Volunteers are the heart of our organization. Our mission would be nothing but lofty goals without the boots on the ground that make this mission a reality. We have two special volunteers to recognize this month. They are enthusiastic SAFE supporters, hard working barn chore volunteers, and the kind of people who make other people want to come back to SAFE. Allison and Maile give their free time to SAFE while juggling full time work and full lives. Thank you for all you do for SAFE and congratulations on being chosen August Volunteers of the Month!

Allison Goldie

photo by Sundee Rickey

How and when did you first get involved with horses? Do you have one now you want to tell us about? When I was a kid, my great-aunt had a small farm with a few horses in Sulfur, OK. I spent some summers there learning what it takes to have horses as a part of your family. After my great-aunt passed, I still wanted to be around horses so I went to various horse camps around Oklahoma. My family had always had animals, from dogs and cats to the random turtle, but when I moved from Oklahoma City to Seattle a few years ago, I couldn’t have any because my roommate/cousin is very allergic. I really missed being around animals so I started looking for places I could volunteer with animals too big for me to bring home. Before starting with SAFE, it had probably been about 10 years since I’d been around a horse but I’m so glad I found SAFE.

What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE? As much as I love living in Seattle, I love being able to get out of the city and being around horses. I love the community that this has provided for me and the feeling of peace you can get when chores are done and it’s just you and the horses in the paddocks. I also work a high stress job so this is kind of like my “me” time where I can destress, get out of my head, and not have to worry about anything for a few hours.

Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why? I don’t really have a favorite horse because, depending on the day, I may feel a connection to one horse one day and a different horse the next.

What do you do when you are not horsing around with us? I do work a full time but when I’m not at work I like to go to the gym, garden, hang out with friends, and go see movies. I’m also an avid cross-stitcher, which ends up taking up a lot of my time.

Do you have family or special people in your life who support your volunteer work that you would want us to mention in your write up? I just want to thank all of my friends and family that have encouraged and supported me with volunteering at SAFE.

Maile Greenwell

photo by Sundee Rickey

How and when did you first get involved with horses? Do you have one now you want to tell us about? I first got started with horses when I was about 8 years old back in my home state of California and started taking lessons, then eventually owning my own horse Hollywood. My family bought me Hollywood when I was 11 years old and I’ve had him ever since. He currently lives back home in San Diego where he’s a therapy horse for children with special needs or wounded veterans. I miss him a lot but always stop by to see my good boy whenever I visit home.
What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE? I think what I like most about SAFE is seeing the “after effect” of what we do here. Seeing once maybe frightened or starved horses come back around and then go on to live very happy lives. I’m always so inspired by them and they’ve even helped me get my life together in a way. They help me see that even if we’ve been through some trauma in our lives, we can turn it around, that it almost always can be better again. 
Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why? I think the big joke in my crew was “every horse is Maile’s favorite” but currently my favorite horse has to be Cyrus, with Moon and Cassidy not far behind him. Cyrus is special to me because of how much he just seems to enjoy life now. I remember once I finished grooming him in his grass pasture, then turning around and seeing him just romping around as happy as can be. Yet for how big he is and maybe a tad pushy at times, theres not an ounce of malice or mean spiritedness in him, he’ll lower his head for me to put his halter or fly mask on, fall asleep while brushing his mane, nickers to me when I walk by. He’s just a tall, dark, and handsome guy with a great personality.
What do you do when you are not horsing around with us? When not at the stable you can usually find me at work, or home snuggling my bird Bonzai. My fiancee Matt and I also really enjoy being outside on hikes, archery, or just exploring the town. I also really enjoy cooking and baking.
Do you have family or special people in your life who support your volunteer work that you would want us to mention in your write up? Every now and again, when were especially short, Matt will come with me to the barn and help with chores. He’s always been extremely supportive of my volunteer work and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him.