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A team of IZEAns arrived at Freedom Ride in Winter Park, FL in early March with paint brushes in hand, and two main goals. One was to beautify newly installed fences and, well, the other was to make our childhood dreams come true and pet ponies!

By the time our day was over, our team painted 130 feet of new fencing and donated 34 volunteer hours.

About Freedom Ride

Freedom Ride Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding and related activities to children and adults with disabilities in the Central Florida area. Volunteering a few hours to help keep their facilities fresh was a great way to impact individuals affected by cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, autism and many other emotional and learning disabilities.

Pony Up Challenge

Shortly after our volunteer day, we launched IZEA’s first Pony Up Challenge; a virtual horse race where IZEAns near and far could donate to the “horse” of their choice. Senior leaders Larry Beaman, Brianna DeMike, Ryan Schram and Kevin Blazaitis all stepped up to the plate as our prized ponies.

With just two weeks of fundraising, IZEA COO, Ryan Schram won by a gallop over his peers. In this case, winning entailed taking a picture in a horse mask and sharing it on social media. Winners also shared IZEA’s involvement with Freedom Ride, and the organization’s mission. Schram, the people’s choice, also matched the funds that were raised to his name, bringing our final donation total to $301.94. Way to lead!

Freedom Ride VisitFreedom Ride relies heavily on donations and volunteers to assist those needing therapy. Our donation will cover the cost of maintaining one of their therapy horses for an entire month; a small way to make a huge impact.

Special thanks to the IZEA senior leadership for running their race. And huge thanks to Freedom Ride for letting us partner with them. It was our pleasure offering our time, resources and HGTV DIY skills to such an important cause.

Ryan Schram

Special thanks to Ryan Schram for being such a good sport!