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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Texas EquuSearch

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief, Search & Rescue Squads

Mission: The Texas EquuSearch Mounted Recovery Team was started in August 2000, with a purpose to provide volunteer horse mounted search and recovery for lost and missing persons. The Team was started in the North Galveston County area of Texas because of the high incidence of missing persons in the largely undeveloped area of South Harris and North Galveston Counties. With this in mind, the team's existence and purpose are dedicated to the memory of Laura Miller, a young woman abducted and murdered in North Galveston County in 1983. Laura was the daughter of our director. We also work to educate the community and it's children on the dangers that exist in our homes, schools and neighborhoods. We finger print children several times a year, and offer informative speakers from groups like the FBI and area police departments to educate parents and adults at school functions and our monthly meetings which are open to the public.Our organization serves citizens throughout Texas and America, and not just a certain demographic because abductions and endangered missing cases can happen to any family for any reason, these types of crimes do not discriminate on sex, color, or financial status - it can happen to anyone.

Results: September 18, 2014 : Over 300 loved ones found alive and 188 loved ones deceased returned to their loved ones. That record is better than any agency or any other organization.

Target demographics: Texas EquuSearch assists law enforcement agencies in bringing home missing persons.

Geographic areas served: Our searches are primarily in Texas, Ohio and Florida but we have operated in a total of 42 of the United States, Aruba, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.  Our efforts have proven successful with returning over 300 missing people home to their families safely, many of which would have been deceased. 

Programs: Texas EquuSearch's resources range from horse and rider teams to foot searchers and ATVs.  We conduct water searches using boats, divers and sonar equipment.  Additionally, we perform air searches using planes, helicopters and small drone airplanes with highly sophisticated cameras.  We have also utilized infrared and night vision cameras, along with ground penetration units in some of our searches.  Texas EquuSearch has more resources than most law enforcement agencies, which allows law enforcement to conduct their investigation, while Texas EquuSearch conducts organized searches.  This has worked out to be a great working relationship between law enforcement and Texas EquuSearch.  This has also resulted in Texas EquuSearch being contacted by law enforcement agencies across the nation to assist them in their missing person cases.

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Texas Equusearch is a Godsend to the family of missing loved ones and is able to search for the missing in any way they can. Tim Miller took his worst nightmare and created hope for other families. Sometimes the families loved ones are found, though not alive. When this happens, as sad as it is, the family can bring their loved one home. And that in itself is priceless. As parents, there is no bigger nightmare than to have not only a missing loved one, but a missing loved who has passed and not knowing it. The work Texas Equusearch does is priceless and I plan on supporting this group for life. Thank you.

Bonnie92

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a new volunteer. I am very impressed with the mission and the heart of everyone involved in this group so far. So many selfless volunteers give of their time and finances to help others. This has reminded me that there really is lots of people who genuinely care about others.

2 Beryl Markham

Donor

Rating: 5

TEXAS EQUUSEARCH averages about 3 cases/week, or about 130 cases per year. COLLABORATION between/among public agencies (local, state and federal) and private TES is basic on all search cases. TRUST is also important as information to find missing loved ones depends on this. COMPASSION is the third word for the day because without it, why search?

1 Dave67

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer in the Ohio Chapter. I am also a client served. My daughter went missing in August of 2011. I sought out the assistance of TES. They came out to search as did hundreds of local volunteers. It was very heart warming & comforting to know so many people have big hearts & put their lives on hold to search for my daughter. Unfortunately, she was not found promptly. The passion of some of the folks that did not know Katelyn was overwhelming. They continued to search & decided to start a local chapter. Thus, the Ohio Chapter of TES was born. Katelyn's remains were found in a dump heap in April of 2013. My TES family never gave up and have beeny support. The love & passion this team has is amazing. Good has come from this tradgedy. I joined TES to honor my daughter & in hopes that I can ease an ounce of pain in a family's heart that I felt. TES eased my pain. I thank each & everyone of them. GOD bless each & every individual that puts their life on hold & searches for the missing. There is still plenty good in this world. It is up to each & everyone of us. GOD bless...

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When family's are at their darkest hour & in time of need that's when this organization shines. This organization is made up of all walks of life, they put all else to the side & put the family 1st & foremost. The dedication is off of all charts. As the director of the Ohio chapter I'm truly blessed to have been given the opportunity by Tim to be able to help family's that truly have no where else to turn. With TES it has made me believe that there is still more good in this world than evil. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for all you do!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Texas Equusearch since 2008, and have met some of the most generous people of their time within a volunteer organization. When someone goes missing families have no where to turn when law enforcement does not have resources available. TES offers the hope and support to hopefully bring loved ones back where they belong. Thanks for all that you do!

3 Mark149

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a member of the Ohio TES chapter I have never seen so many people willing to stop what they are doing at anytime to respond to a call in this by far has taught me so much and can honesty say from the bottom of my heart I truly love my extended family
Tim miller thank you for what you started and allow us carry on here in Ohio

Mark B

1 Mon T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent, hard working, most dedicated and passionate volunteers.
I pray you never have a loved one come up missing, however if it ever happens I pray this organization is still around to assist you.

2 TES2013

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a donor and an Active member of TES, I have never met more selfless individuals. I can tell you if you spent a day with a few of TES' best you will without a doubt agree with me! We are a family! We share the same passion! We are 100% the most dedicated group of volunteer searchers you'll ever encounter. We work only with law enforcement and never go out and search on our own!
Speaking on behalf of my fellow TES members, Thank you for all whom have trusted us in locating your

"Lost is not alone"

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an Active member of TES I can tell you the comments below are nothing other than exactly what bill stated : "members of other search organizations" if you spent a day with a few of TES best you will without a doubt agree with me! We are a family! We share the same passion! We are the most dedicated group of searchers you'll ever encounter. We work only with law enforcement and never just go out and search on our own! That Bill, is a false statement.
I can speak on behalf of my fellow TES member however I can not speak for volunteers whom search a few times and form opinions. Thank you for all whom have trusted us in locating your loved one.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and 6 crew members disappeared in the Tasman Sea in June 2013 while sailing aboard a 70' schooner from New Zealand to Australia. We, and the other family members, heard about Texas Equisearch (TES), and I honestly don't know what we would have done without their help. Their competent team of volunteers connected all of us through daily conference calls as we threw around ideas and information that could help in our rescue efforts. The boat still hasn't turned up, but we know it's possible for the crew to be surviving because others have done it. If they lost their mast, they could be caught in the wild and unpredictable Tasman currents. TES put together satellite searches and we found a boat the exact size and shape of our boat, but New Zealand refused to fly out and look at it, stating that no one could be alive after drifting for 3 months. We had to laugh when the man from Mexico washed up in The Marshall Islands after 14 months crossing the Pacific Ocean in a small boat with nothing but fishing gear. Another boat took 18 months before turning up in Tonga after being caught in the Tasman eddies. TES helped in fund raising efforts as well, and over $600,000 was raised to fund private searches. When New Zealand's Search and Rescue turned over search data, claiming that they did an exhaustive search and the boat sank, TES was able to study their procedures and question their capabilities. And even after a year, TES still participated in weekly conference calls with family and involved parties, striving to keep us informed while pushing for changes in the way future searches overseas are conducted. We remain eternally grateful to TES and their determination to save lives and help families achieve closure when the worst thing possible happens; someone you love goes missing.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Texas EquuSearch jumped on board with us in a most challenging scenario. We needed their expert help to locate my daughter on the missing sailing yacht - "Nina". The volunteers at Texas EquuSearch were unrelenting in their efforts. The team was very professional and knowledgeable. Because of their efforts, the whole world of Maritime Search and Rescue has been improved. THANK YOU!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is The Most Remarkable and Life-Changing Non-Profit! July 10 of this year, my 57 year old brother-in-law James went missing. Our family was living a horrible nightmare. After 2 1/2 weeks with little to no active law enforcement support, and close to exhaustion due to our endless and extensive search for him, Texas EquuSearch (TES) was contacted. Tim Miller, founder and director of this remarkable nonprofit took the case and in 5 days, they found James. Tim was present everyday, and a source of strength and comfort during this time. Tragically James' death was not the ending we wanted, but at least our search was over. TES volunteers that arrived daily to help were the most compassionate and professional individuals who touched our hears, and who gave so much of themselves. Because of my first hand experience, last weekend myself and 5 other family members went through TES orientation and we are now qualified to help support TES's mission: to find missing loved ones and bring them home to their families. We are honored to part of this non-profit as both volunteers and donors. "Lost is not alone".

2 Howdy Y.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are a far-reaching system of dedicated professionals and concerned individuals who donate their time to resolve incidents which may not have the personnel to deal with the issues, if not for their networking and co-ordination.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Texas Equusearch has taken up searches when called upon in situations where their unique expertise has enabled missing people to be located. One always hopes such ends happily, but unfortunately, that is not often the case. This team of folks pours themselves and their resources in their efforts and quickly and logically aide searches thwarted by difficult circumstances. By participating as they do, family members, law enforcement and communities gain a sense of relief and confidence that all that can be done is happening. This peace is palpable and compassionate. Many times, the worst ending is the result -- but such closure is supportive of having completed the mission in the most thorough and noble manner. This appears to bring peace to the grieving families and searchers. Unless you find yourself in this position, it is difficult to imagine how important and impactful such diligence and compassion are to families and searchers -- Those leaders, experts and volunteers give so much of themselves and their resources to help locate missing people and I urge you to recognize this 5-star non-profit. Cases such as Mickey Shunick in Lafayette, La; the crew of the Nina sailing from New Zealand; the disappearance of Christina Morris in Plano, Texas; and many more searches described on their website. Respect, intense passion and experience drive this fabulous resource.

Thank you kindly for your consideration of Texas Equusearch for top non-profit in Texas. As a member of the community, I appreciate their generous efforts.

Kind regards,
Allison Kanagy
Akanagy@msn.com
817-706-8505

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As both volunteer and donor, I know firsthand that Equusearch exists for one purpose only: to find missing loved ones and bring them home to their families. As a professional, ethical and compassionate search and recovery organization, in 14 years, TES has become an internationally known nonprofit that law enforcement and other agencies now depend on to assist them in finding missing persons. Law enforcement agencies simply do not have the manpower nor equipment available that TES uses to conduct the large and complicated searches TES has become known for. TES is a highly specialized, unique organization who works directly with law enforcement, which means families must go through the investigating agency to obtain TES's help. Their reputation is outstanding, and TES has set a precedent for other SARs for citizen search and rescue in our country. They do background checks on all members and have an absolute zero alcohol or drug tolerance. Founder and Director Tim Miller's commitment to finding the lost is without end. Since government funds are not available to SAR groups without K-9 units, TES depends solely on donations. When my father went missing last year, I NEVER thought it could happen to our family. None of us are immune to such a nightmare. We simply must support Equusearch and other SARs like them with our donations. We need them. Law enforcement needs them. Tomorrow it could be you calling for their help.

Review from Guidestar

2 Cathy60

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A dear friend of mine's son went missing for over a month. The police took the missing person's report but was really not able to help much from that point. When Texas Equusearch got involved it took only a matter of days before his son's body was found. Though it had a tragic ending, at least his family had closure. Their expertise and compassion is beyond compare.

2 Veronica13

Client Served

Rating: 5

I lost my 21 year old son, Matthew Arzate, in a drowning at Canyon Lake, TX in 2011. Texas Equusearch was the only group of volunteers that never left our side. I can't explain the needed support of such a great team that stood there with us from morning to dawn everyday looking for my son. The support from Texas Equusearch was one that I thank GOD each and every day. They became family to us and I am honored by the support, love, and care that was poured out to us while this tragic accident took place. May GOD bless them in any way needed to continue helping others.

Review from Guidestar

2 Ashley55

Client Served

Rating: 5

My sister came up missing at the end of July 2011. We had nothing, but the guy that murdered her and he wasn't saying where she was. I honestly believe that without the help of Tim Miller, Paulie & the rest of the Eqqusearch team, my sister wouldn't have been found as soon as she was- if ever.

Eqqusearch is an amazing group of people who unselfishly search for other people's family members without considering the toll these cases have on themselves. As a member of a family they have helped, I feel completely blessed to have ever had the privilege to meet this amazing group. Thank you so much, TES, for everything you do! :)

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My nephew has been missing now for 2 years. My family tried to get help from TES but they said they couldnt help us unless they were invited by the police. We totally understood that, so my family fought endlessly to garner the support of the police department, finally getting them to agree to let TES help us search. TES official came down, met with us and seemed really upbeat and positive that they could help us find our nephew. We were so excited to finally have the possiblity of some help. Imagine our sorrow the next morning when they told us, after meeting with police that it was too dangerous to come help us search. They said that they would be back after deer season ended......we are still waiting. We haven't given up on finding our nephew. We hold searches endlessly, however we have given up on TES helping us.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I am a family member of a missing young man. I spent many hours on the phone begging for help from TES. We didn't get their help. I sat and watched as other families made sizeable donations to TES and got their support. I often wondered if my family had been able to make a sizeable donation, would we have gotten the attention and help that our loved one deserved? Still waiting and watching as others get help. Very discouraging.