“Giving Back” is not a new notion when you live in America…
“land of the free”, “home of the brave”, “with amber waves of grain” and all the rest of it. Who we give to, how and why we give is always a personal notion.

All giving is good, and I had been “just thinking about it” for too long.

I longed to establish something my family and I could connect to. But, I must confess, NOTHING lit my fire, like the incredible “windfall” in my take home check after winning first and second places in the grand prix event of the Duke Jump for the Children Benefit last weekend. I knew I had just experienced more than my share of good fortune. I knew now was my time to give back.

IF not now, then when, I asked myself.

My grandfather believed in “spontaneous generosity”: choosing to be generous towards whatever crossed his path. Others choose good causes (Duke Hospital among them). Hoping to continue in the winner’s circle with my horses at future events, I wanted something I could continue to support with my “take home pay” from the show ring.

UNBOUND, a long-standing Kansas-based non profit organization, helped me by sourcing a deserving but economically struggling student from my native Colombia, who like myself, loves animals and longs to study about them. Does she just need “a chance”, “a windfall”or “a lucky break” to have her dreams also come true?
I pondered.

Alison is 14…the same age I was when I first came to live in America. Described by UNBOUND as charismatic, and a top student who enjoys reading, music, going for walks, and on track to graduate in from high school in 2020, she seemed the perfect choice. She also loves animals and would love to study about them. She comes from a respectful and united family: mother and grandmother tend to the household and her father is a day laborer, striving to provide the most vital needs .

My son Hollis, my wife and I look forward to sharing our correspondence from Alison with you soon.


Country: Colombia
Age: 14