Spring Appeal 2021
When you talk to people in this business – the business of raising other people’s children – you can count on people remembering fondly the first kid that really made an impact on them. We can all quote stories of how we impacted certain kids, but we also all have that one kid that was the first that we recognized as needing the same thing that we needed at their age. They impact us in irrevocable and remarkable ways.
Over the years, I have had a few of these and I have been forever changed by each of them and am, as a result, thankful for having gotten the chance to know them. While most have moved on to pursue their own interests, one recently came back to The Ranches to try and do for the kids of today what he felt that we had done for him all those years ago. When I met Angelo, he was a 14-year-old kid with a brutally quick and equally sharp wit and analyti- cal skills that were well beyond his handful of years. He taught all of us a whole lot while trying to learn as much as he possibly could.
When he returned to work for us, he spoke eloquently and fondly of his time with The Ranches. He was very clear in his belief that we helped him immensely and he was very clear on what helped the most. Like so many young men in their teens, he was extremely interested in both cars and girls. At the time, we had an employee that had a plethora of experience in paint and body work. This led to a pairing of skill and ambition. Over the few years that he was with us, Angelo bought a car, repaired some minor issues and repainted the car in a paint booth that he helped to build.
After leaving us, he went on to get an education in the trades. He is one heck of a welder and can weld just about anything. As we discussed his “paint booth days,” he reminded me of how much that meant to him and how much he learned while with us that translated to jobs and opportunities after leaving The Ranches.
And so, the idea of teaching trades at The Ranches was born.
Funding the Trades at The Ranches
When I sent out our initial appeal in support of teaching trades, the response was overwhelmingly positive. As a result, Angelo will be working with a group of kids to do what we usually hire vendors to do; from building shade structures in our horse pastures to rehabilitating our cottage kitchens that are showing their age. Angelo is set to begin teaching kids the skills that most kids learn from a handy dad, a stepdad and a few self-sufficient grandpas and moms and grandmas and aunts and uncles; how to handle most of what needs to be handled around the home.
Y’all’s generous support has allowed us to start this program and we cannot thank you enough for support. (For those of you who get irritated at me for sending you “too much,” here’s your chance to just toss this in the trash bin before you have to bear the burden of being annoyed at me for another ask.)
In getting everything set up, we discovered that we have begun to run low on “work trucks” around the ranch. Those trucks that used to be on their second run after being donated by someone who had the pleasure of their first run. Sadly, most of those trucks are somewhere between a bit past their prime and all the way past. As folks used to say, “they’ve got some city miles on ‘em.”
A generous donor has offered to match your donations up to $15,000 for a “Trades Truck” for storing and transporting tools and getting all of the supplies for all the projects that we hope to get done while teaching kids the skills that they need for self-sufficiency. Nothing fancy, but definitely safe and easily secured. Being that we often transport the most precious of cargo, we would love to insure a safe a reliable vehicle for this new endeavor.
Thanks to the generosity of a fellow donor, your donation can go twice as far in support of this exciting new program and opportunity for kids.
Heath Kull – President
Your Support Will Make All The Difference!
Spring Appeal 2021
Not sure where your donations are best served? Please reach out to us and we’ll guide you to the area most in need.