At the 2020 Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and gala on January 24, the winner of the 2020 Community Collaboration Award will be announced. The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches is excited to be nominated.
“We at ASYR are delighted and honored to be nominated for the Batesville Chamber of Commerce award for Community Collaboration. For the last six years, we have pursued the goal of being a good partner to the community that has given so much to the boys and girls who call the Ranch ‘home,'” says Nancy Fulton, CEO of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. “We are honored to share our blessings with the community. We consider it our duty to support the community of Batesville through partnership, participation, and collaboration.”
An integral part of Independence County since 1976, the ASYR has continually built collaborative partnerships with organizations, agencies, corporations, and individuals. These partnerships help ASYR fulfill its mission—to provide a place to call home for Arkansas children who have been abandoned, abused, and/or neglected. As a nonprofit organization relying almost solely on private funding, the ASYR is grateful for strong community support in the Batesville area and beyond.
Key collaborators: banking partners
The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches has benefited from key partnerships with local banks for decades. These banks continue to invest their resources in helping the ASYR raise funds for children who need a place to call home.
One of these banking partners is First Community Bank, which has hosted its Annual Charity Golf Tournament to benefit ASYR for 22 years. The tournament alone has raised over $300,000 for the Ranch. First Community Bank’s support does not end there. Three years ago, First Community Bank also became the presenting sponsor of the Youth Ranch Pumpkin Patch in October. The Pumpkin Patch has helped raise additional funds and increase awareness of ASYR’s mission and services. More than 7,000 visitors have attended the Pumpkin Patch on campus.
First Community Bank President and COO Boris Dover said, “The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches work closely with First Community Bank through ongoing community collaboration projects, including an Annual Charity Golf Tournament and the Pumpkin Patch project. These generate additional revenue for the nonprofit organization. Both projects help make the Ranch a better place for boys and girls to call home. We ask that The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch be strongly considered as the recipient of the Chamber’s Community Collaboration Award.”
Another key banking partner is Citizens Bank. Four years ago, Citizens Bank began partnering with ASYR for #GivingTuesday, an international day of giving to nonprofits. Citizens Bank first matched donations made to the ASYR during #GivingTuesday up to $5,000. That $5,000 matching gift led to more than $15,000 in giving that first year. Since then Citizens Bank’s annual matching gift has helped encourage more than $158,000 in contributions to ASYR.
“Citizens Bank is proud to foster support for the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches in its efforts to find permanent homes for children. Together, through the Giving Tuesday campaign, Citizens Bank has helped the Ranches raise more than $100,000 in the last four years to provide funding for this critical and necessary mission. Supporting the Youth Ranch program is much more than money to us,” said Micah Beard, President of Citizens Bank’s North Central Market and current President of the ASYR Board of Trustees.
Partners in public relations and media
The ASYR’s record-breaking #GivingTuesday campaign was made possible by other partners, too. Two years ago, White River Now joined the campaign as a media partner. With the help of Citizens Bank (and other corporate partners), the amount raised more than doubled in the second two years over what was raised in the first two years.
Regarding White River Now’s work on #GivingTuesday, Chad Whitaker said, “It’s been our privilege to partner with the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch and Citizen’s Bank for Giving Tuesday. We get to share stories of children who have come to the ranch and had their lives changed for the better. Being that the Youth Ranch is funded mostly through private donations, we felt a special urgency to get the word out to our community of how great the need is. The public responded in such a compassionate way. We have seen the donations more than double since we’ve had the opportunity to be involved, and I’m looking forward to setting another record this year!”
Collaboration with sponsors, volunteers, and donors
ASYR’s work on #GivingTuesday also paved the way to a wonderful partnership with the Melba Theatre. On #GivingTuesday 2016, Judge Reinhold approached ASYR about hosting a charity screening of The Santa Clause to benefit the Ranch. The Melba helped the ASYR publicize the event, and we filled the theatre that evening with Christmas movie lovers, Judge Reinhold fans, and Ranch supporters. Patrons donated toys for our Ranchers and paid a suggested donation to raise additional funds. We recreated the event in 2018 with Judge Reinhold making another appearance and answering fans’ questions after the screening. We also celebrated #GivingTuesday that evening with a check presentation on the Melba Stage.
Home Depot is another invaluable community partner. The ASYR has received a Team Depot Home Depot Foundation grant for three years. The grant funds and Home Depot volunteers helped transform one of the Ranch homes, remodeling the kitchen, painting the walls, and completing landscaping, too. The volunteers also built picnic tables, decks, and fences for our houses last year and provided pumpkins at our Pumpkin Patch. This year, Home Depot is helping with landscaping projects to make our houses look and feel more like home to our Ranchers. Our campus is in much better shape today thanks to the support of Home Depot.
The ASYR is grateful for such a long list of collaborators and partners, including sponsors and in-kind donors. For example, Future Fuel donated fuel for the ASYR’s farm equipment and sponsored the Youth Ranch Pumpkin Patch. Precise Heating and Cooling’s customer appreciation day raised funds for the ASYR by selling BBQ meals. Pepsi Bottling Company washes windows for tips for the ASYR at Hawgs, and the Pinto Coffee and Comida provided a donation for every lunch special sold during #GivingTuesday. Scott Wood Chrysler Jeep donated a new truck for the ASYR farm program, and Bad Boy Mowers provides mowers to keep our lawns looking fresh.
ASYR gives back
The ASYR gives back to the community, too, partnering with other nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. This year, ASYR Therapist Maylynn Staggs, a National Board Certified Counselor, collaborated with the Batesville Child Advocacy Center, offering pro bono therapeutic services for adults in group settings and individual counseling for parents. She also collaborates with Batesville High School teaching mental health education to high school students to prepare children for challenges and decrease the mental health stigma.
Gratitude for partnerships
Thanks to our partners and collaborators, the ASYR serves children holistically and helps educate community members about the need to provide safe, healthy, and loving homes for Arkansas’ children. The need to provide homes for boys and girls continues to be an uphill battle with far fewer beds than needed. However, by working together with its great partners, the ASYR will continue to fulfill its mission.