|Honoree’s Name: Tim Howells
Award Category: Arts & Education
Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:
Tim Howells co-founded Tara’s Chance with his wife Cindy in 2012. Tara’s Chance is a nonprofit organization established to serve children with special needs through individualized equine therapy, a form of physical, cognitive, and emotional therapy, using horses. To begin, Tim and Cindy operated horse stables in Fullerton – Coyote Hills Ranch. A little girl in a wheelchair visited the Ranch and wished to ride a horse. Ten years later, what started with one horse and one little girl, has evolved into a nonprofit organization with 7 therapeutic horses and 35 special needs children riding on a weekly basis. About 50 special needs children are served each year.
Tim has served as a Tara’s Chance volunteer, founder and Executive Director since the beginning. Staff members have been hired who have specialized knowledge in “equine therapy.” Today, the agency operates with 8 professional staff and 40 volunteers.
Tim actively volunteers in the community outside of Tara’s Chance. Tim referees high school basketball games, acting secretary of the Fullerton Rotary Club South, has served 4 terms on the Parks and Recreation Commission for the City of Brea and more.
It is unusual for a person to start a nonprofit organization, then build it from the ground up, and then continue to put enormous time and labor into its growth, development, visibility in the community, and quality of service – ALL AS A VOLUNTEER. Most founders move into a paid position as Executive Director as soon as funding permits – but Tim did not do that. The agency has grown from a 0 budget, to a $275,000 budget in the past 10+ years largely due to Tim’s efforts. He has built a highly recognizable Board of Directors, high name recognition in the community, successful special events, relationships with Orange County foundations and corporations, and more. And more importantly, he has contributed to the quality of service to children with special needs to such an extent, that Tara’s Chance now has a Waiting List of about 42 riders.
-Carol Geisbauer, Board Member