Strong and proud: Rancher proves resiliency
07/22/2021

Overcoming hardships

Recently, Shayne, one of the children who calls the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches home, enlisted with the Marines. It was a proud moment for Shayne, his houseparents, and all Ranchers and staff members.

Shayne Rancher by Jason Masters

Photography by Jason Masters

Those proud moments feel great and look great to outsiders. But it takes a lot of work, grit, healing, and hard work to achieve those moments. It takes overcoming trauma, trials, and tough times. Shayne has had his share of those.

About five years ago, Shayne moved from New York City to Arkansas. He lived with his mom and her ex-husband. Unfortunately, the situation was fraught with abuse, and Shayne was placed at the Ranch.

“I was moved to the Ranch, and then I went back home with my mom again. This happened twice. The last time I stayed at the Ranch for good,” Shayne shared.

Responsibility and discipline: Life at the Ranch

Shayne enjoys a more peaceful, safer existence now. He described daily life at the Ranch as going to church on Sunday with his houseparents, waking up and doing chores after breakfast, working part-time at Freddy’s, and relaxing with his fellow Ranchers.

Of course, since Shayne will ship off to the Marines in 10.5 months, he spends plenty of time working on physical fitness, too. He works out on his own time during the week, and he also participates in training with his military recruiter on Saturdays in Searcy.

“I signed up for active duty for a four-year minimum and plan to pick up an infantry MOS contract (military occupational specialty). If I choose to stay in the Marines longer than four years, I may transfer to counter-intelligence. I will fully decide when I get there, though,” he shared.

When asked what motivated him to join the Marines, Shayne shared that he’s always had a general interest in the military.

“About a year and a half ago, I got serious. I thought I might go Army Airborne because Luke, a former Rancher, did that. It inspired me,” he said.

Focusing on his future

He started researching options and discovered the Marine Corps options. The Marines appealed most to Shayne.

“The Marines aren’t just about college benefits. No one goes Marines for that. They’re the first guys in. It’s tough. It’s about more than just me, and I like that,” Shayne stated.

In addition to his physical fitness training, Shayne juggles his part-time job at Freddy’s restaurant. He has been employed with Freddy’s for almost one year. He is currently saving money to purchase his own car and relies on Ranch staff to transport him to and from work.

Shayne looks forward to his future with the Marines but plans to enjoy his senior year, too.

When asked whether he will miss the Ranch, Shayne paused.

“Yeah, I think I will,” he said quietly. “Family doesn’t have to be blood.”

All of us at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches will certainly miss Shayne. We are incredibly proud of his growth and accomplishments.

Please consider supporting the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches today.

Ranch Show Team beefs up confidence
06/22/2021

A small cheering section eagerly watched a group of Ranchers at the Independence County Fair as they sternly yet gently guided animals through the show barn. Ranch houseparents,  staff members, board member Tyler Griffin and his wife Monica, and Batesville School District administrators patiently awaited the Ranchers’ turns to show lambs. Shirts tucked in, belt buckles shining, and boots polished, the children and teens understood the serious nature of the occasion.

sheep lamb show team ASYRThere’s a big difference between a show barn at the fair and the barn at the Ranch where the Ranchers care for the animals daily in muck boots and ball caps. These Ranchers had invested hours in their animals and in themselves; it showed.

Show season preparation

The Ranchers began preparing for show season months prior, breeding rabbits and caring for sheep all year long. The Ranchers currently only show two types of animals: Holland Lops rabbits and market lambs. Under the supervision of Chief Operations Officer, Philip Ives, the Ranchers who choose to join Show Team must participate in daily care of the animals. Daily care includes grooming, feeding, and exercising them. In addition, they must clean stalls and change rabbit pens.

This isn’t easy or enjoyable work, but through hands-on involvement in maintaining and preparing animals for show season, Ranchers gain life skills and soft skills which transfer to the workplace. The Ranchers acquire a greater sense of responsibility through caring for their own animals day after day. They learn to collaborate well with other members of the show team. Ranchers also become more humble and able to accept constructive criticism from staff and fair judges. Other life skills and soft skills gained include public speaking and presentation skills, time management, punctuality, animal husbandry, communication skills (verbal and nonverbal), and work ethic. Also, the Ranchers gain pride, confidence, intrinsic motivation, and physical strength.

Show season results

The life skills and soft skills gained through Ranch Show Team participation can ward off depression, anxiety, and boredom. Some Ranchers who struggled with these symptoms during the COVID pandemic expressed a greater sense of purpose, self-worth, and accomplishment at the end of show season. Struggling children and teens specifically cited Show Team participation as the reason for their improved outlook. This finding is not unique to Ranchers’ experience. Many hobbies, team projects, and group activities can improve physical health, lower stress levels, and lower levels of anxiety and depression. 

Ranchers don’t just participate in the local Independence County Fair in June. They are also currently preparing for district fair in Melbourne in September and for state fair in Little Rock in October. The Ranch Show Team is currently gearing up for the continued show season and looks forward to district and state fair opportunities to share their hard work with others.

How can you help?

The average total cost per animal for show season is $1000. If you want to support the Ranch Show Team, you can make a financial contribution to offset costs of feed, transportation to fairs, show supplies, entry fees, animal purchasing, vet costs, medication, and show wear for Ranchers. We are incredibly grateful for your support in helping build Ranchers’ confidence and skills through the Ranch Show Team.

For more information about the Ranch Show Team or to find out which items the Show Team currently needs, please contact COO Philip Ives at 870-793-6841.

 

 

Summer enrichment program at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches
05/18/2021

Philip Ives, Chief Operations Officer, recently reflected on 2020. Like all children, the children who call the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches home experienced some tough times throughout the pandemic. As a result, Ives committed to making the summer of 2021 extra special for Ranchers. He felt Ranchers deserved a fun-filled, adventure-packed summer full of learning opportunities. With the support of Ranch staff, he set out to create a fresh Summer Enrichment Program.

“We’ve already begun teaching life skills to Ranchers. Designing a true Summer Enrichment Program is one more way to ensure the kids stay busy, active, and engaged this summer,” Philip shared.

About the ASYR Summer Enrichment Program

summer enrichment program Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches art

During the summer, Ranchers will participate in various summer enrichment activities each week. However, Ranch staff can’t pull off the program by themselves. They need the support of the community. Ranch staff are currently seeking involvement from local artisans, makers, subject matter experts, and business owners willing to share skills, knowledge, and talents with Ranchers. Many community leaders and experts are already on board, including:

  • Crumbs Up Bakery
  • Batesville Junior High coach Rian Puckett
  • Lyon Women’s Wrestling coach Kevin Corbett
  • Old Independence Regional Museum
  • barber Troy Dixon
  • social worker Miriah Bruce
  • yoga instructor Alexis Schwinghammer
  • artisans Janet and Dustin Morgan

Some experts will conduct on-site hands-on workshops and demonstrations. Others will host Ranchers at their business or organization site for field trips or workshops.

In addition to the summer enrichment sessions led by community experts, Ranch staff will take the Ranchers on excursions and adventures throughout the summer, including the Batesville Aquatics Center, fish hatcheries, and Arkansas State Parks. The summer isn’t just about fun. Staff will also lead academic enrichment sessions (funded by the Batesville School District) and life skills training sessions. Math, reading, and science sessions will be provided for all Ranchers. Another aspect of the summer enrichment program includes age-appropriate life skills sessions. Topics offered include CPR certification, financial literacy, soft skills, career development sessions, and more.

Other summer experiences for Ranchers

That’s not all. Ranch therapist Maylynn Staggs will lead a summer camp for the Ranchers as well. The camp will feature life skills sessions, swimming excursions, art days, and more. Ives and supporting staff, along with houseparents, will host on-campus group activities. For example, Ives is planning Friday Night Fun, including pizza parties and movie nights.

“We’re still looking for community experts and leaders to get involved. We need experts from all industries to host on-site demonstrations, presentations, training sessions, and hands-on workshops. The more we can involve kids and let them try things out, the more real experience they gain. This helps them build self-confidence,” Ives stated.

Do you have expertise or talent you’re willing to share with the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches this summer?

Please get involved! Contact Philip Ives, Chief Operations Officer, at 870-793-6841 to volunteer to host a session or workshop. Ranchers range in ages from 6-18. Your session may include all Ranchers or specific Ranchers (depending on your expertise and skill level of participants).

If you don’t live nearby but want to support the Summer Enrichment Program, you can make a financial contribution to support the program. Donations help fund pizza parties, travel expenses, and more. In addition, the Ranch needs supplies and snacks for the program, including:

  • pre-packaged nutritious snacks and treats
  • canned or bottled drinks
  • outdoor game and sports equipment
  • water sports and recreational gear
  • group yard games.

To make an in-kind donation of goods or materials, call the Ranch at 870-793-6841.

Follow the Ranch on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates, news, & opportunities to get involved.

 

 

From Rancher to Award-Winning First Responder
11/01/2020

Jamey was quite the character when he lived with us at the Ranch, but his life wasn’t always so carefree.

Jamey’s mom was disabled, and when Jamey was 10 his dad lost his job. After that, his parents began to fight and there was a lot of family drama. All the fighting was difficult for a young boy.

Over the next couple of years, things went from bad to worse. Jamey began mowing yards so his family would have enough money to buy bread and lunch meat. One day his dad dropped him off at a friend’s house and told him not to come home. Of course, he went home.

That’s when it happened. Jamey found his dad unconscious surrounded by empty pill bottles. He called 911, and the police came and took Jamey to an emergency shelter. It was clear that Jamey’s parents were not caring for him. No 12-year-old should have to mow yards to support his parents.

“I’ll never forget the day I arrived at the Ranch – September 23rd, 2007. Life at the Ranch was amazing!”

At the Ranch, Jamey was able to just be a kid. He was grateful that he wouldn’t have to mow lawns to eat every day, and he was able to focus on school work for the first time. Before coming to the Ranch, Jamey hadn’t attended school regularly and was behind on his education. But Jamey had great tutors at the Ranch who helped him get caught up.

Unfortunately, Jamey’s story is all too common for children in Arkansas. More often than not, this is due to parents who become addicted to substances and neglect caring for their children. Sometimes, parents are not mentally equipped to deal with raising a child. Whatever the reason, even one child living in these kinds of conditions is one too many.

If we are not vigilant in identifying and caring for these children, this lifestyle can become a cycle that plagues a family for generations. This is the heart behind ASYR’s mission – to break this cycle of abuse and neglect one child at a time.

The fact is, Arkansas has the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the U.S. And if we don’t do something — the cycle will continue in these families for generations. But today, your gift can help save a child and break this cycle. Would you give today? Just $45 can literally help save the life of a child. Make a gift today

Because the Sheriffs of Arkansas saw these needs firsthand, they founded the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch to give children like Jamey a second chance at life. Thanks to their efforts and the compassionate support of friends like you, more than 2,100 boys and girls from every corner of the state have found hope at the Ranch. They have found safety, stability, a good education, proper health care, and a home with houseparents who love them and support them like their own child.

Jamey is now engaged to be married and is an Emergency Medical Technician and a part-time police officer. He also volunteers with his local fire department and is an award winning first responder! One year, Jamey even sent his former houseparents on vacation for their anniversary to say thank you for raising him and giving him a second chance!

Will you join us in this important mission as we work to create brighter futures for children like Jamey? Your donation today will help more children receive a second chance at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch.

It’s simple 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!

Become a Hope Builder with a monthly gift. A contribution of as little as $10 per month can help provide for things like:

•  New shoes or coats for our boys and girls
•  Christmas and Birthday gifts for our children
•  Feed for goats, chickens or other animals on the Ranch
•  Salary for our loving houseparents
•  An allowance for a child
•  Utilities for our cottages

Click here to become a Hope Builder with your monthly gift to the Ranches.

Adopting from the Ranch: Providing a forever home
03/17/2020

How they met

Emily and Philip Ives met when they began working at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches nine years ago.

“Before we were hired at the Ranch, we worked across the street from one another for years unknowingly,” Emily laughs.

Emily and Philip Ives

Emily and Philip Ives

Emily graduated from Lyon College, and Philip graduated from Arkansas State University. Emily, who is now the Ranch’s Business Manager, joined the Ranch team as Director of Communications and was recently promoted to Business Manager. Philip, originally hired as Program Manager, was promoted to Chief Operating Officer a few years ago.

Over time, the two became quite a team. Emily and Philip collaborated to keep things running smoothly on a daily basis at the Ranch.

“I was born and raised as part of the Ranch family. My parents have been houseparents for literally over 1000 kids over the course of my life. Being here as part of the Ranch has always been my normal, but as I grew up, I realized that other families do not help take care of kids like my family did,” Emily says.

Becoming a family

adoption family Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches

Celebrating becoming a family of four

Emily and Philip’s relationship evolved over time. They married and celebrated the birth of their son, Dash, a few years later. They adopted their son, Isaac, from the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches on November 1, 2018. Isaac came to the Ranch as a foster child four years prior to adoption.

“We spent time around him often since we work at the Ranch, but we didn’t build a strong relationship immediately. Since he lived in the home where Emily’s parents work as houseparents, we had ample opportunity to interact with him,” Philip recalls.

When Philip and Emily learned that Isaac would be eligible for adoption, they were concerned for his well-being.

“We thought his quality of life may decrease. He does not adjust well to change. Also, we hated to see him separated from his siblings,” Emily shared.

Life for foster children at the Ranch

The length of stay at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches varies for children who call the Ranch home. Some stay for a few months before transitioning to traditional foster homes, while others stay at the Ranch and remain for years. Others, like Isaac, are deemed eligible for adoption and leave when they find forever homes.

The Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) or The Department of Human Services (DHS) retains legal custody of foster children who call the Ranch home. The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches provides more than just foster care for Ranchers. Ranch staff offer loving, supportive family-style homes and keep siblings together. The Ranch provides therapeutic services, academic support, and life skills training. And in the summer, Ranchers enjoy fun, educational programs and activities on the Ranch’s nearly 600-acre campus.

Isaac, like other Ranchers, enjoyed living at the Ranch. The Ranch provided stability, security, and support. His previous living environment lacked these key components to emotional, mental, and physical well-being. When Philip asked Isaac if he would like to be adopted, he looked at him blankly, as if he’d never considered that option. After several minutes, he said yes and asked several questions.

Adopting Isaac

Ranch kid

Isaac as a Rancher

The process of adoption began—but the adoption process takes time. The Ives family first expressed their intention to adopt Isaac. Then, they agreed to participate in several weeks of fostering and parenting courses through DHS. The series of courses educates potential adoptive parents about what to expect when fostering and adopting, provides parenting tips and techniques, and helps parents manage behavior problems, including power struggles. Philip recalls hearing many stories from course teachers about difficult situations.

“Our teacher he let us know it was not going to be all rainbows,” he remembers.

In addition to coursework, Emily and Philip underwent CPR certification training and DHS home visits.

“We let Isaac visit our home before fostering. When we showed him his bedroom, he jumped on the bed and spread his body across it. He really seemed at home,” Emily muses.

Adoption celebrations and challenges

While Emily and Philip share fond memories of Isaac’s adoption, they also admit to difficult moments.

“The first night felt very awkward. We told him he may be bored at our home because life is normal in our home. And all of a sudden, we realized we had a teenage stranger walking around. We needed to create more boundaries,” Philip notes.

Isaac today

The first six months required adjustment for everyone, including Dash, the Ives’ biological son, now five years-old. Emily and Philip agree that the greatest challenge was proving to both boys that they were equally loved.

“We had to help Isaac believe we loved him as much as Dash, that he wasn’t just a side note, that we valued his thoughts and interests, that life would be fair. And we had to do the same for Dash,” Philip shares.

Over time, the couple found balance with the children but faced struggles in the process. The couple also helped Isaac cope with anxiety. Prior to adoption, Isaac struggled academically and behaviorally in school due to anxiety. However, after the adoption was finalized, many of his fears about the future subsided. Isaac now remains on the Honor Roll at school, and his parents do not receive negative feedback from teachers or administrators.

“Now we argue about cleanliness and normal things,” Emily comments.

Life today for the Ives family

Isaac and Dash spend time together attending church, watching television, playing video games, and pestering one another. Dash loves playing with his goats, pigs, and prize cat, Ricky Bobby. Isaac enjoys football and basketball. In fact, he has always dreamed of attending a NFL game. Philip and Isaac will attend one together this fall to see the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys go head to head.

Emily and Philip offer tips and advice to other families considering adoption.

“Even after working at the Ranch, I remained naive about the process and had unrealistic expectations. Past trauma will come out. Personalities clash. Gratitude will not overflow. Just be realistic,” Philip urges.

“And I didn’t know my child’s love for his biological parents would remain so strong. But it has helped me tremendously to look at all things through my child’s eyes,” Emily shares.

Thank you, Philip and Emily, for your daily contributions to the lives of children at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. We hope all readers will consider joining us in supporting children who call the Ranch home by becoming a Hope Builder and making a monthly donation toward building better lives for Ranchers.

 

 

 

 

 

Ranch Response to Coronavirus
03/16/2020

How we are keeping our Ranchers safe and healthy:

Due to the increased threat from the coronavirus pandemic, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches is taking social distancing measures to isolate children and staff in an attempt to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered schools closed through Spring Break, so all of our Ranch children will remain on campus for at least the next two weeks.

Our houseparents will be keeping children close to their homes, and they will increase sanitation measures, making sure all surfaces are disinfected and that children are washing their hands often and effectively.

To keep our houseparents healthy so they can best care of our children, other ASYR staff will make grocery runs and make sure that each house has needed food and supplies. We are grateful to our donors for always helping us keep our pantries stocked and our children well taken care of. Click here to support.

ASYR administrative, business, and maintenance operations will be altered for at least two weeks to allow staff to remain in their homes as much as possible. We will continue essential functions but are asking staff to reduce their time in the office and on campus to reduce the chance of staff inadvertently spreading the virus on campus. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we return calls and messages as quickly as we can.

How you can help

Thank you to our donors, volunteers, and other Ranch friends for your ongoing support during this time, and we ask for prayers for our houseparents and staff as we work to keep our Ranchers safe and healthy.

You may also support our Ranch family with a donation by clicking here, or you can mail your gift to ASYR, PO Box 3964, Batesville, AR 72503. We also have an Amazon Wish List that you may shop to help take care of ongoing grocery and household needs if you would rather make an in-kind donation. Thank you for supporting the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches!

Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches nominated for 32nd Annual Arkansas Business Nonprofit Organization of the Year award
02/11/2020

Nancy Fulton, CEO of Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth RanchesArkansas Business recently announced nominations for the 32nd Annual Arkansas Business of the Year Award. Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches made the cut! ASYR earned nomination for the Nonprofit Organization of the Year award.

About Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches

Nancy Fulton, CEO of ASYR, expressed her excitement when she learned of the nomination.

“The Board of Trustees, staff, and I feel humbled to be nominated for Arkansas Business’ Nonprofit Organization of the Year. The other nominees represent phenomenal organizations. Being included with the other nominees brings us such a feeling of honor and pride.  At ASYR, we commit fully to the well-being of Arkansas children and appreciate being recognized for our work,” Fulton stated.

In order to be considered for nomination, organizations must cite examples of significant impact. Nominees embrace and exemplify growth. The nominees regularly collaborate with partners, including other nonprofit organizations, agencies, and community members. And finally, nominees serve as leaders in their respective fields or industries.

girl barn farm Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth RanchesThe Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches also recently celebrated nomination for the Batesville Chamber of Commerce’s Community Collaboration Award.

The Ranch has served as an integral part of Independence County since 1976. ASYR continually builds partnerships with organizations, agencies, corporations, and individuals. These partnerships help ASYR fulfill its mission. ASYR provides a place to call home for Arkansas children who have been abandoned, abused, and/or neglected. The ASYR provides a loving, safe, and healthy place to call home. But it doesn’t stop there. The ASYR also provides therapeutic services, educational programs, and fresh air and fun on its nearly 600-acre campus.

The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches relies on private funding. The ASYR retains strong community support in its local community and beyond.

Nominees for the Arkansas Business Nonprofit Organization of the Year award

Five organizations earned nomination for the 2020 Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. Other nominees include: Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals (CARE), Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas, Thea Foundation, and Women and Children First. In 2019, the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance won the Nonprofit of the Year Award.

The Arkansas Business Awards dinner will be held on March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Marriott Ballroom in Little Rock. We look forward to celebrating with other nominees.

 

Want to help the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches provide a loving, safe place to call home for Arkansas children in need? Join our group of committed supporters as a Hope Builder.

Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches nominated for 2020 Community Collaboration Award
01/21/2020

Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth RanchesAt 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

First Community Bank golf tournament Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth RanchesThe 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.”

White River Now Citizens Bank ASYR GivingTuesdayAnother 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

GivingTuesday ASYRThe 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

Santa Clause Judge Reinhold Melba TheatreASYR’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 Batesville volunteers ASYRHome 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.

 

It’s Christmastime at the Ranch!
11/30/2018

Christmas can be a difficult time for the boys and girls at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. Some miss their families, and for others, this may be the very first time they get to experience the joy of Christmas!

YOU can make this Christmas merry and bright for our Ranchers! The end of the year is an expensive time to raise a child, especially when you raise as many as we do at the Ranches. We ask that you consider making a special year-end gift to help meet our needs during the Christmas season.

Here are some ways YOU can help this Christmas!

  1. You can sponsor a child by “adopting” one of our Ranchers this Christmas. See the wish lists at the bottom of the page. Simply pick a child and shop for the items on their list. You can drop the items off at our Batesville campus, or even have them shipped to our address at 100 Saint Vincent Place, Batesville, AR 72501.
  2. Or you may simply make an online donation, and let us do the shopping for you! $250 can sponsor a child, $50 will buy a large gift, $10 will buy stocking stuffers. Click here to make your gift online.
  3. Make a special honor or memorial giftYou can send a Christmas greeting to that person on your list who has everything via email or provide their address, and the Ranch will mail them a Christmas card acknowledging your gift! Click here to make an honor or memorial gift online.
  4. Buy a family gift for one of our cottagesWe can always use new board games, new video games, and new books for all ages! Shop online, and have it shipped to the Ranch at 100 Saint Vincent Place, Batesville, AR 72501.
  5. Our greatest need this time of year is general operating support. Please consider an end-of-year or a monthly gift to support our mission. You can give online here, call 870-793-6841 ext 315, or mail your gift to PO Box 3964, Batesville, AR 72503. All gifts are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible!

With your help, we can make this a Christmas to remember for the boys and girls who live at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches!

SHOP AMAZON SMILE & SUPPORT THE ASYR

You can also support the Youth Ranches by doing something you probably already going to do this Christmas season: shop online!

Whether it’s on #BlackFriday, #CyberMonday, or any day of the year, use Amazon.com’s Amazon Smile program, and they will donate .5% of your Amazon purchases to benefit the boys and girls at the Ranches!

All you need to do is visit Amazon Smile and select the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches as the charity you would like to support, and .5% of your future purchases will benefit the Ranches. It’s an easy way to help raise funds for the Youth Ranches by doing something you already do.

 

Become a Hope Builder

 

Commit to a monthly contribution. It’s a simple, secure way to provide consistent support to the ASYR. Click here to support today! For the cost of a fast food meal, you can help change a child’s life. For a contribution for as little as $10 per month can help provide for things like:

•  New shoes for our boys and girls
•  Christmas and Birthday gifts for our children
•  Feed for goats, chickens or other animals on the Ranch
•  Salary for our loving houseparents
•  An allowance for a child
•  Utilities for our cottages

 

Mid-Summer Roundup
06/28/2018

Since school let out in May, the Ranch has been buzzing with activity from campus visits, to projects around the farm, to lots of activities with our boys and girls.

Our Ranchers had a very special visit from First Lady Susan Hutchinson in June. The First Lady toured our campus and spent time with each of our boys and girls. She spoke to them and encouraged them to make the most of their time at the Ranch. Her message was very well received and much appreciated.

The next week, the Ranch hosted a group of Arkansas Sheriffs from across the state for a tour and a barbecue lunch with our Ranchers. We are grateful for the support of our county Sheriffs, and we always love it when they come out to the Ranch for a visit!

The first Saturday in June, Arkansas Game & Fish and the National Wild Turkey Federation hosted a fishing derby and a skeet shoot for our Ranchers. Game & Fish stocked our ponds earlier in the week, so our kids caught a lot of fish that day! The Wild Turkey Federation taught our Ranchers how to call turkey. Our Ranchers also had an opportunity to learn about gun safety and shoot skeet. Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make this event happen!

In May, more than 100 golfers played in the 21st Annual First Community Bank Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. This annual tournament was held at The Course at Eagle Mountain in Batesville and has helped raise over $278,000 for the Ranch since 1998. Thank you to First Community Bank for putting on this tournament each year and to everyone who sponsors and plays in the tournament!

Keystone Solutions in Batesville has been teaching a pilot course on technology to a group of our Ranchers this summer. They have learned how to set up a Raspberry Pi, to make their own ethernet cables, and to put technology to use in creating anything their minds can dream up!

Thank you to the The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot for providing the materials to build brand new picnic tables for all of our houses at the Ranch! And special thanks to the men of Presbyterian Kirk of the Hills for providing the manpower to build these great tables!

Also in May, in case you missed it, the Ranch was featured in an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. You can read the whole article by clicking here.

Our Ranch staff and some of our boys have also begun working on a new barn for our petting zoo animals. It will be ready in plenty of time for our Pumpkin Patch this October, and we can’t wait to show you the final product!

Join us

We are so grateful for every visitor, volunteer, donor, and staff person who work together to make the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches a safe, healthy and loving home to raise boys and girls.

You can join us in this important work with a one-time gift or monthly gift for as little as $10. For the price of a meal, you can help change a child’s life. 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.

You can also help us spread the word about the good work being done at the ASYR. Follow @YouthRanches on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and like and share our posts with your friends.