Spiritual growth for Ranchers
Did you know that children who call the Ranch home attend church every Sunday? It’s one of the basic requirements for admission at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. Each child age 6-17 at the Ranch agrees to attend church weekly with their houseparents. If a child already prefers a particular denomination, the Ranch staff do their best to help the child attend respective services. Many Ranchers cite regular church attendance and spiritual growth as one of their favorite aspects of Ranch life. Not only do they learn about spiritual matters and gain insight into the meaning of life, but they also have opportunities for service and community fellowship. The Ranchers love Sunday School and youth group activities, building great friendships with their church friends.
When the sheriffs of Arkansas founded the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches in 1976, they dreamed that children in need would be able to have a place to call home. But more than just a place to lay their head at night and three meals a day, they dreamed that children would find stability, love, and purpose. And that’s exactly what Ranchers find at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. Attending church is just one way Ranch staff ensure that children at the Ranch find joy and meaning.
Easter at the Ranch
Because Ranchers participate in church services regularly, they understand the true meaning of the Easter holiday. They certainly enjoy Easter eggs, bunnies, baby chickens, and candy. But they also appreciate the spiritual truths behind the commercial hubbub. Easter is a season of rebirth and renewal; a time when seeds planted in the earth die and sprout anew. It’s a time of new life. This is exactly what children who call the Ranch home experience, so Easter is a big deal around here.
Each year, our houseparents have traditionally crunched numbers to find a way to provide Easter baskets for Ranchers. With tight budgets, this is no easy task. The cost of providing Easter baskets for eight children (the maximum number of children in one family-style cottage at the Ranch) is $200. Yet houseparents always go out of their way to ensure that holidays do not pass by unacknowledged at the Ranch. For children who come from unstable, traumatic backgrounds, it’s pertinent that they experience life in a new way. It is important that they have “firsts” full of wonder and excitement rather than dread and pain.
Help Ranchers celebrate Easter
This year, we’re trying to help houseparents build happy memories on Easter Sunday. We’re asking kind-hearted community members to donate an Easter basket full of goodies. Or, if you would rather donate cash and allow us to build a basket for you, you can donate $25 per basket.
We need 26 baskets (or $650) to provide current Ranchers with special Easter baskets. Baskets should be for boys and girls ages 6 to 17. Below is a breakdown of needs per gender and age group:
Female baskets: 1 ages 5-9, 3 ages 10-13, and 7 ages 13+.
Male baskets: 2 ages 5-9, 7 ages 10-13, and 6 ages 13+.
Would you like to make Easter special for one of our Ranchers?
Drop off your $25 donation or a furnished Easter basket at any Citizens Bank location in Batesville or Southside from now through April 6. Bank employees will be ready to accept your donations. Thank you, Citizens Bank, for your help in this effort!