For almost 25 years, Nancy Elder hasn't seen a paycheck, and neither have her volunteers.
Instead, everything goes back into the Healing Winds Therapeutic Riding Center in Brush Prairie.
Now she says someone stole from the center into which they've been pouring all that money.
"It's just a miracle what these horses do for the kids," she said.
But in the last few days, she could tell something wasn't right.
"We've never had anything like this happen," Nancy Elder said. "I trust people. I really do trust people."
Nancy Elder thinks it was one of those people she trusted that stole from her.
"It's hard to have someone who's been here volunteering do something like this," she said.
She and her daughter know a laptop is missing.
The computer holds access to their bank accounts and client information.
They think that's not all that's been taken.
"We've got tools missing. We've got tack missing. We have saddles missing, just things that the children have to use because of their needs," Nancy Elder's daughter, Brenda Elder, said.
She said for a place dedicated to helping kids with special needs, the blow is more than financial.
"You lose that sense of security," she said.
Brenda Elder and her mother make sure no one who can't pay is ever turned away.
After 25 years, Nancy Elder said one crime won't close their doors.
"We'll make it. Things happen. I'm just devastated that they would steal from children and a person who has given her life and soul to this," she said.
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