Most 10-year-olds would be thrilled to unwrap an American Girl doll on their birthday.
But Danielle Seifer of Andover decided that as much as she liked the gift from her mom, she loved the horses at Windrush Farm in North Andover even more.
So Danielle took the doll back to the store and donated the money she got in return to the therapeutic horse farm where she has been taking riding lessons since last spring.
The staff at Windrush say Danielle immediately bonded with the horses as well as the team of workers at the farm as she watched them interact with clients with disabilities. The nonprofit horse farm specializes in teaching physically, emotionally and learning-disabled children and adults to ride and work with horses.
Early on, Danielle decided she wanted to help the farm. So she and her cousin began handcrafting more than 70 “survivor bracelets,” which they sold to neighbors and relatives as well as customers outside local stores with the proceeds going to support Windrush’s programs.
But she didn’t stop there. She figured the cost of her American Girl Doll birthday gift was better spent on the horses, too. Between the bracelet sales and the money from the doll, she raised $210 for Windrush Farm to use to purchase supplies for the horses.
“We’re touched by Danielle’s generosity and selflessness,” Windrush program director Jenna Turcotte said in a release. “She is such an inspiration to the community – showing that anyone, young or old, can make a difference if you just put your mind to it.”
Founded in 1964, Windrush provides an array of educational services and therapeutic activities to more than 1,770 children and adults as well as their families. For more on the horse farm, visit www.windrushfarm.org.