Mariner Sands Charity Week Awards Equine Therapy Grant to Hibiscus Children’s Center


Hibiscus Children’s Center is pleased to announce it has received a generous $25,000 grant from Mariner Sands Charity Week for Equine and Music Therapy. Mariner Sands Charity Week is the giving spirit of the Mariner Sands Community, which has been generously supporting Hibiscus since 2008.   Jack Flanagan, President of Mariner Sands Charity and Interim Grants Committee Chair, shared, “We are thrilled to be a part of an innovative program to reach kids in a positive way and be instrumental in making it happen.  It’s rare to be in on such a novel and exciting program and make a difference for children”. 

Therapeutic and healing services can be provided in many forms.  Mental Health counseling is a main component of the intervention services provided at the Tilton Family Children’s Center in Jensen Beach.  Equine and music therapy is a new, innovative therapeutic approach that will bring transformational healing for children and reach them in a way traditional therapies cannot.

The abused, abandoned and neglected children living at the Tilton Center and children who are referred through Hibiscus’ Community Mental Health Program in Martin County participate in the Harmony and Horses Program with Harmony Hope Stables in Palm City.  This unique partnership is an expansion and welcomed addition to Hibiscus Children’s Center’s current mental health program for children.

The devastating effects of child abuse go far beyond its immediate physical and emotional impact on the child.  The impact permeates throughout the child’s entire life cycle.  Abused children show higher rates of school delinquency and failure, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, early entry into the criminal justice system, and domestic violence.  The transformational impact for children who participate in non-traditional approaches to mental health care such as equine therapy and music therapy are truly amazing.

Kristi Huddleston is the Founder/President of Harmony Hope Stables and works with a terrific team who help the children learn about horses while building self-esteem and confidence and learn how to self regulate and learn life skills, such as how both horses and children benefit from a calm, composed and relaxed atmosphere.  When a child is learning how to properly walk a 1200 lb. horse, it definitely builds confidence!  The Hibiscus children participating in this special program have expressed it best, “I like how it is quiet and peaceful to deal with the horses”;  “Sometimes my mind is full of negative thoughts and being with the horses helps my mind be quiet”; “I like being with the horses because they don’t judge me”; and “If I am sad when I go see the horses, I feel happy when I see them”. 

Hibiscus Children’s Center is deeply grateful to Mariner Sands Charity Week for their ongoing support of the children in our care and this wonderful grant that will enhance the children’s mental health and overall well-being.  For more information about Hibiscus Children’s Center and how you can get involved to help children, please visit us at or contact Michelle King, CDO, at (561) 452-5791.

Hibiscus members accept check from Mariner Sands