VERG and Ponies North Come Together to Ride for a Cause

About the Authors

William Hossain

William Hossain
Asset Manager, Chapter Lead for Minnesota’s VERG

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Christina Blount
Senior Development Manager

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At National Grid Renewables, we believe in the power of community and the strength of people from all walks of life. Our Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG) embodies this spirit while playing a crucial role in promoting diversity, inclusion, belonging, and professional growth within our organization.

VERG’s vision

Our vision is clear: to create a supportive and empowering environment for military veterans within our workplace. We achieve this by providing opportunities for personal and professional connections and growth. As veterans, we understand the unique challenges faced by those who have served, and we’re committed to making a lasting, positive impact on each of our members. 

The origin of VERG

VERG was born out of the realization that National Grid Renewables needed its very own community for veterans—a place where they could find support, mentorship, and friendship. After several months of intentional collaboration, VERG became a reality. Today, we proudly stand as a growing group of 14 members, each contributing unique and valued perspectives and skills.  

While most of our members work remotely, we make an effort to connect virtually. Our monthly meetings provide a space for sharing stories, discussing challenges, and celebrating victories. Whether it’s a virtual coffee chat or a brainstorming session, VERG fosters connections that transcend physical distance.

Riding for a cause

This year, VERG is proudly supporting Ponies North, an organization that pairs rescued and adopted mustangs with veterans. The equine therapy ranches provide deep healing and necessary companionship. One of our very own VERG members, Christina, has been invited to join the ride to support the cause and be part of the impactful community.

Christina Blount and her horse, Flynn Rider

For Christina, serving 20 years in the US Army and the US Army National Guard came with its own set of stressors. Once she had completed her military service, she recognized that the military wasn’t done with her. So, she turned to equine-assisted work, where she began her healing journey alongside other veterans who had similar experiences to hers.

On April 28th of this year, a team of nine veterans embarked on a remarkable journey. Riding mustangs they’ve helped train, they set out from Yuma, AZ, on a 1,500-mile trek to the Canadian border in Montana. Their mission? To build resilience, face the elements head-on, and, most importantly, raise critical awareness and funds to fight the veteran suicide crisis in our country. We recognize the incredibly impactful and necessary work they do, so our team has committed to raising $5,000 towards the care of the veteran riders and their mustangs on the ride, specifically sponsoring Duke and his veteran riders, DK.

The riders have already started their 100 days on the trail of rugged terrain, scorching desert heat, thunderstorms, and flash floods—all while sleeping under the stars. These riders exemplify the steadfast spirit of humanity, supporting one another every step of the way.

Ponies North team

Creating impact outside of the office

Our reach extends beyond National Grid Renewables’ walls. In the last nine months, VERG has actively participated in two community initiatives. In September of last year, we joined forces to honor fallen military members by assisting with tree care at Fort Snelling Cemetery. We worked alongside arborists to help them maintain the sacred space. Then, in October of last year, we organized a fun-filled Trunk or Treat event at the local veteran support organization. 

Bringing it together

Whether you’re a veteran, an ally, or simply someone who believes in our cause, we encourage you to take part in VERG and our initiatives. Together, we’re making a difference—one connection, one act of kindness, and one rugged mile at a time.

Interested to learn more about Ponies North? Check it out here.  

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