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Minis and Friends

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Human Services, Patient & Family Support, Senior Centers, Seniors

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

Community Stories

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with Minis and Friends since I moved to the Austin area last year, and it has been positively wonderful. The people in leadership positions are present, active, and genuinely care about everyone involved (horses included!) Everyone who interacts with these minis gets to feel the benefits of equine therapy, from the youngest child at Dell Children's Hospital to the oldest of our volunteers. When I was looking for an organization that combined my love of animals with my desire to help my community, I couldn't have imagined that I would find such a perfect fit.

2 Lisa238

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't even begin to describe what this group means to me and what we give back to the community. We take the mini therapy horses to Dell Children's Medical Center, nursing homes, Alzheimer's facilities, shelters for abused kids, etc. It is hands down the most satisfying volunteer job I have ever had. There is no better feeling than seeing the smiles on people's faces when we bring these tiny horses to them. We lift their spirits, make them happy, and let them forget about their troubles for a while. The horses have an amazing effect on Alzheimer's patients - they often become lucid and present when we bring the minis in. The patients' families and care givers are always stunned, and they are so grateful for what our group does. I can't think of a better way of giving back to my community.

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Minis and Friends for about 2 1/2 years. Joining the group was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was looking online for more volunteer opportunities when I came across their page. When I saw I could help people AND work with tiny horses, I was ecstatic! I signed up right away, and went through the volunteer orientation. Minis & Friends does amazing work in the community. We visit Dell Children's Medical Center, shelters for abused children, nursing homes, Alzheimer's facilities, and even a women's correctional facility. The effect these little horses have on people is nothing short of amazing! People light up when they see the minis, and are just tickled when they get to pet them, groom them, and walk them. The minis get LOTS of hugs and lots of smiles. We bring happiness to the people who need it most!

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is insanely beautiful in terms of how big of a difference their efforts make. Thank you for making it possible for me to be a part of such a lovely thing.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Minis and friends for about 6 months now! I can not say enough great things about all those who are involved with this group! The volunteer training was well thought out and I felt very prepared to go out with the mini's to the community! The events that I helped with are the highlight of my weeks! To see the pure JOY on the children's and the parents faces is something I will never forget! There is AWE in the kids faces when they see and interact with the mini's! They get to "decorate" the mini's with flowers, hats, beads ,etc! They sometimes even get to take selfies with them! My only regret is that I don't have more time in my schedule to attend every event!

4 Sherry66

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization since 2009. I have been truly blessed to witness unique and amazing experiences as we visit facilities throughout Austin. These incredible Minis, possess an intuitive therapeutic ability, which our volunteers, who are extensively trained to handle a minature horse, interact with patients and clients, who may be suffering physically, mentally, or emotionally. This magic happens, each and every visit, as the Minis and volunteers bring smiles and lift spirits. The animal to human connection can not be overlooked or underestimated.

Previous Stories
7

Board Member

Rating: 5

As an owner of4 therapeutic miniature horses, I have seen the magical effect they have at lifting spirits of the most vulnerable population in our community. The human to animal connection is truly amazing and underestimated, but I've seen it over and over as we visit hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, and children's shelters.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We recently volunteered to serve with this amazing group. We have seen the joy and smiles of the elderly and the children brought by these little horses and the loving volunteers that share their love and time. This is an incredible organization that can reach out to those that are hurting and just need a little nuzzle or to softly touch a cute mini that can unconditionally give love in the most gentle way. To see the eyes light up and hear the excitement in their voices are the most rewarding blessings a volunteer can experience. LOVE THOSE MINIS AND THIS INCREDIBLE TEAM.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is amazing to get to see the smiles and happiness that these little horses bring to people. Minis and Friends has been great to volunteer with because there are clear expectations of what is required of me and everyone involved is always so welcoming.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Minis and Friends provides that ray of sunshine to people in need. They group is full of warm-hearted people.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Minis and Friends is celebrating its' 10th Year Anniversary! It continues to provide an excellent and well-respected reputation in the greater Austin metro area (Texas). We have added a set of new mini owners that will help us to reach back into North Austin and Williamson County soon. We have added new facilities and have had wonderful success recently with ATX Television Festival invitation, Austin Woman's magazine (online mid-July), Texas Reporter, KXAN, KVUE, Spectrum News and other businesses who recognize the importance of the work of the little horse therapists and our amazing volunteers. Minis and Friends is an ALL volunteer organization and 100% donation based.

3 Gil I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization since 2007. I have seen the wonderful results from the young children to the old. The smiles the little magical miniature horse bring to all is heart warming. The volunteers with this group are well trained, dedicated, and give freely of there time on weekends, holidays, and weekdays. They provide those with special needs a special kind of visit. The miniature horses are well trained and provide a service that only they can give.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Minis & Friends since 2007. And it is magical what the little miniature horses do for people with special needs. And the volunteers with this group are dedicated and show a passion for helping others. The team work in this organization is outstanding. The mission is all about what the miniature horses bring to those they visit. This organization is what volunteering is all about. Helping others with the use of Equine interaction with humans.

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6 Cassandra15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love the minis. I see the smiles on the kids faces and the joy they exude during our visits. The minis attract attention wherever we go. They brought out a lot of on-lookers at the Child Abuse Awareness March. Who wanted to chat with us about what the minis were doing.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with Minis and Friends for over a year now and it's been a wonderful experience. Everyone is on a volunteer basis and you can just feel the passion for the minis and for each volunteer opportunity we get to go on. It's always great to see the smiling faces of children and the elderly a like when they get to pet the minis. Equine therapy really does help and I love being a part of this organization!

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've joined Minis and Friends back in August and they have been such a great organization to work with. You can just see and feel the passion that all the volunteers and staff have for the people they serve as well as the minis. It's been a true pleasure seeing the minis interact with each child and elderly and you can only beam back. I hope to see this non-profit continues to grow and serve Austin.

6 Jen K

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a master volunteer with Minis and Friends for over two years. I can't explain enough what these little horses do for the people that we visit, you just have to experience it yourself. The joy that we see in peoples eyes. Just for a few minutes, these minis bring whomever we are visiting back to the now. Some are reminiscing about when they had horses, others are forgetting about what they are going through. But they all are laughing, smiling, hugging and loving a mini. Not only do these minis do so much for the people we visit, but they do so much for me! They are also my therapy horses. I get so much out of them. That and so much more is what Minis and Friends is all about.

Previous Stories
6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer with Minis and Friends has shown me how these extraordinary mini therapy horses impact the lives of so many people each visit we make. The physical, emotional and mental status of the people who come into contact with the minis always seem to get more positive the minute they see and touch these little ones. Not only do I get enormous satisfaction and enjoyment out of seeing these reactions, but I, myself get the same therapeutic benefits every time I'm around the horses. The people that are associated with Minis and Friends are just as important as the horses but most importantly, the mini owners!! Without the mini owners and their dedication, hard work, long hours and numerous other things they do with and for their minis, obviously this organization would not exist. I, for one am glad and blessed it does...

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I have been volunteering with Minis and Friends since last June. It's a very heart-warming experience to see the smiles on the faces of all the people we have the privilege of visiting with the mini horses. Our visits mean as much to those we visit as they do to me and my daughter.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have recently moved to Austin and was fortunate to find Minis and Friends on the Web. They have welcomed me into their families and allowed me time to play with the mini horses. I tell them every time, this is cheaper than therapy!! I really am proud to be a part of this organization that brings smiles, love and mini horses to hospitals, rehab facilities, nursing homes and many more places.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Minis & Friends is a wonderful nonprofit organization with an amazing group of people and, of course, the precious mini horses. It touches many lives and I am extremely happy and proud to be a part of it. I pray God will continue to bless all involved in making this happen, and for all the lives touched by the minis ☺️ !!

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I met Minis and Friends this past December when they came for a visit to my parents' home, per my request, as a very special Christmas present for my Dad who has Stage III lung cancer with mets to bone and brain. It was the best Christmas present - the joy those lil minis brought to my family, very special memories for all, especially my Dad !! I just fell in love with the minis and immediately wanted to be a part of such a wonderful organization, so I signed up to volunteer and have recently been going on visits with them as a volunteer. It is just wonderful to see the smiles on faces of those who really need it, very special. And the lil minis bring a big smile to my face as well. I am so happy, and proud, to be a part of Minis and Friends. !!

3 Christina103

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love, love, love Minis and Friends! All the volunteers, minis and owners are selfless in their dedication to bringing smiles, happiness and a little bit of wonder to all of the places we visit. It never gets old. No matter how many times we visit. Giving back and making people happy is the greatest gift. Really.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this organization and the joy it brings to the lives of others. The mini horses have such an impact on those we visit. I love Minis and Friends!

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Minis and Friends for over a year as a volunteer. It is such a great way to bring joy to the elderly and to young children.

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3 Cathy Xi K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best nonprofit organization ever! I joined the group last year and we really like a big family. I love everyone in the group!

6 Emily Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Minis and Friends for almost two years and have found it to be an amazingly rewarding experience. There is nothing quite like seeing someone's face light up (whether child or adult) when they realize that the minis are coming to visit them. I'm very grateful I have the opportunity to work with these amazing animals and such an awesome group of people.

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with Minis and Friends for a little over a year and have found it a wonderfully fulfilling experience. All people involved with the group are very dedicated to helping others and sharing the experience of being able to work with horses. I would strongly recommend this group for anyone looking for a fun way to give back to the community :)