STANLEY COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — An artist might be easily inspired to write a song about how rural Stanley County looked last week in central South Dakota.

“It is a beautiful day to be out here,” Kori Nutter of Fort Pierre, S.D. said.

“The scenery and the landscape is just impressive,” Nick Schroeder of Mora, Minn. said. “We got up on some, the tops of some of these big hills and buttes. You can see for miles.”

“It’s super awesome because it’s wide open,” Nutter said.

They’re part of the group riding horses here for a specific reason: Trails 4 Transplants.

“Our main goal is to raise awareness for the need of organ donors,” Roger Hille of Mandan, N.D. said.

Hille is cofounder of the Minnesota nonprofit.

“You can give the gift of life, if you will,” Hille said. “Our second mission is to assist, financially assist, those either awaiting for or recovering from an organ transplant. We give some money to our local organizations where we ride, the bulk of our money goes to the Gift of Life house in Rochester, Minnesota.”

The organization has an annual ride, and 2022 brings them to Stanley County.

“We’re asking for a $25 donation for each rider each day,” Hille said. “Now almost everyone here will go out and solicit additional dollars as well. They’ll find donations from local businesses wherever they are.”

“I came out here to support a family, a donor family, that we’ve been supporting, my family and I, for the last few years,” Schroeder said. “It’s a great cause. We traveled about eight hours from east-central Minnesota, and I wouldn’t miss it.”

George Johnson of North Dakota has personal ties to Trails 4 Transplants.

“Youngest daughter was the cofounder with Roger, and she was interested in horses,” Johnson said. “And they decided to come up with this cause, and we are a donor family. We lost our son.”

His son Blake was in a car crash in 2000 that took his life at the age of 19. His heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas were all donated.

“We’d like to bring the perspective of being a donor family, and how much relief that can bring to you after you meet these people … they are so forever grateful,” Johnson said.

He is here in support of riders today. He uses the words “spiritual blessing” to describe how it feels that his son’s organs brought life.

“Through the grief and through the sadness of it all, it’s just somehow such a great relief when you know that those people live because of my son,” Johnson said. “My son becomes a hero.”

Hille has a personal link, too.

“My son-in-law has had two liver transplants,” Hille said. “Very, very sick before each one, and he’s recovered.”

“Being a donor is very important,” Schroeder said. “You can save lives, help people. It’s an incredible cause.”

“If you have the chance to give life to another person, it just seems like the right thing to do,” Hille said. “I know it’s the right thing to do.”

According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, the national transplant waiting list has more than 106,000 people on it. Hille says to spread word of what you’re willing to give.

“Make sure your family knows that you’re registered to be a donor,” Hille said.

Next year’s ride will be in North Dakota.