We recently received a message on our Merciful Minis web site.
“Would it be possible during this challenging covid time for the minis to visit our Motherhouse?”
Mindful of the recommendations of scientists and those in the medical field, we explored possibilities of how this may work.
The weather was perfect for an autumn visit outdoors. Hand sanitizers and masks were available and in continual use and the speaker maintained a social distance. The visit was brief but the Sisters were so thrilled with the minis, their size, their behavior, and their beauty.
Giggles, laughter and clapping prevailed. The minis performed like seasoned therapists.
Would we return? How soon?
We were humbled to be among a core group of women who committed their lives to God and the service of others.
Our Merciful Minis Team had been eager to visit new schools and meet new friends as we introduced Just Say WHOA to Bullying to students in area school districts. Our calendar was full of engagements. We were excited to return to senior centers for another Meet and Greet. Our therapy evaluation dates were set and the Minis were “spot on” ready to go.
Unfortunately a world-wide virus spread throughout the area and our team was unable to do what we love the best: providing joy and unconditional love to others. All of our scheduled dates were cancelled.
Gradually things are starting to return to an ounce of normalcy. Volunteers are grooming and exercising the minis. Young children have made short visits and a horse trainer has begun working with our team, teaching all that is necessary to safely drive a pony cart.
We will soon begin modified off site visits ensuring the safety of all. We would like to thank those who have continued to support and care for the Merciful Minis throughout this challenging time. You have been our Angels of Mercy.
We are proud to share the honor Mike recently received from the Nascar Foundation for his outstanding contributions toward improving the lives of children in his community.
The 2020 year of the pandemic has been particularly challenging for non-profits. The needs of the sick and elderly are significant and we continue to receive inquiries about when the Merciful Minis can return to sites to help those in need, young and old.
Throughout this period Mike has continued to help in providing care for the animals: good nutrition, exercise, shelter from the elements, fresh water, fence repair and daily training.
We are closely monitoring the health of those in our area and are very anxious to resume our visits when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, we are very thankful for the work of our volunteers and support of our community members. Thank you and CONGRATULATIONS MIKE BERRY!
In honor of National Kindness week, Merciful Minis (Hawk and Rae) affiliated and registered with Pet Partners had the honor today to visit Lincoln-Way East High School. Special thank you to wonderful students and staff that welcomed us and made our visit a success. The smile on the faces of all warmed the hearts of those who attended. Until next time.
Merciful MinisRecipient of a Grant Acknowledging Community Involvement
Merciful Minis Miniature Therapy Horses is very honored to receive charitable donation money from The American Institutes for Research for the positive impact the handler teams have made throughout the southwest Chicagoland area. The nominated charities were voted on by employees in order to receive the funds.
Teams of miniature horses and handlers have visited area schools, libraries, senior citizen centers, rehab centers and scout groups with the primary objective of enriching the physical and emotional well-being of those we visit.
We are excited to continue visitations as we begin planning for the 2020 year. We are so grateful for the support of our volunteers and for the generous contributions made by those believing in the value of helping others.
The Mercifuls were thrilled to have a special guest join them during their visit to Smith Crossing in Orland Park, IL.! Mrs. Santa Claus took the afternoon off from baking Christmas cookies to join the Merciful Mini Team as they visited a very enthusiastic congregation of seniors eager for a repeat visit from the very furry little mini horses.
One senior in particular couldn’t get enough of her time with the minis, remembering youthful days of riding her own horse at her family’s farm.
The minis visited each senior giving all the opportunity to rub the manes or pet the soft noses of the young therapy horses.
We were so grateful to have the help of our skilled handlers, taking time out of their busy holiday schedules to assist making sure that the visit runs smoothly, questions are addressed, photos are taken, and the horses safely get on and off the trailer during cold, sometimes snowy conditions.
We are also grateful for volunteers who come to the barn during the week to help exercise and groom the minis, necessary to maintain the wellness of each animal.
When it was time to leave Smith Crossing we said our good byes, making sure that we wished all
While the Merciful Minis are winding down our 2019 visitation schedule we are simultaneously preparing for our exciting 2020 calendar year. Working closely with Pet Partners we have targeted Spring Evaluation dates for handlers and minis. This means winter is practice season for veterans and those newly interested in working with the minis.
We work as the weather permits. Our goal is to give the minis the opportunity to be exposed to different situations and to develop a special “friendship”, element of trust, with each handler. It’s not all work for the minis. They love the cool weather. They love to roll, romp, and chase one another in the snow covered pasture, with a zealous love of life and abandonment. For those of our followers who may be considering helping with our therapy program, we invite you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And for those of you who have helped us through donations and referrals we send a heartfelt THANK YOU ! Your generosity has enabled Merciful Minis to add joy into the lives of those in need.
Over many visits people have asked if we had swag…tee shirts, hoodies etc. We found a site that makes it easy and affordable for all to support Merciful Minis and have a great product. Click on the link ( or picture) below and see how easy it is to direct order and have items shipped to your home.
Following several days of record breaking cold temperatures relief was in the air, warmer temperatures returned and the Merciful Minis stepped off the trailer to visit their neighbors at Victorian Village.
The little minis entered the beautiful building confidently and were immediately greeted by staff and residents awaiting their visit. Thee minis made their rounds with each person. Seniors had the opportunity to pet each little gelding, some for the first time in their lives.
A couple celebrating 75 years of marriage asked for the opportunity to have a photo shoot with our little golden Hawk who happily complied.
At one point during the visit a Merciful Mini volunteer was overcome with sadness, remembering the loss of a loved one not long ago. At that point Hawk, sensing the volunteers’ grief, walked up to the volunteer and leaned closely to her, head resting against her side. All without the handlers’ prompting.
The visit continued. All said their goodbyes. The Merciful Mini Team left the building knowing that a special connection was made that afternoon reaffirming our belief in the power of the human-equine bond.
Chicago’s cold November brings a chill in the air that requires an extra ounce of warmth in our coffee to bring comfort to our volunteers who brave the elements and come out in the cold as the Merciful Minis prance up into the trailer on the way to visit Smith Village Retirement Center in the southwest Beverly neighborhood.
Upon our arrival we were visited by an enthusiastic administrator who greeted us warmly at the doorway to tell us how excited the seniors were to have the minis make a return visit to their beautiful home.
As the miniature horses confidently entered the lovely carpeted room we could hear the giggles of seniors excited at the prospect of horses inside of their home, donned with holiday plaid ribbons on their tales.
The minis visited with each senior. There was a wide range of horse experience in the room; one senior spoke of living on a farm in Ireland surrounded by animals while still others had never touched the mane of a horse in their lifetime. Regardless of their past experiences with horses each senior had the opportunity to feel the fluffy, clean winter coats of a miniature horse meticulously groomed for a pre-holiday visit. Many seniors called for the minis to continue to make more rounds, stay a little longer, and at one point, come up to their room for a longer visit.
It was at this time that I noticed that cold weather was no longer a factor. The minis once again found their way into the warm hearts of all- residents, staff and Merciful Minis volunteers.