Donovan was just nine years old when he was rescued from an abusive home by local law enforcement.
He and his little brother and sisters were found alone in a roach and mice infested apartment. They would be left at home for days at a time, and Donovan was responsible for changing diapers and bathing and feeding the little ones. If his parents came home to find a baby in a dirty diaper, supper not cooked, or kids crying – he was severely punished.
Thankfully, Donovan and his siblings were able to come and live at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches while his parents got help.
When Donovan came to the Ranch, he had a difficult time adjusting to just being a kid. He would become very anxious if his siblings were out of his sight. He was still trying to parent them.
It’s been almost a year, and we’re finally beginning to see Donovan act like the happy little boy he is. He is thriving in school, and he even starred in two school plays!
Last year before arriving at the Ranch, Donovan was the last child drafted for his local youth football league. The coaches said he was just too difficult to manage, so they didn’t want him on their team. But he still loved playing football.
When Donovan arrived at the Ranch, he asked his houseparents if he could sign up to play again. His houseparents saw how happy playing football made him, so they invested time in him taking him to every practice. They cheered him on from the sidelines at every game.
At the end of the season, Donovan was awarded his team’s most valuable player, scoring more touchdowns than any other player! What a difference a year at the Ranch can make. For a child like Donovan, quality time and encouragement from a loved one was the difference between being the last child picked for the team and being team MVP.
That’s why at the Ranch, we pour as many good things into our children’s lives as we can. From playing football, to learning how to fish or ride a bike, to helping with the animals on our farm. We do all these things so that when they move on, they will remember how they were raised at the Ranch.
At the Ranch, we raise a child’s vision for what a loving family looks like. We raise their expectations of themselves for how well they can do in school. We raise their hopes for their own future by helping them set and accomplish their goals. We raise them to love as they’ve been loved and pass along those lessons to the next generation.
Thanks to consistent support from our friends and community partners, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches has helped raise more than 2,050 children like Donovan. For over 40 years, we’ve given boys and girls stable and loving homes where they get to be a kid while also growing into responsible young men and women. But many Arkansas children still need this kind of home.
Help raise a Rancher!
With your support, the Ranch can continue to raise children who come from homes torn apart by abuse and neglect. Your gift to the Ranch, no matter how small, can make a big difference in the life of a child.
You may have heard the saying “it takes a village” to raise a child. That statement could not be more true for us at the Ranch. It takes all of us working together to raise these children, but the lives that are changed here are more than worth the effort!
Join us as we raise a new generation of Ranchers! It’s quick, simple and secure to make a one-time gift or set up an automatic monthly contribution. Click here or text the word ranch to 41444 to make a gift today!
Did you know that a monthly contribution of just $25 can help 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 goats and other farm animals for one month
This year, you can make a difference in the life of a child. Click here to become a Hope Builder with your monthly gift to the Ranches.