Mea Ola’s Place, a local nonprofit Horse Rescue, takes in volunteers for cleanup days, as they struggle to pay bills through the pandemic.
A 10-acre property on Johnson Road just north of Smoketree Road in Phelan is known as MEA Olea’s Place. It is a horse rescue that is becoming overrun with weeds and horse manure because they have to limit volunteer groups that normally come to help due to social distancing guidelines. While the four regular ranch hands can keep the weeds close to the house in check and the barns in order, it the rest of the pens, corrals, and pastures that house the many horses, donkeys, and various other wayward animals that quickly overwhelms the tiny crew. Without the volunteer groups coming in for cleanup days, things start to pile up rather quickly.
There are, much appreciated, regular volunteers that come in each week, individually, to help keep the feeding and watering, and the upkeep consistent for the animals. There is much more that needs to be done, and the volunteer groups help tremendously. However, since March, group clean up days have been out of the question for the ranch but are still much needed.
Luckily, twice in June, clean up days took place with COVID-19 safety in mind. Folks came out from many different locations, including Apple Valley, Victorville, Beaumont, Phelan and Wrightwood to help rake, weed-eat, clean stalls, clean out bird coops, move manure and make dump runs.
After the hard work in the hot weather, everyone gathered feeling accomplished, for a nice lunch out front on picnic benches. Everyone had worked hard and enjoyed good food, shade from the sun, and great friendly conversation.
Mea Ola’s Place believes that all life is valuable. They take in animals no one else wants, and with a little training, many of them, especially the horses, can be used as therapy horses to help people overcome issues. These animals then become lifetime residents at the ranch. Other horses can be used in simple horse anatomy classes during summer camp for kids, if they are not up for riding anymore, at this point in their life they have the dignity of growing old. Many of the horses and donkeys on the ranch are adaptable and need good forever homes.
The monthly feed bill alone is about $5,000 per month at Mea Ola’s. Everyone’s finances are tight right now, and non-profits are hit hard as well. Owner Ann Kline explained how the pandemic had hit her non-profit rescue, “While we still have some small donors, we have lost many. On top of that, we were unable to have kids summer camps, which brings about $6000 in much-needed income. We also had to cancel our yearly fundraiser. We have fewer volunteers and have had tours of big groups cancel. Times are tough for everyone, that is for sure and starting to take its toll here. While the animals are still getting what they need, we are behind on bills and repairs to ranch vehicles and fencing. Like many small businesses, we do not qualify for state or federal help.”
If you are interested in helping at Mea Ola’s Place give Ann Kline a call, there is no shortage of chores that can be delegated, that is for sure. If you would like to donate or adopt which is much needed and welcomed, give Mea Ola’s a call at 661-557-2680