Back to School at the Ranches
As the summer winds down at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, our boys and girls are soaking up the daylight and enjoying swimming, canoeing, fishing and riding their bikes around our beautiful campuses. They have also been busy caring for our cattle and working in the fields to make some extra spending money because they know that soon they will begin preparing for a busy school year.
Back-to-school is an exciting time at the Ranches. There are a lot of back to school haircuts to get and new school clothes to shop for. And you can only imagine the number of backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, paper, and crayons the children go through in a school year!
In 2014, the National Retail Federation estimated that families with school-age children spent an average of $669.28 on clothes, shoes, and school supplies, up nearly 5% from 2013. The Ranch cannot afford to spend anywhere near the national average on our children, but when you have to outfit more than 40 boys and girls, the cost of these items quickly adds up.
You may see these costs and wonder, “Is it worth it?” If you are asking yourself this question, I have a few questions for you to consider:
Is it worth it to see a child’s eyes light up when they get their very first new backpack?
Is it worth it to a see how a child can go back to school with confidence because they have a pair of new shoes that fit them?
Is it worth it to see a child succeed in school for the first time in their life because they are not worrying about where their next meal will come from? Or if they are going to be abused by someone if and when they go home from school?
These shouldn’t be questions that we have to ask. I am sure you agree that every child deserves a home where they feel safe, secure and loved. Every child deserves a home where they don’t have to go to bed hungry each night. And every child deserves a chance to succeed and receive a quality education.
You can give our boys and girls that chance at a successful education. You can give them that kind of home. Thanks to friends like you, the Ranches have been home to more than 1,200 boys and girls. But we need your help to continue to provide safe, healthy and loving homes to Arkansas boys and girls.
It is expensive to send more than 40 children to school each year, but the reward of seeing our boys and girls succeed in their classes and learn new skills is far greater. At the Ranches, we know that a quality education is one of the best ways we can prepare them for life. It is also one of our best opportunities to break a cycle of abuse and neglect that has plagued so many of our children’s lives.
In May, we saw two of our young men and women graduate from high school. For many of our Ranchers, graduating high school and going to college seemed an impossible dream. But because you make the Ranches possible, they may be the first in their family to even graduate from high school. You can make that dream a reality.
With more than 40 children going back to school in August, we need your generous support now more than ever. Because we receive more than 90% of our funding from friends just like you, please know how very grateful we are for each gift. To you, it may seem like only a small monthly or annual contribution. To our boys and girls, you are making dreams come true. And you can bet that it is worth it! Please consider making a gift here.
Even though back-to-school is a busy and expensive time at the Ranches, we need your help all year long! Please consider becoming a Hope Builder by making your gift a monthly contribution. By becoming a Hope Builder, we will automatically process your gift each month with a debit or credit card. It is a safe and simple way to support the children at the Ranches.