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August 17, 2009

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August 17, 2009

I was searching for a volunteer organization to be a part of, that I would feel 100% enthusiastic about and be proud to be a part of. Hearts in Harmony took me in and what they do is incredible. The way they interact with the boys and dogs is outstanding. They provide the boys with comfort, support, and the learning of lessons that apply not only to the dogs, but real life situations. The boys that work with the dogs leave with a strong bond and a willingness to listen to the volunteers and dog handlers. This group of amazing individuals came together and have provided so much for the boys -- I consider myself lucky to be able to help.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

observing the behaviors and mannerisms of the boys before working with the dogs and after. It's incredible to see the change, and the upbeat step as they leave, stopping to give one of the dogs "one more hug." Doesn't get better than that!

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 17, 2009

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August 17, 2009

An amazing example of heart, effort and great organization to help not just at risk children, but also rescue dogs. I was fortunate to be an instructor for their "Pawsitive Hearts" project which teaches foster children how to train rescue dogs. The foster boys would have been happy to play with the dogs, but being given the responsibility to train them gave them purpose. The dogs would have been happy just to play, but their bond with the foster boys grew as they were trained. The training manual was impressive, as was the sheer amount of research that was put into the program before it was implemented. I have never seen a new project done so well and hope that it continues for many years.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

helping both the foster boys and the rescue dogs.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing. Not just kind and sweet and giving, but smart and well organized and well prepared.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help empty out the animal shelters and give more foster children hope and purpose.

Ways to make it better...

the boys had more time with the dogs (more than four weeks)

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 15, 2009

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August 15, 2009

Their name says it all. Hearts in Harmony. The ladies who started this organization have put their hearts in this organization. It is so uplifting every time I hear them speak of "the kids" and how they bloom around the dogs. The founders goal of assisting at risk youth can not be measured in dollars or words. It is priceless.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the degree of commitment I have witnessed in the organizers. They are super, caring people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

absolutely change the world! Ok, maybe not the world, but a significant start could be made. This program teaches love and compassion in dealing with others, animal and human.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 14, 2009

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August 14, 2009

"Over the Top!" This is the quintessential grassroot experience resulting in misdirected children find their way. No doubt that the benefits of unconditional positive regard (love) is at work here. It's as if the full acceptance that only a dog can give has manifested itself in the persons that have formed this organization. These people and their dogs persevere through all kind of obstacles. They continuing to deal with bad weather, poor communications at times, obstinate personnel, etc... to affect these abandoned boys and our organization in a wonderful way. Indeed, we wear more smiles than before. We even have an intern working on a PH.D. trying to capture this goodness in a dissertation! BEAT THAT!!!!!!!!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching hurt boys find ways to experience warmth and acceptance from a dog and move that feeling around in way that allows them to try to trust again. It is a wonderful thing to watch such a subtle force at work.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find a way to encourage the volunteers more........but they don't need it!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Watching to effect of this work on the boys expressions when they talk about the pets.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

equal or better than the finest human beings that I have ever met. They do not know how to "not smile"

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

affect the future of this country and the world. Saving kids.......this group helps in therapeutic ways, educational ways, domestic ways. Our kids are our future and people with pets teach something the world needs. Things can be radically okay!

Ways to make it better...

NO REGRETS! THINGS ARE HAPPENING THE WAY THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO. THOUGH PROBLEMS ARE COMMON,COMPASSION AND FORGIVENESS CONTINUE TO TEACH.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

continuing to work patiently in the time frame that seems divinely inspired.

One thing I'd also say is that...

You do not have to be directly involved in the pet therapy experience. The benefits seem to expand geometrically in subtle and powerful ways from the children themselves. I am continually learning to recognize it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 4, 2009

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August 4, 2009

These wonderful people offer an invaluable service to disadvantaged children that can not be overstated. Their interactions are always positive and professional, and they have proven to be a wonderful asset to our Residential Treatment Center. We hope to have a long and fruitful relationship with this amazing organization and cannot express what their involvement means to us.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

offering connections and helping to build social skills in CPS children that would otherwise not have these opportunities.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they are consistently positive and professional, exhibiting the greatest amount of care for the children and pets alike.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very knowledgeable and professional in their interactions.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand to the point of serving children throughout the state with very impressive results

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 4, 2009

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August 4, 2009

There is a great need, not just in our community here in Tyler but in every community in the U.S., to reach out to the children who have been placed in custodial care for their anti-social behaviors. These are the children who have been abused or neglected by parents and other so-called caregivers. They end up in residential foster care because now they have anti-social behaviors as a result of the abuse. Their emotional scars inhibit normal healthy childhood behaviors and often the only way to reconnect with them is through the love of a dog. The dogs have a special knack for pouring love into these lost souls and allowing the children to once again feel positive emotions and understand that it is okay to trust again. I recall one instance in particular, where a 7 yr. old came to our weekly therapy visit and would not participate. Rather, he chose to sit with his head buried in his hands, angrily denying any attempts the adults made to get him involved with our activity. I took my Russell Terrier Katy over to Alex, whispered to him that "somebody here wants to say hi and have you play with her". Without any prompting from me, Katy "kissed" Alex' ear. He raised his tear-stained face, looked into Katy's eyes and smiled. He started petting her head and Katy then kissed his forehead. Katy knew Alex was hurting, and knew he needed some affection. The rest of the session Alex was once again communicating with the volunteers and interacting with all of the dogs. This may have been a small reconnect, but it just might be the kick-start needed to have Alex learn appropriate and self-rewarding GOOD behaviors, vs. negative ones. If there isn't a positive intervention somewhere along the line with these kids, the cycle of violence will continue, and they will grow up to be the future abusers in our society. We hope we are doing our small share in changing this cycle.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

changes that occur in the childrens' approach to subsequent therapy sessions. We also have a project called Pawsitive Hearts, with youth training rescue dogs in obedience. The changes are nothing short of amazing on both dogs and youth!

Ways to make it better...

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

Spend more time working to recruit additional volunteers and dogs. There is such a great need for this program in every residential facility for children in N.E. Texas. We can only reach a few at this point.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Interacting with these children, realizing that deep inside they so want to just be normal. They appreciate what other kids their age do, they are just inhibited from expressing themselves.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The other special volunteers are very involved in helping the children modify their approach to everyday situations through the dogs.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Oh boy! We could reach out to other communities in the U.S., creating model programs just like Hearts in Harmony and Pawsitive Hearts, so thousands of disenfranchised youth could be reconnected with normal living.

Ways to make it better...

We could spend more time each week with each of the children with whom we work.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

1. Recruiting adequate volunteers 2. Training and evaluating dogs so they can participate. 3. Finding funding for a training building that could serve us for preparing our own dogs for the program, but also to use in our Pawsitive Hearts project.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I hope we continue to grow and thrive. Working with the youth here in Tyler has touched me deeply, as I know it has them.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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