Dear Friends,

As you read this, I am hopeful that we are all preparing to gleefully bid farewell to 2020. It has been a memorable year that had many forgettable decisions made around a pandemic that shook our society and pressed our resolve almost to the breaking point. As a result of the pandemic and the multitude of decisions made in reaction to it, 2020 has been a year of uncertainty at The Ranches. The economy that drives our donations was hampered, controlled, stopped, started and put through the wringer. Thankfully, we were able to get through the year with the ability to weather the financial storm of uncertainty. In fact, while
society and the economy locked down and waited for better, safer days, we were inundated with applications for kids who had been thrust into homeschooling with parents who were simply doing their best to adapt and survive uncertain times. With a little resourcefulness, agility, and grateful souls, we were able to create an environment that allowed us to continue to help young people in the midst of all the chaos. We were able to stay open and continue to accept kids; albeit with a little quarantining while we awaited test results. God and y’all really blessed us during this time.

While I am proud of all that we were able to do and continue to offer to families, it comes at a cost.

For the entirety of The Ranches’ existence, we have had an unusual business model. We offer premium services to children and their families at little to no cost to those families. While we do work with families to contribute a small amount to the care of their child, we have never refused services to a family that could not pay. In fact, in my time with The Ranches, I have seen only a handful of families contribute more than $500 a month and many were limited to contributing less than $10. In addition, CYFD routinely places kids with us and we do not, out of respect for our bylaws and due to the strings attached, take any of the funds associated with those kids.

So, what do you get for next to nothing?

I am glad that you asked. In the early days, we were more like an orphanage that sheltered kids in need. Over the years though, we have become a whole lot more like a hybrid between a residential treatment center and a private boarding school.

We address many of the behaviors associated with kids in need of treatment while also offering year-round living arrangements with a school that allows kids to get caught up if they are behind, get ahead if they are more mature or just get the support and help that they need in order to learn at their maximum potential. So, how much is that worth? According to Boarding School Review, the average boarding school tuition for a U.S. citizen is $56,875 per year (as of October 14, 2019). And, according to healthyplace.com, prices range from $10,000-60,000 per month or ($320-1,930 per day) for residential treatment facilities.

Now, to be fair, we don’t have a football team, baseball team, rowing team or connections in the Ivy League. We also never restrain kids and we don’t have a pharmacy on our campus to prescribe mood altering drugs to kids. We do, however, offer mental health counseling, the natural therapeutic ability of horses and hard work and an education that focuses on the individual needs of each child. In addition, we offer Equine Gestalt Coaching, ranch life, three meals and 2 snacks a day and a group of caring, faith-based adults who will strive to always meet the needs of the children in their care without worrying if the tuition or bill is paid each month.

In all that we do, it is our donors who accept the financial responsibility of offering hope to the kids in our care. Some donate because it is for “…the least of these” and some because they were in need of some help in their younger days and some just because they have a heart for bringing hope to hurting kids. Whatever the reason, we deeply appreciate every gift as we know each and every child that will benefit from the generosity of someone that they have never met providing them a bed to sleep in that will never truly be theirs and a group of caring adults that will offer the structure, discipline, hope and love that they so desperately need and deserve.

So, to all of you who have given, thank you. If you are in a position to help a little more at this unprecedented time in our history, we will work diligently to make sure that we never waste a penny of your generosity. One day soon, we hope that the kids you are helping now will join you in helping the kids of tomorrow. While the year may change, I have never seen a year that didn’t have kids in need of hope and healing.

Heath Kull – President

Your Support Will Make All The Difference!

Year-End Appeal 2020

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Donation Total: $25.00

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