vehicle Donations Program. He is also in charge of making sure that the vehicles are inspected and ready to be sold, which generates funds to operate Rawhide. With the large amount of vehicle donations, there are a certain amount of vehicles that have to be inspected each day.

Eric has been working for Rawhide for over three years. One of his favorite things about his job is being able to interact with some of the students working on the vehicles through our Work Experience Program. Like any job, there are challenges that Eric faces like balancing the maintenance of Rawhide’s used vehicles and inspecting/repairing donated vehicles.

His Background

Eric is originally from Hubertus, Wisconsin. When he is not hard at work, Eric enjoys spending his free time with family and friends. He also enjoys watching movies, comedies being his favorite type of movie. If he could be any actor, he said he would like to be Chevy Chase because he thinks he is a hilarious actor, and he enjoys all of his movies. When asked about our Vehicle Donation Program being made into a television show, Eric laughed about the idea, thinking it would be funny to make it into a comedy.

Every Team Member Counts

Every one of our team members in our Vehicle Program has an important job, whether it involves customer service or dealing with the donated vehicles. Eric’s job is important to our Vehicle Program because he manages the inspection and repairs of donated vehicles and our vehicle donations provide Rawhide with needed funds to help troubled youth and their families. Without the help of our wonderful staff, all of what we do would not be possible.

Giving Back to Animals That Give So Much in Equine Therapy

We have several therapeutic programs for clients, and one of them involves the help of fun, loving animals. Our  equine therapy program, R.E.A.P.  which stands for Rawhide Equine Assisted Program, involves horses, a donkey, and ponies. Clients interact with the animals that live in our stables, including five horses, three miniature horses and a donkey that is as stubborn as a donkey comes.

Equine Therapy

The R.E.A.P. Program benefits our clients in many different ways, but the three most important lessons it teaches clients are respect, boundaries and understanding. In the beginning of the program, clients are paired up with a horse that personally connects with them, and together they are given tasks to perform. This part of equine therapy teaches our clients certain boundaries that will help them throughout their life. It helps with issues they may be struggling with like anger management, thinking errors and alcohol or substance abuse. It also teaches them how to treat others with respect, how to build personal relationships and to become more confident in themselves. Clients are also able to help take care of the horses and other animals by feeding them and bathing them through our Work Experience Program. Because animals love unconditionally there is a special bond that is created between an animal and a person in need, and this is why our Equestrian Center is such an important part of the Rawhide community. In order to keep the Equestrian Center up and running, there are things that need to be done on a daily basis. The horses and other animals have specific needs to keep them happy and healthy.

Supporting These Loving Animals

Rawhide is always accepting of donations and we greatly appreciate any donation that comes our way. The donations that we receive truly help support our mission in helping at-risk youth and families get their lives back on the right track. At the moment, our stables are in need of several things that our animals would benefit from and could be donated. Shavings, bedding, cedar chips, fly sprays, treats, hay, muck buckets, barn fans, grain, and a round bail feeder are some of the items that the stables are in need of at this time. There are other ways to donate as well. Cash donations are always accepted and appreciated and are used to provide for any one of our services that help out our clients.

Much like any of our other programs, equine therapy serves a very important role for our clients here at Rawhide. It teaches them important life lessons that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. We want to make sure that they are able to get the most out of the benefits that this program has to offer. If you would like to help our animals and support this great cause in helping at-risk youth change their lives around, please consider making a donation.

Please help the youth and families that use Rawhide to help rebuild their lives by making a financial donation today.



Rawhide helps veterans through community service

Our About Face Program serves the community with several different tasks at local organizations and nonprofit organizations.  Learning important work skills through community service projects is the main focus of our About Face Program. It teaches our students how to perform a job with hard work, responsibility and integrity. These are crucial skills that everyone needs to learn in order to be successful in our competitive work world. One of the organizations that our About Face program serves is Camp American Legion located in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. This organization is one of the bigger community service projects that the program assists and is considered a work trip because it takes several days to finish.

Camp American Legion is a nonprofit organization that provides for recuperating veterans. They have cabins for disabled veterans to stay in for recovery or to just have some time away in a peaceful place. The camp serves about 400 disabled veterans every year. In spring, they start looking for volunteers to help get their camp ready for veterans. This is where our About Face program comes in. Every spring, About Face takes a work trip to Tomahawk to participate in getting the Camp American Legion ready for camping season.

At the camp, our students from About Face perform multiple jobs in order to get the camp ready. Some of these include landscape work. According to Earl, our project coordinator at Rawhide, last year students in the program raked and detailed the entire camp, blew out the gutters on several of the cabins, trimmed shrubs and cleaned up yards around the buildings. They have also done other manual things like moving wood, replacing siding, roofing, painting, cleaning and rebuilding the docks by the lake. All of these jobs keep students busy and helps them gain a large amount of work experience.

Performing community service jobs at Camp American Legion is really the whole package for our students. Not only are they learning valuable work habits and doing something good for the community, but they are also giving back to those who have risked their lives fighting for our country. This camp is a wonderful place for healing veterans, and with the help of local volunteers and our About Face Program, it continues to be.

Performing community service projects offers positive experiences for any individual. Our About Face program makes an impact on all of the students who are enrolled in the program. It gives them something to be a part of, while learning the importance of good work ethic. It also provides them with the confidence in themselves to complete any task that is put in front of them. Organizations like Camp American Legion that possess community service opportunities benefit our students in all of these ways because it gives them the chance to apply the skills that they have learned, while learning new skills along the way. Would you like to learn more about our About Face program and the community service projects they accomplish.

Introducing Wall-E, Our Newest Student

We have a new student attending Rawhide this year named Wall-E. He received this name because of the uncanny resemblance to the robot from the Disney movie, Wall-E.  Our Wall-E is not robotic; however, he is a large chunk of metal made from two transmission power glides of a GM vehicle. Wall-E was brought to life in our auto shop during our Beat the Heat class, an elective that students can take while attending Starr Academy.

Ever since the day he arrived, Wall-E has been part of the Rawhide clan; wandering the grounds and partaking in the programs that we offer. He is a student at our high school, Starr Academy, where he excels in math and science, although his favorite class is automotive. He is part of the Starr Academy track team in which he joined to prevent his legs from stiffening in hopes that he can someday be limber enough to ditch the giant rock that holds him in place. Wall-E also attends our counseling clinics, where he is a favorite to several of our counselors on staff. They enjoy meeting with him because he isn’t afraid to break out of his shell during his sessions, and is on his way to making great progress. All of the counselors are kind and caring. Wall-E can tell that they really want to help him and that it is not just a job to them. Their lives are dedicated to helping others.
Wall-E lives in the Carriage House. There, he has plenty of friends because he gets along well with all of the guys he lives with. He also gets along well with his houseparents, Steve and Cathy. They say that Wall-E is one of their best guys, never causing them too much trouble. Most of the time, he is helpful around the house. It didn’t take him too long to warm up to them because they are such loving people. Wall-E came from a good home, but he likes the fact that the houseparents at Rawhide are so caring to all of the guys. It seems to help make the guys feel more comfortable.
Wall-E is doing so well in our About Face program that it didn’t take him long to advance in ranking. He started as a Recruit and went to a Private in about 2 weeks. He follows the rules almost all of the time, but once he missed out on ice cream for dessert because he let his anger get the best of him, and he let a bad word slip. He learned his lesson though and hasn’t missed dessert since.
One of Wall-E’s favorite things to do at Rawhide is enjoying the beautiful scenery outside. He can often be found in the barns, visiting our horses and other animals that belong to our REAP program. There, he grew a fond liking to Driftwood, the oldest horse in our barns. He and Driftwood have a relationship based on trust and respect, and sometimes Driftwood even lets Wall-E take him for a ride. Wall-E is currently working on trying to get a job at the stables through our Work Experience Program, so he can help take care of Driftwood and the other animals. Wall-E also enjoys just being outdoors and is usually found in the woods somewhere here at Rawhide.
While Wall-E attends Rawhide, he is making positive life changes. Being a resident here is giving him the strength and knowledge he needs to start making better choices in his life. He really enjoys being here because everyone is really nice and doesn’t get upset when he does make mistakes. He knows that Rawhide will help him do what it takes to become a responsible chunk of metal.
Wall-E continues to make progress while he is at Rawhide. He wants to be the best he can be, and he knows that in order to be the best, he needs to continue making positive changes. He wants to attend a good college someday, where he could earn his degree, become and auto mechanic, and open his own car garage. He aspires to be the best, like a top of the line Corvette or Cadillac.
The adventures of Wall-E continues, read part 2!