Minis And Friends

Rating: 5 stars   69 reviews

Issues: Animals, Children & Youth, Health, Human Services, Seniors

Location: 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
2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The Settlement Home for Children would like to thank Minis and Friends for continuing to come to our campus and sure the joy of their Minis with our children. Minis and Friends visits are always a wonderful and educational experience. Our girls love seeing them all dressed up, taking pictures with them, and brushing their hair. The Minis are truly magical, even if the child comes in with a frown on their face they can't help but leave with the biggest smile. The happiness the Minis and the volunteers share with our children helps them heal with joy!!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

We are an assisted living senior home. There is no more excitement i can think of than the announcement that the mini horses are coming! ...to the point we almost have to stop announcing they are coming because it is overwhelming. Most of the time the horses dress up in costume/holiday attire for us too! Therapy dogs are great but a therapy horse you can get up close and face to face personal and have some big hugs and loving! We love and cherish every visit!!! We are thankful for EVERY visit we get from Minis and Friends. They are loving professionals!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Minis and Friends always goes above and beyond to show our families a good time! Minis and Friends visits us, Wonders & Worries, a non-profit as well that helps children cope when a parent is sick, during our family fun events. Most of our parents are diagnosed with cancer and/or other chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Minis & Friends has become a favorite part of our events. Some families want to know specifically if the Minis will be there! :) The children get to take a little photo memory home, and around Halloween the Minis will even dress up with cute little hats. It's adorable! I really believe the children are always so excited, because they get to walk the Mini and have a little control over them for a little bit (in a world where everything might be out of their control). And they are just soft and fun to pet! Everyone is always so great and friendly and we are really thankful for Minis & Friends!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Minis and Friends has been volunteering with The Settlement Home for Children for several years. They have brought their miniature horses to our campus on several occasions, and our girls have been given the opportunity to interact with them in a variety of ways. Our residents (and staff!) love when Minis and Friends come to visit because they enjoy getting to walk, pet and groom the animals. This year, our residents were invited to the first annual Mini March put on by Minis and Friends. Minis and Friends does a great job of meeting the needs of our residents and providing fun and educational programming.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

It was amazing to watch our kids and adults become so involved with the horses and the sense of calm that it seemed to bring to them. I was especially impressed with how easily some of our more withdrawn kids became so engaged with the minis. The kids seemed so much more open and talkative both during and after the visit, must more at ease. They particularly loved being able to brush them and walk them, having the opportunity to really feel like they were caring for them. We can’t wait for our next visit and the continued presence of Minis and Friends within our program.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Minis and Friends has visited Marbridge numerous times. As the volunteer coordinator for this assisted living center, I am happy to say that they are not only friendly and professional when they visit, but they truly brighten the days of the residents who live here. We love them so much, we awarded them the Marbridge Volunteer Group of the Year award for 2011/2012.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I am the volunteer and activities coordinator at Helping Hand Home for Children, where we have had the privilege of many visits from Minis and Friends! We are a residential treatment center for children ages 4-13 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. I plan many activities for the kids here and Minis and Friends is definitely one of the most special for them!

It is a delight to watch the children groom and walk the gentle creatures.. some of our kids have lived on ranches for periods of time, whether with their biological family or with a foster family, so these kids particularly enjoy visits from the minis! You can also see how therapeutic the experience is when some of our most seemingly "fearless" kids are afraid to even go near them... then they will slowly come around, then soon be hugging the horses, not wanting to say goodbye!

Another great factor is that these visits are offered all for free...this is huge for non-profits with a limited budget! And the experiences the kids get in return are priceless!

The volunteers involved with Minis and Friends all interact with our clients (the children) so well and the founder Sally is super committed and passionate about this organization! I highly recommend that any special needs populations get to experience a visit from the miniature horses and their wonderful handlers!

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

the multiple visits we have enjoyed!

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

make sure they had enough funding for even more visits so we could see them more often and so they could reach out to even more local organizations, lead more volunteer trainings, etc!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I work at a treatment center for children who have suffered extreme neglect and abuse. The children I work with deal with lots of traumatic memories and struggle to heal and move beyond their histories. Many suffer from depression it means so much to them when the Minis come visit. For the time that the horses are with them, they forget about their problems and are able to laugh and smile. They LOVE petting and walking the horses around. Sally and Gil are generous with their time and resources, even printing photos of the children with the minis on site, during a Christmas holiday visit. They are gentle souls with gentle horses who help our children with their healing process. We appreciate them and look forward to every visit.

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

I have watched the kids' faces light up when they see the miniature horses. I have seen moods go from gloomy to excited and stay that way long after the minis had to leave. Seems to work on the adults who are around as well.

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

This is a fabulous group. I wouldn't change anything!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

This organization has wonderful volunteers that are always willing to find a way to help other non-profits out. They work very well with children and of course the kids love the minis (so do I). We have used Minis and Friends at many of our activities and they have never disappointed us.

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

Many activities they have attended for the blood and cancer kids.

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

Make sure they grew more so they could help more people.

 
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