Arkansas Children’s Award Goes Virtual for 25th Anniversary
09/30/2020

25th Anniversary Arkansas Children’s Award

For 25 years now, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches has recognized  Arkansans who have made outstanding contributions to create better opportunities for Arkansas children. These Arkansans personify in word and deed the ideals of the Ranch, and hundreds have gathered each year to pay tribute to their dedication at the Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner.

This year, we are celebrating our 25th anniversary by recognizing ALL of our past Arkansas Children’s Award recipients.

Because of these uncertain times, we have made the difficult decision to not gather for an in-person dinner this year. Instead, we will host the 25th Anniversary Arkansas Children’s Award event on Thursday, October 15 as a virtual tribute to recognize our honorees. The Covid-19 pandemic has made this event even more crucial this year, as the ASYR works to fund its mission and provide homes for some of Arkansas’s most vulnerable boys and girls. Please consider sponsoring or supporting.

25th Anniversary Arkansas Children’s Award
Thursday, October 15, 2020


Former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe will continue the tradition of serving as Master of Ceremonies, which he has done since our very first year. You may sponsor the event with a gift of $2,500 and up. Additional sponsor opportunities with special recognition are also available. For more information or to pay by phone, call Matt Cleveland at (501) 940-3440. You may also pay with a check made payable to ASYR at PO Box 3964, Batesville, AR 72503.

Ways to Support

Since the Sheriffs of Arkansas founded the Youth Ranches in 1976, it has been a place to call home for more than 2,100 of Arkansas’s most vulnerable boys and girls. As an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, ASYR is more than 90% privately funded, and this event helps raise 10% of the ASYR’s operating budget each year. Please consider sponsoring or supporting.

Previous Recipients

 

2019 Governor Asa Hutchinson

Governor Asa Hutchinson has led the way to better serve children who find themselves separated from their families. When he took office in 2015, one of his first priorities was to tackle the state’s foster care crisis. Since then, he has also made computer science and coding available to all Arkansas children, and he has worked to reform Arkansas’s juvenile justice system. He has truly helped create a brighter future for many of Arkansas’s most vulnerable children.

 

2018 Dorothy Morris

Dorothy Morris has devoted her life to supporting the work of nonprofits serving children and has encourage millions in matching gifts. She believes in a holistic approach to philanthropy and focuses on children and families, investing in every aspect of a child’s life. Whether it’s inspiring a child through the arts, supporting their education or health care, or providing a home at the Ranch, we recognize her life’s work on behalf of Arkansas children.

 

2017 Greg Hatcher

For Greg Hatcher, outrageous service doesn’t end with his business at The Hatcher Agency. Greg is constantly giving back to the community through his service to and support of nonprofit organizations. Whether it’s developing new wrestling programs for high schools and colleges or contributing to organizations that serve children, Greg has always been willing to step up in support of strengthening Arkansas families.

 

2016 Deltic Timber & Ray Dillon

Ray Dillon served as President & CEO of Deltic Timber from 2003 to 2016. A vision of helping Arkansas grow and create stronger communities for our children and grandchildren were always at the forefront of Ray’s work with Deltic. They generously invested in organizations serving children, and Ray has also given his time and resources to make a difference in the lives of many Arkansas families.

 

2015 Larry Stone

Since Founding Stone Ward in 1984, Larry Stone has dedicated much of the company’s pro bono services to helping children. Larry has served on the ASYR Board of Trustees for over 25 years, 10 of which he served as Board President. He has been a steady and consistent thought leader, donor and volunteer for the ASYR and played a major role in developing Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner.

 

2014 Governor Mike Beebe

Governor Mike Beebe has dedicated his life in public service to the citizens of Arkansas for more than 32 years. As a long-time supporter of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, Governor Beebe has been instrumental in its success of this event each year and has served as Master of Ceremonies for the Arkansas Children’s Award each year since its inception.

 

2013 Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association

Arkansas’s county sheriffs have played an important role throughout the Ranch’s history and continue that support today.  The idea to begin the Ranch started with some concerned sheriffs who had helped place boys in residential homes that were not providing satisfactory care. Their idea grew and now the children of Arkansas have a place to call home at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.

 

2012 Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzahn, former head football coach of Arkansas State University, is a great leader of young people. He has dedicated his career to mentoring young men and spends his time helping them reach their full potential. Malzahn’s dedication to youth is evident through his service to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and his everyday interactions with they young men on his teams.

 

2011 Steve Landers

Steve Landers, who built Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep into the highest selling Chrysler dealership nationwide, is the president of RLJ-McLary-Landers Automotive and an investor in operations in Brazil and China. Steve has supported the American Cancer Society, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Arkansas Education Association and numerous other organizations.

 

2010 Charles Nabholz

Charles F. Nabholz founded Con-Ark Builders, a merit shop, general contracting firm. After a move to California to pursue real estate Charles returned to Conway and founded Nabholz Properties, a commercial real estate development company, in partnership with his brothers. Nabholz currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Nabholz Construction Services and president of Nabholz Properties.

 

2009 Wallace Fowler

Wallace Fowler developed Fowler Foods, Inc. and Liberty Bank of Arkansas into two of the state’s most successful enterprises. Fowler – banker, entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader – has devoted his life to making Arkansas a better place to call home. Because of his generosity and dedication, our communities, education system, even the roads on which we travel, are better today because of Fowler’s efforts.

 

2008 Stanley Reed

Stanley Reed, a third-generation cotton farmer from Marianna, had strong beliefs in family values, faith and a proper education that personified the standards on which the Ranch was founded. Reed served several terms as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau and was a founding member of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, an organization that develops and implements programs for needy and underprivileged children.

 

2007 Tommy May

Tommy May was recognized for his extensive civic and community involvement that stretches across years of service.  Through his work with organizations such as United Way of Southeast Arkansas, Habitat for Humanity, and Fifty for the Future, he has touched the lives of many. May epitomizes the standards for which the Ranch is known, including family togetherness and unconditional love.

 

2006 John White

A native Arkansan, Dr. John A. White served as Chancellor of the University of Arkansas for eleven years. White was honored for his commitment to advancing educational opportunities, providing positive youth development and instilling the values of character, honesty, humility and responsibility, helping the young men and women of Arkansas become the successful leaders of tomorrow.

 

2005 Pat Walker

Pat Walker celebrated life and the joy of family and friends each day. She was married to Willard Walker for 61 years, and in 1986 Pat and Willard created the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, touching the lives of thousands of Arkansas children. Mrs. Walker received numerous awards recognizing her philanthropy and was also named one of the Most Distinguished Women in Arkansas.

 

2004 Jerry Davis

Under the leadership of Jerry Davis, Affiliated Foods Southwest became one of Arkansas’s largest privately owned companies. Over the years he donated millions of dollars, as well as countless hours of service, to a number of Arkansas charities. His generous philanthropic endeavors have supported people of all ages throughout Little Rock and Arkansas.

 

2003 Blanche Lincoln

As a former U.S. Senator, Blanche Lincoln demonstrated a heart for children, which led her to make the well being of children and families a top priority. She was keenly aware of the growing need for quality childcare and assistance for working families to help their children thrive. Lincoln also worked to raise awareness for missing and exploited children and pursued the truth in child abuse investigations.

 

2002 Doyle Rogers

Doyle Rogers was chairman and president of the commercial real estate firm, the Doyle Rogers Company. In 1982, he developed what is now the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. By 1985, he built the 25-story Rogers Building, now the Stephens Building. Rogers is extensively involved with financial and investment decisions for major projects of the firm and its various partnerships as well as provides strategic direction.

 

2001 Tyson Family

In recent years, Tyson Foods has grown into the largest poultry, beef and pork processing company in the world, with sales of over $25 billion dollars annually. The Tyson Family Foundation contributes thousands of dollars annually to colleges, universities and charitable organizations throughout the state dedicated to at-risk children.

 

2000 Bill Clark

William E. (Bill) Clark was respected and beloved by his family, friends, peers, the business community, and the people of Arkansas. The Clark and Dillard families created one of the South’s largest construction firms, CDI, of which Bill served as Chairman and CEO. Clark was well-known for his generosity and leaves a legacy of leadership, vision, integrity, candor and the ability to make things happen.

 

1999 Buddy Sutton

A life-long Arkansan, Buddy Sutton served as counsel for the prestigious law ­­firm Friday, Eldredge, and Clark for 46 years until retiring as managing partner in July 2005.  In 1990, the Arkansas Bar Association named him Lawyer of the Year, and he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for his business and personal injury litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Sutton proudly served his country in the United States Air Force.

 

1998 Jerry Maulden

Jerry L. Maulden was hired by Arkansas Power and Light Co. in 1965. He quickly rose through the ranks, serving as vice president, chief financial officer, and then treasurer. In 1979, he was named president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Power & Light, which was having severe financial problems at the time. Within five years, Arkansas Power & Light was headed in the right direction and was recognized as one of the best-managed electric utilities in the nation.

 

1997 Red Hudson

James T. ‘Red’ Hudson was the Founder of Hudson Foods, Inc. He was born in Arkansas but was raised in Tennessee. He served more than three years in the United States Navy before beginning his career as a feed clerk in a feed store for Ralston Purina Co in January 1946, immediately after his discharge from the Navy. After working his way up to Regional Director of Operations, he began Hudson Foods in 1972.

 

1996 Mike Beebe

Mike Beebe recognized for his commitment to public service, was first elected to pubic office in 1982 in the Arkansas State Senate. In 2002, he was elected Arkansas Attorney General, the position he held until he was elected Governor of Arkansas in 2007. Beebe is a Democrat who while in office mainly focused on public education reform, healthcare, the state economy, and the environment.

2020 Youth Ranch Pumpkin Patch Canceled
08/28/2020

ASYR has made the difficult decision to cancel its 2020 Pumpkin Patch due to Covid-19.

While we love hosting the pumpkin patch each year, the cancellation was necessary to protect the health of our Ranch boys and girls and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many thanks to our sponsors who have made this event possible each year and to the schools and churches that have brought groups out.

The Youth Ranch Pumpkin Patch raises much-needed funds for our mission each year, so if you would still like to support, you may make a gift by clicking here or by texting the word Ranch to the number 41444.

We hope to to reopen the Pumpkin Patch in October of 2021, so mark your calendar and begin making plans for your family or group to attend.

From Rancher to High School Coach | Back to School
08/13/2020

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.

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 is the head softball coach at Batesville High School.  Scott’s journey has brought him full circle. Now, this former Rancher is teaching some of the children who call the ASYR “home” today!

Read Scott’s letter below.

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.

You Can Help!

The 2020 school year will begin soon, and while Covid makes this year uncertain in a lot of ways, one thing is sure. We still have lots of excited boys and girls to outfit before their first day back!

For some of our newer Ranchers, this will be this year will be the first time they thrive in their school work, thanks to support from friends like you.

Our biggest needs for the school year are:

  • Backpacks for boys and girls of all ages
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Loose leaf paper
  • 2-inch binders
  • Binder tabs
  • Hand sanitizer

Because we have children in grades kindergarten through college, their supply needs vary greatly. Your online gift is the very best way to make sure every Rancher’s need is covered, even beyond the classroom.

Your gift of $285 can provide everything one Rancher needs for a great school year – new school clothes, a new pair of shoes that fit, a fresh haircut, school supplies, a mask, and a new backpack.

Will you join us today by making a gift? Even a gift of just $30 can give two children a brand new backpack – something they may have never had before and that they will carry with pride!

Your gift today not only helps with needs like school supplies and backpacks, but it’s also an investment in the futures of Arkansas boys and girls.

•  $285 can outfit 1 child for the 2020 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 14 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

Gourmet Guru Grill Giveaway
05/27/2020

We are very excited to offer an opportunity to win this beautiful new Gourmet Guru Grill while benefiting the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches!

Details: For every $10 you donate to the Ranch through this special link, you will be entered to win this Deluxe Grill and Metal Rolling Cart from Gourmet Guru Grills. For every $25 you donate, you will receive three (3) entries. Drawing will be held on Friday, June 19, just in time for Father’s Day! Click here to make your gift today

The Deluxe Gourmet Guru Grill comes with a handy Metal Rolling Cart, and together they retail for $948! The Deluxe Gourmet Guru Grill is a beautiful ceramic charcoal grill that distributes heat evenly so that whatever you cook comes out grilled to perfection! The Deluxe Grill combines a grill, a smoker and a brick oven for a variety of applications, and it also includes a lifetime warranty.

THANK YOU! to Intimidator UTV and Gourmet Guru Grills of Batesville for donating the Gourmet Guru Deluxe Grill and Metal Rolling Cart to raise support for the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.

Don’t miss this opportunity to win a beautiful Gourmet Guru Grill, while supporting the mission of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. At the Ranch, we provide homes for some of Arkansas’s most vulnerable boys and girls. Your gift today can truly make a difference in the lives of the children we serve. Click here to make your gift today!

 

Spring brings hope in the midst of COVID-19 at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch
04/30/2020

It’s officially springtime at the Ranch! Children are playing in the yards and fishing at the pond. Shouts of joy ring out. Green leaves, bright buttercups, and pink roses bask in the sunshine.

But while the Ranch appears beautiful, the Ranch staff remain aware of the serious health crisis we are living through. We’re keeping the Ranch running during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are challenging times for all of us.

The children who call the Ranch home have already lived through their own trauma, child abuse, abandonment, and separation from their biological parents. Now they’re experiencing more uncertainty regarding the future. Along with other children in the world, they are isolated from friends and must complete school remotely. We are very proud of our Ranchers’ resiliency.

We’re providing these boys and girls with critical emotional support, coaching them through completing school work at home on the Ranch campus, and allowing them to get their energy out through plenty of outdoor play time.

Immediate needs at the Ranch during COVID-19

We truly need your help and financial support more than ever. As an organization that relies on charitable gifts to operate, we cannot make it through this pandemic without you.

Each house is practicing social distancing. Houseparents work around the clock to keep children fed, healthy, safe, loved, and calm. With children at home more often, we have increased house budgets temporarily. This will allow us to provide additional:

  • meals, snacks, and drinks
  • sports and fishing equipment
  • hygiene items
  • cleaning supplies
  • games and activities
  • personal care items
  • books

Can you help meet these immediate needs by making a gift today? With your generous financial support will make it through this time of uncertainty together.

The bright side: Spring highlights at the Ranch

Even during trying times, we continue to help children find hope in daily life at the Ranch. Here are some spring highlights and wonderful moments at the Ranch.

  • 8 Ranch supporters pitched in to raise $600 in 48 hours to provide Easter baskets and pizza parties.
  • One of our Ranchers, living in our transitional living home, turns 21 in June. He recently bought his own vehicle and works full-time. We’re very proud of his responsible choices.
  • The Ranch added 30 adorable baby calves to our cattle program this spring.
  • A local photographer donated her talent to take beautiful pictures of our graduating senior.
  • 6 of our Ranch boys and girls caught a fish for the very first time!

These moments of growth would not be possible without friends like you! This spring, and always, we are grateful for your help as we build better lives for the children who call the Ranch home.

When you give to the Ranch, you build hope. You change lives.

ASYR Staff spotlight: Kirsten Harvey
04/24/2020

Each staff member at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches (ASYR) makes a big impact on the children  who call the Ranch home. Kirsten Harvey, Transportation Coordinator and Receptionist, is no exception. Kirsten began working at the Ranch on February 3, 2020.

Kirsten Harvey Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches ASYRAbout Kirsten

Before joining the Ranch staff, Kirsten worked at Sherwood Urgent Care for over two years as a medical assistant. Prior to that, she worked at a pharmacy as a pharmacy tech. These positions not only helped her build experience in billing and administrative skills. They also helped her become a customer service expert. She gained understanding in how to maneuver difficult conversations and interactions, too.

In addition to her experience in the medical field, Kirsten has worked directly with children. She worked in childcare settings for three years. Working behind the scenes to help children who call the Ranch home feels fulfilling to Kirsten.

“Several factors influenced me to accept this position. I desired the opportunity to expand my skills and knowledge in a different atmosphere. The location of the ranch is close to home. Finally, after completing my interview, I felt this was the position best suited to my future goals,” Kirsten shares.

What Kirsten does at the Ranch

At the Ranch, Kirsten wears multiple hats, as do all Ranch staff members. She corresponds regularly with the Department of Transportation and maintains proper documentation for Ranch vehicles and drivers. Kirsten enters data, processes mail, and helps maintain the donor database. In addition, she communicates regularly via phone and email with donors, community members, houseparents, and others who have questions and needs.

Emily Ives, Business Manager at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, serves as Kirsten’s manager and collaborates with her on a daily basis.

“Kirsten is a ‘Get It Done’ type of woman. When she starts a project, she makes sure everything is done correctly and in a timely manner. She also anticipates things we need to do which I really appreciate.  She is a pleasure to work with and helps me keep my head on straight,” Emily dotes.

Kirsten shared that she “loves it here at the Ranch! It truly is a blessing being able to come to work everyday doing something you love to do. Working with great people is my favorite part. Everyone is positive, encouraging, and love what they do.”

Kirsten’s dream for children at the Ranch

When asked what one additional gift she would like to give to the children at the Ranch, she paused.

“The Ranch provides the children who live here with everything they need. But if I could wish anything, it would be that the children here had home lives that would have prevented them from having to come live at the Ranch in the first place,” she reflects.

Kirsten’s caring heart is what makes her such a perfect fit for the Ranch.

The next time you call the Ranch, maybe your interaction with Kirsten will be a little sweeter knowing more about the person behind the voice on the phone.

Thank you for your continued support in ensuring that children at the Ranch have safe, secure, loving homes. To donate to the Ranch today, click here.

 

This article is the first in a series of staff spotlights featuring staff members and describing the roles they play here. 

ASYR hosts virtual spring art sale
04/16/2020

The history of art: How ASYR acquired collections

Big Orange Daisy by Lynn Donoghue

Big Orange Daisy by Lynn Donoghue

What pairs better with spring time than beautiful, bright flowers and plants? We thought this, too, when opening a box of lovely botanical prints donated by longtime Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches’ board member, Brent Stevenson. Stevenson currently serves as Board Secretary/Treasurer.

Pamela Stagg

Dwarf Amaryllis, Pamela Stagg

Stevenson donated several amazing collections of prints to the Ranch in 2014. The Ranch staff recently identified a large print to frame and display above the fireplace mantel in the newly renovated lodge next to the administration building. Wedding parties, organizations, and corporations will be able to rent the lodge with all proceeds supporting the Ranch. With the exception of a few pieces framed on campus, the Ranch will sell the remaining artwork to support the children who call the Ranch home.

About the artwork, artists, and auction

The first collection we unwrapped of numbered, original prints, features three renowned female artists: Pamela Stagg, Lynn Donoghue, and Adriene Veninger. All three artists gained reputations for featuring natural landscapes and botanicals in their paintings and photography. Veninger’s “Flora and Fauna” collection has been displayed at the National Gallery of Canada since 2012.

We are hosting a 10-day art auction on eBay to raise funds for the Ranch. The botanical prints collection, featuring works by Donaghue, Stagg, and Veninger, is listed until April 26, 2020. These exclusive numbered, original prints from three renowned artists have appraised for $150 to $285 each. We priced pieces to move quickly. We hope you will purchase artwork from these three botanical print collections in celebration of spring and Mother’s Day.

Floral #2 by Adriene Veninger

Floral #2, Adriene Veninger

Stay tuned for more virtual art sales in months ahead from the ASYR. Please share this article and our eBay auction site link with art connoisseurs you know.

We hope you are doing well as we move forward into warmer, brighter days together.

From all of us at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches,

Thank you for your continued support.

Capturing one Rancher’s beauty: Local photographer highlights senior year
04/02/2020

Alexis* twisted one long braid, silently perched atop a chair in the lobby of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches’ administration building. She bit her lower lip and sighed.

“Are you excited about getting senior pictures made?” A staff member asked.

She nodded slowly. She fidgeted with a scarf she held, fraying its edges between her fingers.rabbit Harmony Brookshire photography

“I just brought this because I think it looks like something you wear for senior pictures. I don’t wear this in real life,” she admitted.

Her shoulders relaxed when a minivan arrived a few moments later, a tall, slender woman sporting a large camera case, walking confidently toward the door.

“Are you Alexis? I’m Harmony, your photographer. Are you ready?” Harmony extended her hand and smiled. Alexis returned the smile and followed Harmony, waving at us as she wandered off toward the barn to find her favorite bunny to feature in her senior pictures.

Ranch-raised students

Alexis, like many Ranchers—children who call the Ranch home—came to live at the Ranch years ago. After living in traditional foster care, Alexis and her siblings arrived at the Ranch apprehensive about the future and uncertain about their surroundings. After months of stability, support, and therapeutic foster care, Alexis began to relax. She built relationships with staff and her fellow Ranchers and even enjoyed herself. Over the years, the Ranch became more than a place to live. It became home.

The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches provides family-style foster care to about 60 children per year on its nearly 600-acre campus near Batesville, Arkansas. The children who call the Ranch home stay for varying lengths of time depending on their needs and whether they find forever homes. For those who stay at the Ranch for many years, the Ranch becomes an incredibly loving, secure haven.

The Ranch staff work hard to provide for the children’s needs and wants. Staff provide program services and transportation, collaborate with community partners, seek donations, and recruit volunteers. The Ranch’s Assistant Program Director, Errica Pruden, recently sought a local photographer to donate a special on-site senior photography session for Alexis. Within hours of posting the request, Harmony Brookshire of Brookshire Photography offered to help.

Harmony Brookshire: Making clients feel special

Harmony divulged that she loves talking to senior high school students, asking them what kind of look they are wanting and going for.

“I ask them about their interests/hobbies to see if they want to incorporate those things in their photos because this is for them! I love images taken outside in beautiful, natural light,” Harmony explains.Brookshire Photography Harmony Brookshire

Harmony tries to shoot senior photo sessions in locations they love or think would be fun. She looks for locations which might match the client’s personality. Simple and classic poses, designed to generate feelings of confidence and comfort in front of the camera, are Harmony’s favorite.

“When clients feel confident, photographers get genuine, beautiful smiles. I want their experience with me, as the photographer, to be one they remember as being fun and comfortable,” she adds.

Harmony began her photography business two years ago. What began as a real estate photography business quickly expanded into portrait sessions and other aspects of photography.

“Now I love photographing families, newborns, couples, weddings, seniors, while still assisting real estate agents. The variety keeps me on my toes and allows me to be creative. I meet so many amazing people I would never interact with otherwise,” Harmony shares.

More than photography: Using her gift to serve

Harmony and Michael Brookshire

Harmony Brookshire & family, 2019

Harmony enjoys using her gift of photography to serve others. She volunteers as a photographer periodically for her church, Fellowship Bible Church of Batesville. As a former teacher, Harmony has always had a soft spot in her heart for children—especially children in foster care—so she jumped at the opportunity to partner with the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.

“I really wanted to show Alexis how special, beautiful, and loved she is. And if that was something I could do by taking photos, I was in,” Harmony says.

In addition to managing her photography business, Harmony invests her time in her family as a mother of four boys. She and her husband, Michael, celebrate 14 years of marriage in May. Harmony and her family love being part of the Batesville community. We at the Ranch believe the Batesville community is lucky the Brookshire family is part of it, too.

 

Are you an expert in your field or industry? Do you have a talent or skill you’re willing to share with Ranchers or a product you can donate through your business? Let’s talk about how you can volunteer, get involved, or give to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches today.

*Alexis’ name and personal details have been changed to protect her identity.

 

Help children at the Ranch celebrate Easter
03/09/2020

Spiritual growth for Ranchers

Arkansas church

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.Easter 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!

Click here to make a one-time or monthly contribution or find out how to volunteer at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch.

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.