Beading Divas to the Rescue’s July 2010 charity is Mini Miracles, Inc. of Tucson, Ariz. All bracelet sales for the month of July benefit Mini Miracles.
Some miniature horses and donkeys in our community are helping in a big way. Mini Miracles, Inc. was established in 2008 to reach out to the special-needs and at risk children in Southern Arizona through animal assisted activities with our miniature animals.
While some of what we do is considered educational, more importantly we provide an opportunity for social and emotional interaction between children and animals.
The miniature horses and donkeys come to the children. During a visit, these children learn a little bit about what it takes to care for a horse or donkey. They touch the animals, groom them and lead them. Mini Miracles, Inc. introduce basics for interacting with the minis which may carry over into their every day lives. Those key basics include talking quietly, touching softly, moving slowly, and respecting personal space. Horses and donkeys are prey animals so if they feel remotely threatened, their response is to flee. Children learn how to interact in a non-threatening manner.
Some children are victims of domestic violence or have witnessed it in some degree. Others have a broad range of educational, emotional, and social needs, or suffer from substance abuse issues. They often lack the ability to see the link between their actions and consequences. Because horses are non-judgmental and have no expectations or motives, a young person can learn about how to handle their emotions without fear of rejection.
Through the program “Mini Hoof Prints on the Heart” youth are encouraged to improve their life skills through relationships with animals that spill over into their relationships with others. Youths who learn equine skills show better decision-making, communicating, goal-setting and problem solving as well as empathy and teamwork. The sense of pride that children feel when they reach a goal with their four-legged friends, gives them every reason to remain on course. By providing positive feedback, building self esteem and exposing the children to healthy experiences, the cycle of violence may be broken.
In the end, it’s the joy in the faces of the children and the awareness our animals bring to light that makes a difference.
“A horse doesn’t care how much you know until he knows how much you care.”
– Pat Parelli
Mini Miracles, Inc
Empowering Children through Animal Assisted Activities
Or in Tucson, check out
Silver Sea Jewelry & Gifts, 330 N. 4th Avenue, 520-624-9954
Desert Rose Homeopathics & Herbals, 2550 East Fort Lowell Road
Dirty Dawgs, 2510 North Campbell Ave, 777-6045