Mini horse non-profit brings cheer to nursing homes, 3 months in - FOX34 Lubbock

Mini horse non-profit brings cheer to nursing homes, 3 months in a row

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Minis and Friends visit a nursing home in early May Minis and Friends visit a nursing home in early May
LUBBOCK, Texas -

 

Minis and Friends set out on a mission 3 months ago, to bring joy to all the folks in nursing homes that still remain closed to visitors since the pandemic began. 

"Before that we would do 2 or 3 a month. We're doing 10 to 15 a month now. So, that's the upside of it. We're getting to use our horses for what they're there for," Melanie Tatum, who runs the non-profit, said.


It took awhile to get used to the new way of doing things. 

"When we first started, every single visit was a window visit. You don't get the full feeling, are we actually making a difference? The healthcare workers say yes, you are making a difference. You can't see inside, but inside there are smiles," 


In some cases, residents have gotten to say a big hello to the mini-horses, while getting some fresh air.  Masks and social distancing are required.

"There was a lady there and gosh, she just loved the horses. One of the other ladies was saying that she grew up on a ranch," Tatum said. "I had put it on Facebook, and the next day a friend of mine messaged me and she goes: 'that's my Momma,'" Tatum said, choking up a bit. 

"This has been a real pain. But we hear stuff like that and see stuff like that, it's all going to be okay, you know?"


Having visited nearly every nursing home in town, Minis and Friends is gearing up for round 2.


"We'll start over. We'll go back to the Plaza and we'll go back to Wilsire's," Tatum said.


The pandemic has brought its own hardships for the team.


"We can't go to the festivals and stuff like that. Our reading programs that are supposed to happen in the Fall, we don't even know if it's going to happen," Tatum said. "We can't do fundraising, you know we usually go to Market Street and do pictures with the horses," Tatum said. 


She says as long as they are needed, they will continue to bring the smiles.

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