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MIRA Foundation USA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services

Mission: To provide eligible blind children between the ages of 11 and 16 MIRA guide dogs and training free of charge. We are the first organization in the United States that provides guide dogs to children under the age of 16.

Results: Blind children across the United States have benefited from our program and with their MIRA guide dogs have gained self-confidence and independence, developed responsibility in caring for their guide dogs and become more involved in the schools, communities and interact more successfully with their peers. Having a guide dog is a life altering experience for our young children at an age when social interaction is vital to healthy development. Go to our website www.mirausa.org and go to Success Stories to see what our young students say.

Target demographics: blind children

Geographic areas served: the United States

Programs: MIRA guide dogs and training to qualified blind children between the ages of 11 and 16 without charge.

Community Stories

44 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My granddaughter had a great experience at Mira and brought her first guide dog home! I look forward to seeing the impact on her as her independence grows.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mira foundation USA is a first class organization that provides guide dogs to kids. Our daughter just returned from a month long training. Her confidence, independence and mobility are striking. Mira has created an option for kids who are considered too young by other organizations but are mature enough to have a guide dog. Our family is so grateful to the entire Mira family.
They treated our daughter so well, she did not want to leave!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter was there for a Minth to train with her new guide dog and everything about the experience was amazing!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of the best non profits around. The people involved and the things that they do for children is so wonderful

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a great organization! I absolutely love what they do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is such a great charity. MIRA USA changes the lives of blind children forever by providing them with guide dogs.

Donor

Rating: 5

Doing great things to help young children in the contiguous United States.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

MIRA is the first and only organization to provide guide dogs to blind children in the contiguous United States. I have met some of these children and their parents. They say the difference that a guide dog makes in their lives is immeasurable. How can one not support the ONLY organization to offer these children hope?

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MIRA is a wonderful organization who help fulfill a great need for blind children.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization. Only organization to place guide dogs with blind children living in the US.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is a wonderful organization that brings blind children back into the social environment and also teaches independence and self-esteem. What a worthy organization and so glad to know about it. With the help of the guide dog, the children are provided a freedom and independence that they would not otherwise experience.

Elaine T B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

MIRA USA is a one of a kind organization! It opens up a whole new life for blind children and their families. For the first time in their lives the kids gain confidence, independence and friendships that many have not experienced before. To see the smiles on their faces as they go through evaluation weekend and then on to Canada in the summer to be trained by the professional trainers and then to get their dogs, is a treat to see!! The Director, Richard Chatham is a great addition to the organization , always helpful and easy to get along with

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Mira USA is a great organization. They are caring, helpful and knowledgable. This organization gives children a chance to live their lives. Without MIRA seeing impaired children wouldn't be able to be independent and confident. This organization is truly amazing! The new director is so willing to help each child and their family in every way possible. I greatly recommend and encourage MIRA USA, whether you are applying for a guide dog or looking for an organization to donate to or volunteer with. Amazing organization and great people!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to watch MIRA at work. It was evaluation weekend for a number of possible MIRA students. The instructors were kind, calm and made the children (and parents) feel at ease. Over the weekend I even found myself getting a little emotional watching these new students open up to the possibility of what life could be like with a dog. MIRA is an AMAZING organization that allows seeing impaired children, ages 11 to 17, to move with confidence and independence in their world. What could be more worthwhile than giving a child the ability to lead a full and independent life. This is what MIRA does. They give these dogs, free of charge, to children who qualify for the program. This is done through donations and events. So if anyone feels so inclined, please consider a donation to MIRA,every little bit helps.

Donor

Rating: 1

I just heard that Dr. Doonan resigned. How very sad for this organiztion. She was the light and the brains and the compassion that helped this group.
What a serious loss for this non-profit.
I cannot give it a good rating without her at the helm.

Comments ( 1 )

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MIRA USA 11/04/2015

I would like to clarify that Dr Doonan did not resign. Her position was terminated by the Board of Directors. I can assure you that she was not the person she appeared to be. MIRA USA's board members are dedicated to our cause. Some of them have been with us since our inception and they have been instrumental in guiding our success.

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Solene Malkamaki reviewed MIRA Foundation USA — 5 star
Dr. Marijanet Doonan, the President of Mira USA, and her team are doing an exemplary job at making so many kids' dreams come true. It's obviously a lot of work to raise funds and the least Theo and I can do is bring awareness to what this amazing organization is doing and how they're giving blind youth the key to open new doors through these dogs....
Absolutely amazing people, dogs and foundation! My son's life is changed forever thanks to Mira USA.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We applied to MIRA USA for a guide dog for our young child. These are AMAZING people who truly care. They listened to us, asked very relevant questions, explained the process clearly, asked if we wanted to speak with other parents and/or students who had received MIRA guide dogs....Honestly, these are the most caring people I have ever come across.
We submitted the request for an application on line and we quickly received the information they needed in carefully explained language. We had questions, they answered them all. They work hard to raise money from volunteers to provide guide dogs for young children. They are the only ones in the United States who do this. Everyone should help them by donating. Young blind children are a truly unserved population and these people at MIRA have filled a much needed void. I am truly grateful for their kindness and knowledge and truly hope that our child will be able to have a MIRA guide dog.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended MIRA's event, Dining in the Dark, last evening at the Pinehurst Country Club.
In the midst of all those who attended, there were several young children with their guide dogs. I was amazed at the incredibly good behavior of the MIRA guide dogs.
In addition, the evening was elegant. Videos helped all of those attending to understand what MIRA USA is about - children and their guide dogs.
The final slide show was absolutely incredible. It showed the children, the process of getting their guide dogs and the things they had to learn. I am a professional in the visual field and I have not seen a more touching or well done slide show that captured so much emotion and joy. This was done by Dr. Doonan, the President of MIRA USA. She also moderated the evening. MIRA should clone her. She is one exceptional young woman with a ton of talent in many areas.
Thank you MIRA for the work you do, for the most enjoyable and professional and fun evening I have had in many years.
I will spread the word and I will donate. Your cause is sterling!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fabulous organization with fabulous people who change the lives of blind children. These guide dogs are beautiful and smart. These children are determined and intelligent. The match is super.

I came away from their website with a new view of blindness and a new appreciation for what a guide dog can do for a child.

I will donate only to this organization from now on due to their incredible success with children, their determination to help this underserved population of blind children and because of the way in which a child and a guide dog can change the views of the people they come into contact with.

Thank you, MIRA for your unique work.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

If you want to see excellence in action, check MIRA's facebook page, D Jay Baillie. It is fantastic!
Follow the students as they train with their new guide dogs. Honestly, I have tears and goose bumps when I see the photos.
I have met the staff.....Absolutely Amazing. DJ, Bob Baillie's guide dog is the best I have ever met and I have met many guide dogs. Baillie is pretty good himself! :-) Dr. Roy Ehrlich, the psychiatrist who works with the team, is so down to earth and so caring. He is a real find and such an asset to the staff and the families and the students. Dr. Marijanet Doonan, the President of MIRA USA....I just can't say enough about this talented lady...kind, friendly, down to earth and able to balance all the work required to keep this marvelous organization functioning smoothly and efficiently.
This is one truly great non-profit that I support with donations and with time. They rock!
www.mirausa.org

2

Client Served

Rating: 5


Deb Smith reviewed MIRA Foundation USA.

★★★★★ MIRA Foundation has changed the life of my oldest grandchild, Lexi who was born blind never had let her stop from trying new things. But the one thing that did hold her back and set her apart from her friends, was that she always had to have a family member or a guide to hold on to, Now with her Awesome Guide Dog, Cruz she has a whole new self confidence, The first time I saw Lexi walk down the sidewalk with Cruz, with her two younger sister's following them, I cried because I thought this is how it should be, her in the Lead not her little sisters leading her !!! Please donate to this Amazing Foundation, And help another Blind Child take the Lead !!!