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Minis and Friends

Rating: 4.99 stars   79 reviews 6,867

Address:

4509 Walsall Loop Austin TX 78749 USA

Mission:

Our trained and mobile miniature horse/donkey ambassadors visit with people of all ages with special needs or whom life's circumstances have created a special need.

Results:

We've added new facilities to include regular visits to Marbridge, monthly visits to Dell's Children Medical Center of Central Texas,several nursing homes, Mary Lee Foundation, increased volunteerism at UT Austin, St. Ed's and Texas State University. Amplify Austin helped us to not only raise funds but to Amplify our presence in the greater Austin Metro area. We will soon have a new website, a documentary done by students at UT Journalism, amazing new volunteers with marketing, media and PR skills, and much, much more is in the works.

Target demographics:

Abused and neglected children, At-Risk Youth, Handicapped, Mental Health, Cancer and Childhood diseases - Travis, Hays and Williamson County, TX between 2-20 years old.Seniors with memory disorders and assisted living facilities in Travis, Hays and Williamson County 55+ and up

Direct beneficiaries per year:

3000-5000

Geographic areas served:

The greater Austin metro area

Programs:

Minis Out, In the Community; Minis Out, Moving On; Minis Out, Project Blanket; Minis Out, Silver Saints; Mighty Mini Reader

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

512-293-8808
http://www.minisandfriends.org

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Reviews for Minis and Friends

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Minis and Friends is in its 9th year and it only gets better and better! Recently we visited at a local Children Shelter for Abused and Neglected Children and had a break though with a little boy who was even afraid of the dogs that visited, he was just afraid of everything they said. With the gentle connection by our volunteers and Remington, he not only walked him but gave him a hug at the end of his time with him. This month (we go bi-monthly), he asked specifically for Remington and his volunteer Hilary and we were so very proud of him wanting to work again with Remington and going the extra mile to ask for him specifically. One step at a time, to open doors and bring hope and healing, and breakthroughs!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Love the minis. I see the smiles on the kids faces and the joy they exude during our visits. The minis attract attention wherever we go. They brought out a lot of on-lookers at the Child Abuse Awareness March. Who wanted to chat with us about what the minis were doing.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I run an organization that seeks out volunteers making big impacts on lives in Central Texas, and helps tell their stories. Minis and Friends was one of the most delightful encounters I've ever had in 3+ years of doing this - after hearing countless stories from volunteers as well as those they serve I now truly believe that these little minis really are magical!

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been a Mini owner & volunteer for several years now. I do it because I love to, not because I have to. Over the years I have witnessed so much gratitude from the people we visit. You will never know unless you witness it for yourself. Having someone or a relative of someone thank you so much for what we do will put a tear in your eye at times. We are not a cure for anything. All we ask for and hope that people can give us is a smile. That's reward enough. God bless the people we visit because they are the one's that put smiles on our faces too.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been a volunteer Mini Owner for a few years now and have seem success over & over again with the children & adults that we visit. This is my success story:

I few years ago we were at a Children's Shelter where these children were taken away from their families due to some sort of abuse. While there I noticed a young little boy with his head down and no expression on his face. He was new to the Shelter and you could tell he was very sad. We asked him if he want to pet the little horses and with his head still down, he just shook his head- NO (We don't force any of our Mini's on anyone). The Councilors told us "Oh that is little ?????, we have tried everything with him. Nothing works.

A few minute later you could see this little boy standing next to one of the MIni's and we was petting him with the back of this hand.

Well a few minutes later again, this same little boy that the Councilors could not get through to, was jogging around the Courtyard with one of the Mini Horse. He was smiling and you could see happiness on his face once again
.

Right before my eyes I saw this little boy that was going through something no child should go through come out of his shell and be a child again. Smiling, laughing and playing.

That is why I do what I do.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I've been with Minis and Friends for over a year now and it's been a wonderful experience. Everyone is on a volunteer basis and you can just feel the passion for the minis and for each volunteer opportunity we get to go on. It's always great to see the smiling faces of children and the elderly a like when they get to pet the minis. Equine therapy really does help and I love being a part of this organization!

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I've joined Minis and Friends back in August and they have been such a great organization to work with. You can just see and feel the passion that all the volunteers and staff have for the people they serve as well as the minis. It's been a true pleasure seeing the minis interact with each child and elderly and you can only beam back. I hope to see this non-profit continues to grow and serve Austin.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Minis and Friends was an absolute joy to work with! We have an annual Easter Egg Hunt for our friends, families and clients and their families, and we thought Minis and Friends would be a great addition and a wonderful way to promote the great work they do. And they were such a hit at the party! Sally, Julia and her team were so wonderful to work with, and of course the minis were so sweet and gentle. Minis and Friends do GREAT work and truly added a special memory to everyone they encountered. We look forward to working with them again and seeing all the greatness they contribute to the community!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

As an owner of4 therapeutic miniature horses, I have seen the magical effect they have at lifting spirits of the most vulnerable population in our community. The human to animal connection is truly amazing and underestimated, but I've seen it over and over as we visit hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, and children's shelters.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have been a master volunteer with Minis and Friends for over two years. I can't explain enough what these little horses do for the people that we visit, you just have to experience it yourself. The joy that we see in peoples eyes. Just for a few minutes, these minis bring whomever we are visiting back to the now. Some are reminiscing about when they had horses, others are forgetting about what they are going through. But they all are laughing, smiling, hugging and loving a mini. Not only do these minis do so much for the people we visit, but they do so much for me! They are also my therapy horses. I get so much out of them. That and so much more is what Minis and Friends is all about.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Being a volunteer with Minis and Friends has shown me how these extraordinary mini therapy horses impact the lives of so many people each visit we make. The physical, emotional and mental status of the people who come into contact with the minis always seem to get more positive the minute they see and touch these little ones. Not only do I get enormous satisfaction and enjoyment out of seeing these reactions, but I, myself get the same therapeutic benefits every time I'm around the horses. The people that are associated with Minis and Friends are just as important as the horses but most importantly, the mini owners!! Without the mini owners and their dedication, hard work, long hours and numerous other things they do with and for their minis, obviously this organization would not exist. I, for one am glad and blessed it does...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More visits !!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

My daughter and I have been volunteering with Minis and Friends since last June. It's a very heart-warming experience to see the smiles on the faces of all the people we have the privilege of visiting with the mini horses. Our visits mean as much to those we visit as they do to me and my daughter.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have recently moved to Austin and was fortunate to find Minis and Friends on the Web. They have welcomed me into their families and allowed me time to play with the mini horses. I tell them every time, this is cheaper than therapy!! I really am proud to be a part of this organization that brings smiles, love and mini horses to hospitals, rehab facilities, nursing homes and many more places.

 
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