NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. - Aiden and Pearl provide calm in a world of chaos. The miniature horses are from the nonprofit organization HorseAbility, which lifts the lives of individuals with special needs. The group offered wellness therapy to healthcare heroes outside Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
"We want to say thank you to them for all they've given to the community," said Katie McGowan, the executive director and founder of HorseAbility.
Hospital operator Tish Burnell said this was exactly what she needed.
"I have a thing for white horses," Burnell said. "They're a sign of strength."
Strength sure is something everyone can use these days. The visit took place on World Gratitude Day. The healthcare heroes all said they're grateful the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us.
"With everything that's been going on in the last five months, it's been really rough," Brooke Romano said. "This is a nice gesture of the hospital and the company to come and bring the horses."
HorseAbility plans on going to all of the 23 hospitals by the end of the year. The horses' small stature doesn't size up to the pleasure they gave people on this day.
"Somebody made a comment they haven't smiled this much in a long time," volunteer John Gursky said. "It's a great feeling to have. We know we're making a difference for these frontline workers and they could use it right now."
The horses are calming the mind and soul with each scratch, smile and, of course, selfie.