Main Stay relies on our dedicated volunteers who play an integral role in helping deliver our program services. Volunteering at Main Stay Farm can be a profoundly rewarding experience, offering a unique blend of personal growth, community engagement, and the joy of making a positive impact on the lives of others.  

Volunteer Opportunities

A great way to learn about volunteering is to come to the farm for a visit and to observe a lesson. Please complete the contact form or reach out directly to our volunteer coordinator at [email protected] or 815-382-9374, and we will be happy to schedule a visit or answer questions. 

Here are some roles volunteers may perform:

Adaptive Riding Program Volunteers

  • Groomers - Groom horses prior to classes. Horse experience preferred, but not required. 
  • Sidewalkers - Walk alongside the riders in the arena and provide physical or emotional support as needed. No horse experience is required. 
  • Horse leaders - Lead the horse in the arena for mounted riders. Requires horse experience.

All arena volunteers must be physically capable of walking on uneven terrain for up to an hour.

Animal Assisted Program Volunteers

Assist the facilitator as clients engage with horses, small herd animals & rabbits, seasonal gardening activities and art projects. 

Garden Volunteers

Main Stay has an adaptive garden where we grow flowers, herbs and vegetables. It is called an adaptive garden because the paths and raised beds are accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs.

Volunteers help with all aspects of gardening from starting seeds, to weeding, to harvesting and placing vegetables in our farm stand.  

Project Volunteers and Groups

We welcome individuals and organized groups to come to the farm to help with barn & facility maintenance, landscaping, painting, special projects and events, gardening and administrative activities.

To sign up your group or for more information, please contact [email protected] 

Fundraising Volunteers

Main Stay relies on donations and grants to operate. If you would like to help with fundraising, please contact Communications Manager, Randi Murawski at [email protected]  

Board of Directors and Committee Member Volunteers

Our Board of Directors helps to steer our strategy, and committees help with occasional special programs and events. For more information, please contact Executive Director Loriann Dowell at [email protected] 

Apply to Volunteer 

All volunteers must complete a background check and participate in training sessions. The minimum age for volunteers is 13. Volunteers in the animal assisted learning program must be at least 18 years old.  

If you are interested in joining the volunteer community at Main Stay, please fill out these forms.

Volunteer Availability and Interest Form
Volunteer Registration/Release Liability Form

Contact us for more information about volunteer positions:

Prospective Volunteers


Current Volunteers

Main Stay's 2024 Volunteer Handbook

Thank you for sharing your time with Main Stay. We could not operate without you! 

Each year, typically in December, we will need you to please complete an updated Annual Registration & Release Form. Please view our online calendar for current program dates.

Volunteer Registration/Release Liability Form
Volunteer Availability and Interest Form

How You Can Help

Main Stay is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and receives no state or federal funding. Through the generosity of individuals, private foundations, corporations and service organizations, Main Stay is able to touch hundreds of lives each year.
Accomplishments & Accreditation
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