• From Rancher to Aspiring Preacher
    10/29/2018

    John’s dad died in a car wreck when he was just 9 years old. And his mother was addicted to drugs, so he wound up going from one foster home to another. When John was 11, he came to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch, and he has been here ever since.

    A handsome young man with fair hair, bright blue eyes, freckles and a warm, caring smile, John is extremely smart and loves working with animals at the Ranch. He’s really good at chess and is eager to get outside and feed the chickens and goats who live near Faith Hall.

    Mrs. Cheyenne, his house mom, says that he also loves going to church, and they pray together every night.

    This summer, thanks to generous gifts from our supporters, John was able to go to church camp. This was life changing for him! John returned from camp very excited and said he wants to be a preacher when he grows up.

    “I want to help kids and let them know that being in foster care is not their fault.”

    Without friends like you, we wouldn’t be able to give these children the opportunity to go to camp or participate in extracurricular activities in school. (Honestly without your support, we wouldn’t even be able to keep them fed!)

    Every single day we give thanks for our supporters like you. Because of you give, John is overcoming the effects of being raised in a family torn apart by drug abuse. At the Ranch he’s learned there is much more to life than what he experienced as a young child.

    Many of our Ranch children come from extremely difficult circumstances – drug addicted parents, sexual abuse, physical abuse – many things we can’t even talk about. But because of the faithfulness of friends like you, these children don’t just survive, they thrive at the Ranch!

    This Fall we really need your help. Before coming to the Ranch, our children rarely, if ever, got to participate in school activities. You can’t imagine how much of an impact this one thing has on their lives. It makes them feel included and like normal kid, maybe for the first time. We would be so grateful to have your support as we wrap up the Fall semester.

    With your help Ranch boys and girls have the opportunity to succeed in school. You can help them reach their goals to become teachers, own their own business, become a social worker, or even become a preacher!

    YOU CAN HELP

    When you give, our children really do beat the odds and change the course of the next generation. Your gift will not only help us feed our boys and girls this Fall, it will give them the opportunity to feel normal and included at school.

    For the price of a fast food meal, you can help change a child’s life! You can join us in this life-changing work with a one-time gift of any amount or a gift of as little as $10 per month. Click here or text the word Ranch to 41444 to make your gift today. You may also mail your contribution to PO Box 3964, Batesville, AR 72503.

    SAVE THE DATE: #GivingTuesday is November 27, and Citizens Bank will match all donations up to $5,000 that day. Learn more about how you can make a difference this Giving Tuesday. If everyone who reads this will give just $10, we will exceed our goal! Support today.

  • On the Porch with Rick & Cheyenne
    09/20/2018

    Rick and Cheyenne Ingram are truly part of the fabric of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch. Since 1983, they have raised more than 500 boys in their home, Faith Hall. They have enjoyed seeing these children grow into emotionally stable and responsible young men, many who now have families of their own.

    We have a deep sense of gratitude to their 35-year commitment, and we wanted to ask them some questions about their time at the Ranch.

    Q: How long have you been at the Ranch?
    A: Rick started here as the mechanic in August 1982 and we started houseparenting in May of 1983,  so 35 years we’ve been houseparents! Of course, being a houseparent means you live here 22 days a month with 8 days a month off. Since we live only 5 minutes away, we go ‘home’ on our off time.

    Q: What’s one of your favorite Ranch memories?
    A: One of the funniest stories is when one of our boy’s chores was dishes. He really hated doing dishes, so he strategically hid them in the kitchen! Some were stacked up in the crack between the refrigerator and kitchen
    counter, some were in the pantry. When I discovered them and asked him how they got there, he looked at me
    with wide eyes and said, “Oh my goodness, who did that!” It had to have taken him way more time to hide them than wash them. To this day, we still laugh about that!

    Q: What’s been most rewarding about your work at the Ranch?
    A: The most rewarding thing about this job for us, since we’ve been here a while, is to get to see our kids come back with their own families and to see how successful they are.

    Q: If you could let supporters know one thing about the Ranch, what would you tell them?
    A: We would like our supporters to know that the Ranch really is a stable and healthy home for children…and that for Rick and I, it is our life. We love these kids unconditionally.

    The Ingrams are the force behind our #RanchRaised boys and girls, and we are so grateful for them, and for all of our houseparents, who pour many opportunities, life lessons, and lots and lots of love into our boys and girls’ lives every day at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.

    YOU CAN HELP

    For the price of a meal, you can help change a child’s life! You can help support this important work by investing in our mission and in these young lives. You can make a one-time gift of any amount or set up a monthly Hope Builder gift for as little as $10 a month.

    Click here or text the word Ranch to 41444 to make your gift today. You may also mail your contribution to PO Box 3964, Batesville, AR 72503. Contact Matt Cleveland at 501-940-3440 or matt@youthranches.com for other other giving opportunities.

    SAVE THE DATE: #GivingTuesday is November 27, and Citizens Bank will match all donations up to $5,000 that day. Learn more about how you can make a difference this Giving Tuesday. 

  • Former Rancher Now a Teacher | Back to School Time!
    07/28/2018

    Scott remembers, it was a hot summer day when he was removed from his home by the court. He was just 14 at the time.

    Although leaving home was scary, he felt going to the Ranch couldn’t be any worse than where he was living.

    Twenty-five years later Scott can still recount the trauma of being locked in the sweltering garage or the camper all alone. As one of 5 kids (from multiple sets of parents), things happened that no child should have to experience.

    After he was removed from his home, he was able to come live at the Ranch. Initially, Scott had anger issues. This made school difficult. He even had to repeat one year of school. But, because of committed houseparents that helped every night with homework and refused to give up on Scott, things began to improve. For the first time, Scott experienced true unconditional love.

    What happened next was a game changer. Some faithful supporters learned that Scott loved baseball and began picking him up from the Ranch every day to take him to baseball practice. Scott’s love of the game grew, and eventually he went to college so he could continue to play ball while learning how to become a coach and teacher himself.

    Today, Scott has a lovely family and is a teacher and baseball coach at Batesville Jr. High School.  Scott’s journey has brought him full circle. Now, this former Rancher is teaching the children who call the ASYR “home” today!

    Read Scott’s letter below.

    You Can Help!

    Today, just like when Scott was at the Ranch, we are truly grateful to our generous supporters who help provide for our Ranch boys and girls.

    Here is our immediate need. School is about to start, and we have lots of boys and girls to outfit. With a gift of $285 we can provide everything our students need to begin school, like new school clothes, shoes, a fresh haircut, school supplies, even a new backpack.

    You should see their eyes light up when they get their first brand new backpack. Can you help us today?

    Even a gift of just $30 can give two children a brand new backpack – something many have never had before. Something they can carry with pride instead of embarrassment.

    Your gift today not only helps buy school supplies and backpacks, but it’s also an investment in the futures of our boys and girls. It’s hope for a brighter life. Thank you for supporting.

    Help us send our children back to school! 

    •  $285 can outfit 1 child for the 2018 school year
    •  $150 can buy new school clothes
    •  $125 can purchase school supplies
    •  $50 can pay for 5 fresh haircuts
    •  $45 can buy a pair of new shoes
    •  $30 can buy 2 new backpacks

    You can make a difference in the life of a child this school year. Click here to become a Hope Builder by making your gift a monthly contribution to the Ranches. It’s quick and easy to make a gift: click here or text the word ranch to 41444 to make a gift today!

     

    A letter from Scott:

    When I was just 13 I came to the Ranch. It was the first time in my life I felt safe and loved.

    At the Ranch, I learned what a normal childhood was. I got to fish. I got to go to school at Batesville, where I played sports – and loved it.

    I feel so lucky that some committed supporters of the Ranch took an interest in me. They would drive all the way to the Ranch to pick me up and take me to ball practice every day for two summers!

    That was a game changer – complete strangers cared enough to take me to ball practice. Then my houseparents Rick and Cheyenne continued taking me all the way across town just to make sure I continued to make it to practice.

    I don’t want to think of what my life would be had it not been for the Ranch.

    I want to give back. That’s why I’m now a teacher and a coach.

    Some kids just need a chance, and thousands of kids in Arkansas don’t get that chance. When you give, it means more kids get a chance. More kids have food to eat and a place where they’re safe. They can find hope!

    Please continue to support the Ranch. It all adds up, and it can change a kid’s life. It certainly changed mine.

    Sincerely, Scott

  • From unimaginable childhood to a bright future
    01/18/2018

    An Unimaginable Childhood

    Llahoma was only 10 years old when her parents divorced. Soon after that, her mother became pregnant with another man’s child. Her mother went from job to job. Over the next 3 years, they were evicted often and a variety of men were in and out of Llahoma’s life. There was no stability.

    Llahoma’s mom and her live in boyfriend were both addicted to drugs. Her mother would often try to barter her for sex in exchange for more drugs.

    First, her mom was trafficking drugs. Then she started an escort service. Every day was filled with physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. In the 6th grade, Llahoma only went to school for 3 months. She was beaten so badly that year that she couldn’t use her arm.

    When Llahoma was 13, her mom had sobered up, but she thought Llahoma was the cause of all her problems, so she decided that sending Llahoma to live with her dad was the solution. She took Llahoma to Toad Suck Park near Conway, gave her a scribbled note with a number for a taxi, and an address she believed to be Llahoma’s dad’s. Then she left.

    This was the last time Llahoma saw her mother alive.

    Llahoma was not a welcomed guest at her father’s house because he had a girlfriend who had her own child. Llahoma was devastated. But fortunately, this situation led to her finding the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch.

    “It was hard when I first came to the Ranch. I didn’t want to talk to the counselor, I just wanted to listen to my Walkman. After all the hurt from my mom, I felt that my dad didn’t care either.”

    Soon after Llahoma arrived at the Ranch, the staff and her doctors discovered that she was addicted to amphetamines and was experiencing withdrawals. She had no idea that her mom’s boyfriend had been slipping her drugs to be able to sexually abuse her.

    The Next Chapter

    Although Llahoma’s story began with an unimaginable childhood, thanks to loving houseparents at the Ranch and generous donors who make the our work possible, this story gets better.

    Once her system was clean, Llahoma realized she was in a safe place at the Ranch. And Ranch life was so much better! She got real food every single day – and someone actually cooked her food. She was also able to bond with other girls at the Ranch who had been through similar situations. She no longer felt like an outcast because the girls had each other, and the guys were like real brothers. She knew they had her back and that the Ranch was a safe place where no one would come in her room at night.

    Dr. ‘G’ was Llahoma’s counselor, and he was so helpful in her recovery. He taught her how to have appropriate interaction with men and not be afraid. He taught her who she could be.

    Llahoma says that houseparents are truly the unsung heroes of the Ranch. They not only care for the children’s physical needs, but they also make every child feel safe and loved.

    Not long after coming to the Ranch Llahoma got a job at age 14. The Ranch encourages Ranchers to get jobs. She saved her money, and at 16 she bought a car. She excelled in school. She was Vice President of the ART Club, active in her schools chapters of Future Business Leaders of America and Future Farmers of America, and she played softball. She loved staying busy with her school’s extracurricular activities, and her houseparents always encouraged her in her endeavors. Upon graduation she got a full ride scholarship to Henderson State University, where she attended their Honors College.

    Llahoma became involved with the Humane Society and was the youngest person ever elected to their Board of Directors at age 20. Later, she received a job offer from the Red Cross and moved to Baltimore. She also worked with Americorp and the Domestic Peace Corps.

    At age 25, Llahoma learned that her Mom had cancer and had passed away, so she returned to Arkansas for the funeral.

    Llahoma has a big heart for animals, and after returning to Arkansas, she was offered a Regional Training position for Petco as a Behavior Consultant working with abused animals. Many of her clients referred to her as the “Dog Whisperer.” Not only had she been abused, but she formed special bonds with her pets that had also been abused.

    A Bright Future

    Today, Llahoma is the Regional Philanthropy Officer for the American Red Cross. She has a six year old daughter who loves to sing and dance. They’re both fans of Wonder Woman and live in Central Arkansas.

    Thanks to everyone that supports the Ranch, Llahoma has grown into a successful young woman. She tells us, “I have found my voice and it is strong!” So from Llahoma, her daughter, and everyone at the Ranch, we are grateful to everyone who played a part in Llahoma’s story.

    “This is my story. I would not be the woman or the mother I am today without my story, and the Ranch is a big part of that.”

    You Can Help

    Llahoma’s story is just one of more than 2,050 boys and girls who have called the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch home over the 40 plus years. Thanks to generous supporters of the Ranch and their love for children, lives are changed every day at the Ranch. With an annual or monthly gift to the Ranch, you too can impact the lives of children children like Llahoma who have been neglected, abused and abandoned. Click here to give today.

    As an honorary member of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, you become our partner in serving hurting children. We could not do this important work without the faithful support of friends like you. As a member, you will receive a 2018 membership card, a window decal, and we also have license plate tags and frames available to show your support of the Ranch!

    Many of our Ranchers have had a difficult past, but at the ASYR they find a brighter future. But we can’t do it without friends like you! You can join us in this lifesaving mission by committing to an annual or monthly 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.

  • He tried to run away 3 times…
    10/01/2017

    Ben was just 13. He’d been horribly abused by his drug-addicted parents. He did the best he could to take care of his younger siblings when his parents were high.

    His younger siblings were eventually adopted and all ties to them had been cut off. This was really hard on Ben.  When Ben came to the Ranch he was probably one of the most depressed young boys I’d ever seen. It broke my heart.

    Being so young and with his history of abuse and abandonment, Ben didn’t know how to handle his emotions. He was defensive and angry. He struggled daily just to get along with others. He certainly didn’t feel he could trust adults.

    Three times – yes, three times, Ben put his things in a trash bag and tried to run away. But every time a house parent would go after him, bring him home and let him know how much he was loved.

    Finally, Ben realized that trying to run away wasn’t going to work. He is loved here and we are not letting him go! It took a few years, but now Ben refers to the Ranch as ‘home’ and everyone here as ‘family.’

    Today, Ben is a sophomore and has a good job working for a local restaurant. Ben accepted the love and grace that we poured out on him. He is grateful that he has a family that loves and cares for him.

    We are forever grateful to our donors who allow us to make a difference in the lives of children like Ben.

    Read Ben’s letter to two of our staff members who made a difference in his life.

    YOU can also help give these children the second chance they deserve, and your gift to the Ranch, no matter how large or small, matters.

    Children are waiting. We need your help to give a second chance to every child who simply needs a stable, loving home. Can you make a gift so we can help more children like Ben? Click here to give today!

    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.

  • He was 12 and couldn’t tie his shoes…
    09/01/2017

    Life Before the Ranch

    He was just 12 years old and living in a run-down camper. There was no electricity, no water. It was heartbreaking. This was one of the worst living conditions we’d ever seen.

    Dylan was living with his father. Unfortunately, his father was not mentally capable of caring for Dylan.

    Dylan didn’t know how to brush his teeth, bathe properly, make a bed – or even tie his shoes.

    Life on the Ranch

    That was more than 4 years ago. But today – because of friends like you, Dylan’s life at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches looks very different. A couple of weeks ago, Dylan started his senior year in high school! He loves life on the Ranch and helping with the animals on our farm. Thank you for giving Dylan a second chance.

    It warms my heart when I see his self-confidence. Because of friends like you, Dylan has a bright future. He’s considering becoming an HVAC Technician. He often tells me, “Mrs. Nancy, if it weren’t for the people at the Ranch, I don’t know where I’d be.”

    While each success story brings a huge smile to my face – to the same degree, I grieve that there are so many children out there who still live like Dylan did. These are innocent children who live in squalor because their parents are addicted to drugs, in jail, or are disabled.

    They’ve been neglected and abused. They’re not going to school. Some even survive by digging for expired food from dumpsters behind grocery stores. These are the kind of stories we often hear from our children, who if it were not for the Ranch, would slip through the cracks of society.

    But You Can Help

    Right now, you can help a children like Dylan with a gift to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. A monthly donation of just $25 can help pay the electric bill for one of our five cottages. A monthly gift of $50 can help us buy groceries for one cottage. Anything you can do – when we put it together with other contributions from other donors – allows us help children who need us. Click here to give today.

    Dylan is just one example of the more than 2,050 children from every corner of Arkansas who have called our Ranches “home.” With all of us working together, we can make a tremendous impact and change the lives of many more children. Even a small monthly or one-time contribution would be so helpful at this time.

    Sincerely,
    Nancy Weaver Fulton, CEO

    Some of our greatest needs:

    •  $25 per month can help pay one cottage’s utility bills.
    •  $100 can help purchase clothes for a new child who comes to the Ranch with only the clothes on their back.
    •  $150 can help purchase groceries for one cottage.
    •  $285 can outfit 1 child for the 17/18 school year!

    Becoming a Hope Builder by committing to a monthly tax-deductible donation is a safe and simple way to offer consistent support throughout the year. However you make your gift, please know that we are grateful for your investment in these young lives. Click here to donate today!

  • Ranchers go back to school in two weeks!
    07/31/2017

    In just two short weeks, our Ranch boys and girls will be going back to school. There is so much to do between now and then! Hundreds of pairs of shoes and jeans will be tried on. Dozens of backpacks will be purchased and stuffed with new school supplies. There will be many fresh back-to-school haircuts given.

    That’s the exciting part of back to school at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. But what you may not realize is that for many Arkansas boys and girls, just getting to school can be complicated.

    How the Ranch Helped Three Siblings

    Brandon’s mom was constantly in and out of jail for drugs. He never met his dad. He and his six siblings lived with their mother – when she wasn’t in jail. His siblings had multiple fathers, but none stuck around long enough to know their children.

    Brandon and his brothers and sisters were neglected with no one to make sure they had food or their most basic needs met. Their grandmother stepped in to care for them when she could. But that support wasn’t enough. At age 15, Brandon’s future was looking pretty bleak.

    However, three years ago, Brandon and his younger brother and sister were able to come to the Ranch. They quit having to move around from shelter to shelter, and at the Ranch, they now have a stable home and loving house parents who care about their success, in and out of school.

    This May, Brandon graduated high school with a high GPA! The Class of 2017 even dedicated their class gift to the success of our two graduating seniors! Brandon is enrolled in college classes this fall and is working for the City of Batesville this summer.

    What made the difference in this young man’s life?

    People like you. How? Because the ASYR is funded almost entirely through charitable donations. Every day, our donors make a difference in the lives of the 30-40 boys and girls who live at the Ranch. And they will stay at the Ranch for as long as they need a place to call home, whether it’s three months or three years.

    Today, there are many children across Arkansas who are hungry and neglected because their parents spend money on drugs instead of food and basic care. They long for a stable, loving home like we provide at the Ranch.

    How You Can Help

    School is starting back just two weeks from today, and we have lots of boys and girls to outfit for the school year! With a gift of just $285, we can buy clothes, shoes, a fresh haircut, school supplies, even a backpack for a child. Below are several ways you can help today. Click here to make a gift.

    You can imagine what it is like for our boys and girls getting a new back pack and new shoes, some for the very first time! Their eyes light up with excitement, and they know they are going to have a great school year, because they have house parents and other staff at the Ranch who love them and are going to make sure they do their very best.

    But we can’t do this important work without you! You can make a difference in these children’s lives today.

    Here are some of our greatest needs:

     $285 can outfit 1 child for the 17/18 school year!
    •  $150 can clothe one child for the year.
    •  $125 can buy school supplies for a high schooler.
    •  $50 can provide 5 fresh haircuts.
    •  $45 can purchase a new pair of shoes for a child who has only known hand-me-downs.
    •  $30 can provide 2 new backpacks.

    Or you can become a Hope Builder by setting up an automatic monthly gift. It’s a safe and simple way to offer consistent support throughout the year. However you make your gift, please know that we are grateful for your investment in these young lives. Click here to donate today!

  • From the Ranch to the Board Room: a story of second chances
    02/10/2017

    This is Roger’s story

    111Roger 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

    88The 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

    14671138_10154091068883775_7408881461558053027_nThe 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.

    Thankfully,
    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.

     

    ROGER’S LETTER

    Dear Nancy,

    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.

    Roger Wright

    98Did 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.

  • Cattle Program Makes BIG Difference in Rancher’s Life
    09/06/2016

    ASYR Barn Raising Pic with LogoChris is literally the poster child for the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches’ cattle program. Chris was placed at the Ranch four years ago after his mother was charged with drug abuse. Chris, who was 14 at the time, was headed down the same path as his mother. He had joined a local gang and had begun using drugs himself.

    At the Ranch, Chris got involved with our educational cattle program. He heard about our plans to raise a registered Hereford herd, so he began reading Hereford World magazine and studying the bloodlines of the cows. He helped our Program Director Philip Ives and Farm Manager Jake Holder select the Ranches’ first cows for the new program.

    Chris trained with the cows for hours and began showing ASYR Herefords in cattle shows across the country. Chris’s bull won several Grand and Reserve Champion awards at these shows. He loved working with the cows and was proud to have played a part in helping the Ranch develop its new herd.

    _MG_5685After living at the Ranch for two years, the judge in Chris’s hometown told him that his mother had passed a drug test. The judge gave Chris permission to leave the Ranch and move back in with his mother. Chris was faced with a very difficult decision for a 16-year-old.

    Chris told the judge that if he moved back home with his mother, he feared that he would fall back in with the same group that had influenced him to abuse drugs. He thought he could wind up dropping out of school and following the same destructive path of others in his family.

    _MG_5242Instead, Chris told the judge that he was doing very well at Ranch and he wanted to stay. He knew that if he continued to live with us at the Ranch he would graduate from high school in a couple of years and be able to attend college.

    Chris is a senior this year, and when he graduates from high school in May, he plans to go to college and become a physical therapist. He knows our staff will do everything they can to help him keep his grades up and receive scholarships to attend college next fall. He knows that our independent living program is available to help him bridge the gap between living in a home with eight boys to getting out on his own. Because the Ranches are almost entirely funded by donations from friends like YOU, children like Chris are cared for from the time they are six years old until they are ready to venture out on their own at age 21.

    _MG_5735YOUR support gives children like Chris that kind of stability. And with YOUR support, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches can offer that same stability to many more children. In fact, over the last 40 years, more than 1,300 children from every corner of the state have called our Ranches home!

    Click here to make a gift today.

    Without YOU, children like Chris will continue in a cycle of abuse and neglect. But with a gift today, YOU can give a child hope and healing. YOUR gift is an investment in the lives of boys and girls like Chris. I can think of no better, more compassionate gift than investing in the lives of the children we serve. YOUR gift allows us to give even more children like Chris the stability of a safe, healthy, and loving place to call home.

    A recurring monthly gift is an affordable way to make an even BIGGER impact in the lives of our children. A monthly Hope Builder gift allows you to spread out your contribution over an entire year. It’s a simple and secure way to support our boys and girls all year. Click here to set up your monthly Hope Builder gift today.

    ASYR Barn Raising barn picThank you for believing in our mission to provide homes for Arkansas boys and girls. With YOUR gift, YOU are giving children like Chris a second chance at a better life!

    If you like, you can designate your gift to the educational cattle program that changed Chris’s life. We have recently written about our immediate need to raise a new hay barn for this life-changing program. YOUR gift toward this need will help us store hay for our grass-fed Hereford cows during the harsh winter months. Just click here to become a “Barn Raiser” today!

  • 2015 High School Graduates
    06/01/2015

    One of the greatest joys of working at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches is when one of our boys and girls graduates from high school. This year we had two who graduated from Batesville High School. Please join us in congratulating our 2015 high school graduates.

    Thanks to friends and supporters like you, this is another young man and woman who have been given a chance at success and leading productive lives in their communities. Thank you for allowing the Youth Ranches to provide a stable, healthy, and supportive homes to give them this chance.

    To learn more about how you can get involved in helping the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, visit our Ways to Help page.

  • More Priceless Feedback from Our Ranchers
    02/06/2015

    Home and family are two words we hear often around the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. And thanks to our supporters, when a child comes to one of the Ranches, that is exactly what they experience. We strive to make our campus as much like a family home as possible. So when we ask our boys and girls what the Ranches mean to them, we are proud when we hear things like:

    The Ranch has become my family. It’s more than just a place to live. It’s home.” – Erin, age 18

    “The Ranch is a loving and caring home with a lot of people that love you.” – Kaleb, age 16

    “The Ranch to me is family. It’s home away from home.” – Chris, age 17

    “My favorite thing about the Ranch is my houseparents and the opportunities I have.” – Brandon, age 16

    …and sometimes, we are reminded how much our boys and girls connect with more than just the people at the Ranches!

    “My favorite things about the Ranch are the cows and the people.” – Dylan, age 14

    We love the fact that the Ranches offer learning experiences for our children with cows, horses, goats, and other animals on our campuses. First and foremost, the mission of the Ranches is to be a safe, healthy, and loving place for our boys and girls to call home. That was the vision of the Sheriffs of Arkansas and other citizens who founded the Ranches nearly 40 years ago, and that is exactly what we have been to more than 1,200 boys and girls. And it’s the vision that our friends and supporters continue to make possible.

    The Ranches are much more than a warm bed and three meals a day. They are also a place where boys and girls get a second chance to be a kid and a place where a child can grow into a loving, caring, responsible adult.

    As I’m sure you are aware, raising a child is an expensive undertaking, especially when you raise as many as we do at the Ranches! But you cannot put a price tag on saving a child’s life. The Ranches pay for all needs associated with raising a child including food, clothing, shelter, educational needs, healthcare, counseling services and recreation and transportation costs.

    Because more than 90% of the Ranches’ operational support comes from charitable giving, we rely on donations from the community to continue to serve these boys and girls. And as a private nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, all gifts made to the Ranches are tax-deductible within the extent of the law.

    With a gift of $25, you can help the Ranch provide a new coat for a child during the cold winter months. A gift of $50 can provide new shoes to a child who arrives at the Ranch with shoes that no longer fit or are worn out. A $100 gift can provide water for one of our cottages for one month. $300 can feed our children’s horses for one month. And $500 can supply one of our cottages with groceries for an entire month!

    With your help, the Ranches will continue to be a place to call home for many more boys and girls. And with your help, we can give our children new opportunities that can break the cycle of abuse in their lives. I hope that you will consider making a one-time or monthly Hope Builder gift to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches today.

    As a Hope Builder, you your gift will be processed automatically each month with a credit or debit card and is a safe and simple way to provide constant, much needed support for our programs. Even a small monthly gift can make a BIG difference in the life of a child!

    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

     

  • Priceless Feedback From Our Ranchers
    02/10/2014

    When some of the boys and girls at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches were asked what the Ranch means to them, here is some of the feedback we received.

    “I love my houseparents. They make me feel at home.” – Isaiah, age 16

    “I now have a family who cares and loves me for who I am.” – Morgane, age 14

    “It’s the home I’ve never really had.” – Shi-Ann, age 17

    “I love that I get to help fix things like mending a fence or repairing a bike.” – Jon Michael, age 18

    One of our past Ranchers also recently answered the same question saying:

    “I had more fun during my time at the Ranch than anywhere else I’ve ever been. I grew up in a house that made me feel like I was really at home. I was still growing up, learning, and making mistakes, but I was taught discipline, and it helped me grow up to the man I am today. I wouldn’t trade that time at the Ranch and those lessons for anything. In fact, I’d live it all over again.” – Jordan

    As you can see, because of the generosity of our supporters, we are providing our Ranchers with a healthy, safe and loving home with opportunities that they would not have had if it were not for the Ranch.

    For the past 38 years, the mission at the Ranch has remained constant. We remain a place of healing … a place of safety … a place of love … and simply a place to call home. Founded by the sheriffs of Arkansas and a group of concerned citizens, the Ranch has been exactly that to more than 1,200 boys and girls. A place to call home.

    And with your help, the Ranch will continue to be a place to call home for many more boys and girls. Because our organization is more than 90% privately funded by people just like you across Arkansas, we rely on gifts from the community to continue to serve these children.

    With a tax-deductible gift of $25, the Ranch can provide a new jacket for a child during the winter months. A gift of $50 can provide new shoes to a child who arrives at the Ranch with shoes that no longer fit. A $100 gift can provide water for one of our cottages for one month. $300 can feed our children’s horses for one month. And $500 can supply one of our cottages with groceries for one month.

    Although raising this many boys and girls can be an expensive undertaking, you can never put a price on turning around a child’s life. And with your help, we can give our children a second chance and break the cycle of abuse in their lives. I hope that you will consider making a one-time or monthly gift to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches today.

  • Our Ranchers are on a roll!
    05/10/2012

    In celebration of our Ranchers that made the Honor Roll, the tutoring staff at the Ranch hosted a party.  To commemorate the occasion, the kids paired up in teams to “roll” their fellow Honor Roll recipients in toilet paper!  The kids had a great time, and the race was on to see who could “roll” their teammate the fastest! (more…)

  • How can I teach respect and responsibility?
    04/23/2012

    The Ranch recently held a contest to see what the children thought about respect and responsibility.  They were asked to write a short essay on how they can teach both.  Colten from Faith Hall won the contest; here are his ideas on teaching respect and responsibility:

    (more…)

  • East Arkansas residents “Open Hearts, Pump Up!” for the Ranch
    03/29/2012

    Recently 11 Circle ‘N’ market stores in east Arkansas collectively raised over $10,000 during their annual Open Hearts, Pump Up campaign to benefit the ranch.

    (more…)

  • Jamey’s Testimony
    11/17/2011

     

    This year Jamey shared his story of triumph with those attending the 16th Annual Children’s Award Dinner. Jamey’s life as a child was normal- he lived with both of his parents and was active in sports. But by age 10 his life took a turn. He was taken into custody by DHS after his father attempted suicide and from there his life was never the same. (more…)

  • A True Calling: Faith Hall
    07/27/2011

    Cheyenne Ingram, the houseparent at Faith Hall, has been with the Ranch for 28 years.  She and her husband of 34 years, Rick Ingram have dedicated their lives to what they call a true calling from God.  Cheyenne and Rick have two children of their own, Seth- 31 and Emily-22, who have grown up with the kids at the ranch and have become like brothers and sisters to everyone that lives there.   

    In a typical day I get up at 7a.m. and start getting breakfast ready.  Around 9 a.m. the boys are all well fed and ready to start the day doing work crew.  At noon we all go back inside to clean up and eat a good lunch.  After work crew is over, my day usually progresses to going grocery shopping, doing laundry, or cleaning the house.  Dinner gets started at 6p.m. and its free time for the boys until bedtime. 

    All the years I have been here there have been plenty of memories but one good memory that makes me laugh every time I think of it is one of a former resident.  He disliked doing the dishes chore, but one night in particular he made the kitchen look spotless.  After I had checked his work and went back to my own, one of the kids came to get me in order to show me something in the kitchen.  (more…)

  • Our Ranch Kids Rock!
    07/21/2011

    Shawndra (left) and Jamey (right)

    At the end of the year the school hosts an award night for its students and two of our young people received acknowledgement for their achievements. Shawndra received the Academic Distinction Award from the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.  Jamey’s History Day team won first place at regionals for their project on Japanese Internment Camps and received a special honor for this at the awards ceremony.  At the state competition at the University of Central Arkansas their team came in at a close fourth place.

  • New Births
    07/08/2011

    One of the great joys of living on the Ranch with lots of animals is getting to see the baby animals.  Three of our horses recently gave birth to foals.  Everyone enjoys seeing them every day in the pasture and watching them take their first steps running.  These babies don’t have names yet but you can be sure the kids will have them picked out in no time.

  • An Opportunity To Do Things Right
    04/12/2011

    No longer on a downhill slope Chandler shares his story of triumph with attendees at the 2010 Children’s Award Dinner. Chandler expressed his trying times born to a 15 year old single mother in Wichita Falls, TX, a move to his Uncle Paul’s in Arkansas, a life changing transition to the Ranch and his aspirations for the future. The best days of his life were spent on the Ranch with horses, televisions, plenty of food and people who really cared. Click above to listen as Chandler tells about a second chance he was granted.

  • Josh Finds His Cool at the Ranch
    03/01/2011


     
    Confidence filled Josh as he spoke at the 13th Annual Arkansas Children’s Awards Dinner about his story of learning survival skills at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. Struggling with anger management throughout most of his life, Josh was come to find a perfect, permanent home at the Ranch. Hear from Josh how the Ranch helped him learn to control his emotions, giving him a new attitude that has set him on the path to success.

  • Shawndra Learns to Trust Again
    11/12/2009

     

    There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience at the 14th Annual Arkansas Children’s Award’s Dinner after Rancher Shawndra spoke of how the Ranch has changed her life for the better. Dropping out of school and experimenting with drugs and alcohol in the 9th grade, Shawndra’s unstable home life left her feeling alone and scared. But after being at the Ranch for a year, she’s regained her ability to trust and love others, and now looks forward to a bright future.