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Minis and Friends
April 29, 2011

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!

The Great!

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

the multiple visits we have enjoyed!

Ways to make it better...

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!

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I am the volunteer and activities coordinator at Helping Hand Home, one of the sites visited by Minis and Friends.

Kids In A New Groove
January 20, 2011

I am the volunteer coordinator at Helping Hand Home for Children... so though I am not technically a "client served," I do represent the clients served by Kids in a New Groove-- kids in the foster care system who are currently living at HHH, which is a residential treatment center for children who have been abused and neglected.

I was ecstatic to hear about KING-- it almost sounded too good to be true! It was incredibly easy to sign our kids up and get them started with music lessons right away. Missy, the certified band teacher who comes to give our kids lessons each Saturday, is extremely professional and whole-heartedly committed to our kids.... so committed that she switched to Saturday morning lessons so she could continue to teach them even after getting a job within the school district!

We currently have kids taking piano, guitar, and percussion classes, and one will begin violin lessons soon! These weekly lessons have given our kids a chance to see the pay-off of perservance, patience, and hard work. They are being given skills they can take with them long after they leave our doors and move on to families. And most importantly, they are gaining confidence in their newfound talents and honing a skill they can focus on when they are feeling at their lowest. I think this is a tremendous means for self-expression for our kids, who all have unspeakably traumatic pasts.

This past spring, Kids in a New Groove purchased a guitar for one of the most committed students. He is extremely proud of this and it has raised his self esteem tremendously! They hosted a luncheon for the kids this past Christmas, where they got to meet and interact with other KING students. All our kids returned from the luncheon beaming with happiness. One of our students got a chance to perform with professional musicians at a recent KING fundraiser. He left with stars in his eyes and I know he is forever changed by that experience.

This is a truly amazing organization and I hope they can continue to grow and reach out to more and more foster families and agencies in order to spread the healing power of music.

The Great!

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

many ways, as stated above.

Ways to make it better...

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

increase funding so they can continue to hire more music teachers so that there is a bit more flexibility in scheduling (right now, Missy teaches all lessons to the kids in the same day).

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I am the volunteer and activities coordinator at Helping Hand Home for Children.