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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Mercy Spring Ranch

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Help children and rescue horses

Programs: Provided scholarships for children to attend summer camp

provided opportunities for 40 children to interact with horses through 188 sessions sponsored other activities for 21 families to experience aspects of ranch life

provided spiritual training for 3 students

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a rider at Mercy Spring Ranch. I have had so much life-changing experience with Mercy Spring Ranch. The Black's are amazing people, if they didn't start the MSR program i don't know where i would be without the healing of the horses. I love MSR. Mercy Spring Ranch is the best.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience at MSR has been amazing. The Blacks have been amazing. I was MSR's first rider. I is amazing the way that God brought my family and I to the Blacks. They are like family and I thank them for the most amazing ride of my life. One of my favorite things to do at the ranch is ride because you get to feel how the horses move and it feels amazing. I love going to the ranch even if i don't have a lesson that day. I go out with my family or sometimes just my mom. I could be having the worst day and i will go by every stall and pet every horse even ones we don't use in lessons. It really is the best feeling in the world to know that you them and they love you back.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I teach riding lessons out at the barn that John and Monique use for MSR. It is wonderful to watch their interaction with everyone who they come across. When you meet them you feel like you have known them forever. To watch them do anything out there is a joy, but mostly watching them deal with the kids. Every kid feels important and heard when they are with the Black's. I am so excited that they may be close to a place of their own but the barn will definitely feel like something is missing when they leave.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with the leadership of this ministry for 15 years plus and have witnessed first hand John and Moniques' commitment to helping people in need. From youth, to the homeless to neighbors and friends, they have reached out to their community unselfishly.
I have witnessed firsthand how this ministry works with young ladies to instill virtuous character when the secular industry offers very little to none.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am one of the youth students at CSM . Recently we had a worship night at MSR. It was such a life changing experience. You can tell the animals were happy. They had plenty of food and clean water. We played a fun game of soccer, with a giant soccer ball. The Black's are extremely friendly, and they take you in with a smile and an open heart. The purpose on which the ranch was created is touching, and the one who had the idea was such a great person and is extremely missed. MSR has come to be a great non-profit Organization that has such a greater future, but all they need is a place of their own to plant their seed.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a local JH teacher. The Blacks have been gracious to allow myself and many of my students to serve at MSR. They understand the value in encouraging volunteerism as it becomes a blessing to both the volunteer as well as to those served. We look forward to a continued relationship during the 2013/2014 school year. We love and support the mission of MSR.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a horse owner and a teacher working with children with special needs. My standards are high when addressing programs for children who learn and respond differently. I am also careful when evaluating equine care and training facilities. This quality program meets the highest standards due to the dedication and skills of the staff and board members involved in the ongoing programs. The focus on health and safety of children and horses is apparent, but is overshadowed by the simple pleasure of bringing children and horses together.

Sharon76

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I am a grandma --- blessed by some new grandchildren who were foster children then adopted--- they arrived with a lot of baggage---- mercy springs ranch for them has been a safe place of healing, and hope, and joyous times with big and little animals

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a part of Mercy Spring Ranch since 2012 when my best friend started bringing her two children to participate in their program. I drive their family to Modesto for each session. Through the horse training, mentoring and other activities, the children are being taught purpose in their lives, respect and love for the animals, themselves and others and also responsibility as they clean out paddocks and take care of grooming, loving, riding and getting to know the horses. I am blessed as I have watched Monique, Cody and Marissa interact with the children and the awesome changes I have seen in the kids with their attitude and behavior with respect to circumstances they have in their young lives. God is number one in this ministry and I will continue to support it in any way I can. Thank you Mercy Spring Ranch for the blessings.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I heard about Mercy Spring Ranch a few years ago and supported it with prayer. Recently I was asked to volunteer to work with the kids and horses. Each time I go, I am blessed as much if not more than these kids. There is something about these large, docile, sweet animals that give such peace and healing. God is working in this ministry and through the leaders John and Monique Black.

Patricia69

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A little over two years ago our blended family of 8 was completely turned upside down and we were unsure of what to do. The only thing we did know is that we had two children that were abused in ways that we never even thought possible by another family member. We were at a complete loss and had turned to our church family for guidance. We could feel the prayers and love from them but still felt so very lost and confused. Then one day while at church I ran into Monique and John Black on the stairs and for some reason I felt compelled to share our story with Monique. Just a couple of weeks later Monique came to me and said that they wanted our daughter to be one of their first children at the ranch. The funny thing is at the time I knew that Monique had a horse but I wasn't even sure as to what you do with a horse and kids and how that could even help them. But at this point something made me tell her what had happened and I was willing to try anything. Finally it was time to start at Mercy Springs Ranch (still no clue what that really meant) but here we go. Day one at the ranch I have no idea what is about to happen, my daughter she was afraid but was such a trooper. So we went over the ranch rules and off her and Monique went and before I knew it she was cleaning horse poop and laughing. So I thought okay this could be good now if I could get her to do chores at home we would be in business. Next they began to gather brushes and other things that I was not even going to ask what it was and they began to talk and do things with a big beautiful horse named ladyhawke. Little did I know what an impact one horse could have on a young lady let alone my entire family. As I am writing this with tears in my eyes remembering back to this first day of my daughter getting on that horse and the feeling of the emotions that came from nowhere. I finally got to see my daughter feel free, like she could never be hurt again. She was flying...no really she was. It was amazing! After this day I loved coming to the ranch all the time, still not sure of all that was going to happen but I loved being there. My daughter loved it! Sessions had to come to end due to weather but we were so excited to start again. I spent a lot of time reading about Mercy Springs Ranch and learning what the ranch was really about. I have to admit I thought I knew exactly what to expect, boy was I wrong. We started the next sessions and then more sessions with two of our other daughters before you knew it the entire family was at the ranch. I can't tell you one story because their are countless stories of healing, confidence, strength, love, compassion, faith, truth, learning, joy, peace and so much more that we all experienced during our time at the ranch. God has moved in amazing ways thru all of us and continues to do so. We can not express just how much Mercy Springs Ranch, John and Monique Black, other leaders and of coarse Ladyhawke herself mean to our family. Thank you all for all that you do for our family and other families. We love you guys so much.

Debbra H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a report my 13 year old daughter wrote regarding MSR. I am so thankful for the work that Mrs Black has done in my daughters life.


My Journey; SO FAR


I have read many books, watched many movies and talked to lots of people about horses because I love horses. So, when I was approached about the opportunity to work at Mercy Spring Ranch I was excited, because I would now get to test the theories I had learned. Mrs. Black would be actually teaching me what the words in the books meant. Mrs. Black has brought my books to life. She has corrected the image of the perfect girl-wearing perfect cowboy clothes-riding the perfect horse to what it really looks like…dirty! She has brought it down to earth, made me understand how it all really looks and how much work it really takes. I am so thankful for the opportunity to pull my hair back in a ponytail and get dirty. I am thankful instead of dreaming about riding through books, Don’t get me wrong reading horse books are interesting and enjoyable BUT riding an actual horse is exhilarating.
Mrs. Black is my horse back ridding teacher. There are many qualities I enjoy learning from her. One, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Her nails are not perfectly manicured and she is not always saying “I can’t my nails”. Second I like her devotion to children’s ministry. She does not use the excuse of not having children to avoid serving. Third and my favorite: she donates time every week to work with me. She donates her time, knowledge and humor so that I might grow. Another part of what she does for me’ she answers my thousands of questions. (I am my mothers daughter) So thankful for a woman like Mrs. Black.
What I have learned from my time at M.S.R. and Mrs. Black can be summed up in one sentence… wait on God!. That seems to be the theme that runs through this ministry. They also not only wait but they do it with graciousness. Some examples: I waited for years to take horse lessons with the right teacher, of course.(we are a home schooling one income family…we could not afford it), MSR had grown to the point that it needed another horse and they waited and GOD blessed them with one they already had a relationship with. Today, they are still waiting for a piece of land to call their own. This wait is probably the hardest but I know from watching them already God is going to provide…as my youngest brother put it…”God answers prayers just in his own opinion”
Now ,what this means to mean can be summed up in three areas.. Putting into practice is always more fun than just dreaming in books. I am thankful for a godly woman who is willing to sacrifice time for me and last but not least… I am learning to trust and wait on God. Wow, who knew a horse could teach so much.

Review from Guidestar

Heather86

Client Served

Rating: 5

Through a horse at Mercy Spring Ranch our daughters life has been changed. We are forever grateful for what this non-profit, it's owners and trainers have done for our girl. I HIGHLY recommend supporting Mercy Spring Ranch.

Review from Guidestar