Feedback on Mini Joys Programs:
Following are a few of the reasons that we ask for your support in continuing these
outreach programs in the coming year. These quotes were taken from letters written by
participants and staff from a few of the community groups and schools served by Mini Joys.
“I want to thank you for bringing the miniature horses to St. Luke’s plaza. These amazing animals have brought many smiles to patients and families at a time when they really needed a bright spot in their day. One patient in particular was having a hard time interacting with anyone and it was very powerful to see her actually reach out to touch Sophie and smile.
The compassionate sensitivity and professionalism you and your team display are an added bonus, as you share information and stories about the horses. Thanks again for volunteering your time and I look forward to future visits with the minis”.
Child Life staff, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital
“I saw reactions from our students on the Autism spectrum that surprised even me; increased ability to attend, increased joint frame of reference, increased eye contact, and a willingness to continue the interaction which is often lacking in other activities. It was truly therapeutic! I welcome and look forward to your return visits with our children.”
Marianne M. Blansett, Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist, Boise School District
"We loved having you visit our classroom. My visually impaired students were so excited to have the opportunity to touch real mini horses. They talked for weeks about the way they felt! They were fascinated by their fur, hooves and manes. They especially loved the story. Thank you so much for the lesson and the lovely gift of the book, "Wonderfully Made, The Story of Hope". I am having the book brailled so they can read it themselves!
Thank you for the work you do to give the students with visual disabilities this wonderful opportunity to experience the world of horses, and for bringing the message of hope! You all are so giving of your time and talent, and are such a blessing to the students and teachers alike. We will never forget you!"
Carol Sholz M. Ed., Teacher of the visually Impaired, Boise School District
“Thank you seems like such a small thing to say for the awesome interaction and joy your visit gave to our Veterans. Our guys are still talking about how much they enjoyed seeing the horses and “talking shop” and sharing tales. Thank you all for what you d, and we will see you all again soon."
Cindy Tatro, Idaho State Veterans- Home Activity Director
“You all made my daughter so happy and I am so thankful you all are helping her to make this happen, (program time with the horses). These are special days and so thank you for having a strong, open, caring and loving heart. You give us hope again”.
Written by a mom staying at the (WCA) Women’s and Children’s Alliance
“Dear Mini Joys, Thank you for bringing Sophie and Levi. I enjoyed petting the mini horses. What I learned about friendship is that it is important to be nice to each other. This will help me in life when I get a job and I am working with people who are different than me. I had fun seeing your beautiful friends”.
Rueben, Student in the Boise/Timberline W.O.R.C. program (Spec. Educ.)
"My students sure enjoyed having you visit our school. Levi and Sophie were a huge hit! The students listened to your story about Hope, the donkey, and could relate on how it is okay to be different. They were surprised and delighted when they discovered a copy of Hope's story had been donated to our classroom, and a copy to our school library, too! So many kids have chosen to read the book since then. Thank you so much for making a difference in the lives of all of our students!"
Elizabeth Blosser, Special Education Teacher, Cynthia Mann Elementary
“The positive experience of working the horses at Mini Joys can easily be seen in each visit. The confidence and trust that the Hays Shelter residents have gained from working with the miniature horses is obvious. One young girl was hesitant to touch the horses when she first encountered them. By the end of the session she seemed confident petting, hugging, leading the horses, and even picking their hooves. She said that she never wanted to leave and wanted to take one of the horses home.
Another girl sat apart from the group when she first arrived. By the end of the visit, she was confidently walking each horse and talking openly with the volunteers. The Mini Joys staff’s gentleness and respect that they show for their horses and for the residents from Hay’s Shelter goes a long way in developing trust and confidence in at-risk adolescents. The program is truly unique and highly valued by our staff here at Hay’s Shelter Home.”
Recreation Specialist, Hay’s Shelter