COCONUT CREEK (CBSMiami) – A local children's charity was devastated by strong winds and hail Thursday.
Tomorrow's Rainbow, a small non-profit which provides free support to children grieving the death of a loved one, relies on miniature horses and other small farm animals to comfort the children.
While none of these animals were injured, strong winds and small hail rendered the farm unsafe for the animals.
Abby Mosher, the organization's founder and executive director, is worried about them.
"This is devastating," Mosher said. "Not only do we not have shelter for the horses, but we have to discontinue services. The area where the families come in is completely blocked by trees and is flooded and it's not safe for the children to work with the horses because of all this devastation."
Now, with much of the property destroyed, the group says even the horses aren't safe.
"Our horse stalls that typically have a shelter over them are now out in the open and it's not even safe for the horses to be in there because of the twisted metal," Mosher said.
18 year old Jami Tero has been coming here for 5 years after losing her father, than 3 months later her grandmother. The horses were a major step in helping her cope. "I have relationship with almost every single one of these animals," she said as a horse walked up to her. "I don't know what i would do if i hadn't had them in my life."
The Tomorrow's Rainbow wish list has included a "real" barn since it opened its doors in 2005. Mosher said that the organization grew so quickly, that the demand for services in itself was a challenge.
But there is a silver lining to this whole storm. Patriot National Insurance heard about the trouble and stepped up to donate toward building a barn.
"Patriot National is going to be donating $20,000 to support the reconstruction of the barn," said Chris Pizzo of Patriot National, "and hopefully get us most of the way there to provide a shelter for these horses."
" I'm overwhelmed," said Mosher with tears in her eyes, "this is such an amazing opportunity for our organization, the children so deserve a safe place to heal."
Tomorrow's Rainbow operates on a modest budget of $400,000 a year.
According to Mosher, "A small staff of 4 employees and over 160 volunteers is the reason that we can provide exemplary services on such a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, that budget doesn't include an overhaul of the stable area."
Tomorrow's Rainbow will suspend programming until the damages can be repaired and the farm can be made safe again. That means that over 150 grieving children, teens and their families will have to put their grief journey at the farm on hold.
For more information about Tomorrow's Rainbow, contact Abby Mosher at (954) 978-2390 or visit www.TomorrowsRainbow.org. If you'd like to donate money, material or time to help build that barn contact CBS 4's Neighbors 4 Neighbors at www.neighbors4neighbors.org.
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