From the Ranch to the Board Room: a story of second chances
This is Roger’s story
Roger and his little brother came to live at the Ranch in 1976. In fact, they were our very first two Ranchers. Roger’s dad was a disabled Veteran and had been admitted to a nursing home. They had been living with their Mom.
At ages 7 and 5, Roger and his little brother had very little parental supervision. They would often miss school. Roger said his mom was “not the mother she should have been.”
Missing school meant missing meals, since school was where they would usually eat. Often they didn’t have anything to eat for days at a time.
They were hungry and afraid. They had no other family and had to fend for themselves because of their mother’s neglect.
This was their unfortunate story before Sheriff Ed Hall learned of their situation. Sheriff Hall was one of the founding Sheriffs of the Ranch and knew this would be the perfect home for Roger and his little brother.
Thanks to the Sheriffs of Arkansas and other supporters, Roger received a second chance at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. We are humbled to see lives like Roger’s transformed at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. Join others in supporting children like Roger by making a gift today.
Meeting the Growing Need
The reason I’m telling this story today is because there are thousands of children in Arkansas right now who have been abandoned, neglected, abused – much like Roger. You may have even heard about Arkansas’s foster care crisis in the news. The need for more homes for Arkansas children is greater today than it ever has been. This fact breaks my heart.
These children are why the Ranch is opening a new cottage to meet this growing need. And if you’re reading this story, we need your help! You can help give more children like Roger a second chance at childhood with a gift to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.
We need to raise additional funds funds to support this new cottage. We need to hire new house parents, stock our pantry, and make this house a home. These new children will need clothes, toys, and school supplies, and everything else you need to raise a child. You can help by making a one-time gift or setting up an automatic monthly contribution.
Roger’s second chance
The Ranch gave Roger a second chance to be a child and grow into a responsible adult. Here is a photo of Roger with his family at the Ranch’s 40th Anniversary Party last year. He is now married to his high school sweetheart, and they have two lovely children. He travels the globe as a business solutions architect for Tyson Foods a Fortune 100 company. This year, Roger even joined the Ranch’s Board of Trustees to help move the Ranch forward into its next 40 years!
Roger’s story is a testament to second chances that can happen when we work together to meet a need. Roger and his brother grew up at the Ranch and were given the opportunity to thrive thanks to friends like you and the Sheriffs of Arkansas.
The Ranch changes lives
While we would like to believe Roger’s story is an isolated case, unfortunately it is not. Many Arkansas children will go to bed hungry tonight due to neglect, while others will continue to live in an abusive home. That’s why we need to raise the funds to open this cottage ASAP. You can help by making a one-time gift or setting up an automatic monthly contribution.
Because the Ranch is almost entirely funded through charitable contributions, supporters like you have kept alive the dream of Arkansas sheriffs to provide safe, stable homes for children in need. And thanks to that partnership, the Ranches have been home to more than 1,300 boys and girls over the last 40 years.
The greatest gift you can give a child is a life free from hunger, neglect, and abuse. And even a small gift can help a lot! An easy, affordable way to give is by selecting the monthly option when making your donation. A gift of $25 per month is just .83 cents a day (less than the cost of a bottle of water), but it can truly change the life of a child. Click here to make a one-time or monthly gift today.
Thank you for considering a generous gift to help change the life of a child like Roger.
Nancy Weaver, Chief Executive Officer
PS, Read Roger’s letter below. Many children who come to the Ranches have a similar story. Your support of the Ranch gives these children a second chance to thrive in a safe, healthy and loving home.
I’m happy to share my story. Without the Ranch, my life – and my brothers’ could have been tragically different.
My brother and I were basically raised by a single mom since our father was a disabled Veteran living in a nursing home.
Our mom was not the mother she should have been. We didn’t get food on a regular basis and were left to our own devices. As children, ages 5 and 7 we were running around footloose in Augusta, Arkansas.
We would often miss school, which meant we might not eat for a day or two at a time. Our clothes were whatever we decided to wear and often were not clean. We were not taught hygiene at all.
Thankfully, Sheriff Ed Hall one of the founders of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches learned about our situation and brought us to the Ranch.
With the lack of understanding about hygiene, a hot shower and a toothbrush at the Ranch were new ideas! When we first came to the Ranch I had scars. I had to explain to kids these were caused by a negligent mother. This was embarrassing. In short I guess it is a miracle that we survived long enough to even make it to the Ranch.
The Ranch quickly became home. One of the best parts about being at the Ranch was having structure. Just knowing that we would have 3 meals a day and clean clothes to wear was great!
And, for the first time I actually got to be a kid! Up until this time, my life had been about taking care of my younger brother.
When I think about the people who had the greatest impact on my life, I think about my house parents Rick and Cheyenne Ingram. All the house parents really care about the kids and are always available to the Ranchers. I can’t thank the Ranch enough for helping make me the man I am today.
I am thankful I have a great job with Tyson Foods as Business Solutions Architect working around the world. I am confident that one of the reasons I have been successful at Tyson is because of the work ethic instilled at the Ranch. Having chores, responsibilities and learning to set goals were key components. I learned that life is not free and a person must work hard to accomplish their goals.
Nancy, please use my story to help your supporters understand the importance of their gifts to the Ranch. There are thousands of children just like my brother and me that could end up in trouble – on drugs or even worse.
The Ranch is a place of restoration, a safe place where kids get a chance to be kids and grow into responsible adults. I know that it takes a lot of prayers and financial support to keep the Ranch running and support this new cottage so more children can be rescued. Anything I can do to help encourage giving, I am happy to do.
The Ranch truly saved my life. I want other children to have this same opportunity.
Did you know that a monthly contribution of just $25 can provide:
• New shoes for up to six of our boys and girls
• A monthly allowance for one child
• Caps and gowns for all of our graduates
• Birthday gifts for 12 children
• Feed for our Rancher’s horses for one month
You can make a difference in the life of a child. Click here to make a monthly gift to the Ranches.