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Donor Corner: Kris Carpenter

Kris Carpenter, founder and owner of Sanctuary Spa & Salon and The Joy of Living, can’t remember when she first became friends with Chinook Horses Founder and Executive Director, Abigail Hornik. Kris thinks their friendship started as a social connection years ago, ignited by a shared love for community. Soon, she began to hear more and more about Abigail’s passion for horses and helping others, and the two became great friends.

Today, Kris is one of Chinook Horses’ most influential donors! She has attended many of our fundraising dinners, and donated generously to our most recent Kentucky Derby Family Fun Day.

“You couldn’t not be interested,” Kris says of the reason why she donates to Chinook Horses.

Kris was intrigued by the premise that horses can be healers, but had never seen it in action. One day, she finally found it out for herself during a visit to Chinook Horses’ facility with a group of other businesspeople, where they got to partake in some of the EFT and EFL activities practiced in equine therapy. 

Kris found the experience to not only be entertaining, but enlightening as well. She got to experience firsthand the “subtle” practice that can produce “profound” results. In just one day, she and her group were transformed! This caused her to imagine just how beneficial EFT and EFL could be for a client who attends multiple sessions.

“You almost have to see it to believe it,” Kris says.

Seeing how equine therapy works certainly helped Kris in her decision to become the ardent supporter of Chinook Horses that she is today. She finds Chinook Horses to be a “useful tool” in the Billings community, because it offers something that most other organizations do not.

“It’s meaningful,” Kris says. “It’s fresh and impactful. It’s a different piece of what the community needs.”

Kris knows a lot about giving back to the community. As a businesswoman and artist, Kris has a lot of previous involvement with places in the community such as the Billings Chamber of Commerce and the Yellowstone Art Museum. She enjoys being involved with efforts that move the community ahead. 

Kris’ continued philanthropy is inspired by her mother. Kris’s mother loved volunteering, having been active as a Girl Scout leader and involved in voter registration efforts. Though her family didn’t have a lot of money to give at the time, Kris’ mother stressed the importance of giving time instead.

As Kris progressed in her career, she continued to follow her mother’s philosophy of giving by donating both her time and money to worthy causes such as Chinook Horses’. She calls it her responsibility to the community. 

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to make the community better,” Kris says. “If everyone has a few organizations that they stay involved in, then the community becomes strong and everyone is lifted up. It’s a way of life; it’s a no-brainer!”

As for Chinook Horses, Kris is excited to see the organization flourish and become more self-sustained. Too often, she has seen organizations fail to become sustainable. In Chinook Horses, however, Kris sees something more resilient. Kris admires the organization’s strength and how much it has grown since day one.

It may be hard and exhausting work, but it’s all worth it, according to Kris, because she sees the potential to change lives.

“Chinook is unique because of the magic of the horses,” Kris says. “It’s a profound connection that happens without words.”

Kris would like to reiterate that “seeing is believing.” Don’t know what EFT and EFL can do for a client? Contact Chinook Horses to arrange a tour like Kris did, and experience the “magic” for yourself!


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