Monday, November 1, 2010

Big Oak Ranch


Today, at our staff meeting, we watched a little video about Big Oak Ranch. I had never heard of this organization until today. So many people got tears in their eyes in the staff meeting. Not something I thought would happen when I drove to work this morning. Anyway, Big Oak Ranch is a place where kids grow up when their parents won't raise them or have abandoned or abused them. Some examples in this video of children's stories that are living at the ranch included a little boy who had burns from the waist down from when his mom poured grease on him and a little girl who had been raped and beaten by her father. John Croyle (the founder) also mentions numerous parents from million dollar homes who drive up in a Mercedes and open the door for their kids, push them out, then drive away.

I can't fathom a parent would do such things to their children. There was a story that I noticed in the news this week of a woman that got annoyed by her child crying for attention because his mother was playing Farmville on facebook instead of paying attention to her 3 month old son so she shook the baby out of frustration and killed him. She pled guilty to second degree murder. What kind of world are we living in???? Watching this video brought tears to my eyes...AT WORK. The video isn't on youtube so I can't link it directly to my blog, but you can click here and it will take you straight to the video I am talking about. Bama fans out there, this is Brodie Croyle's dad we're talking about. He could have made MILLIONS in the NFL, but decided to stop playing football after college and open this ranch instead.

My favorite (and most emotional) story on the video is of a little girl named Shelley. Shelley was being raped and beaten by her father and John Croyle went to the courts to ask for custody of her. At the time, there was only one ranch and it was for boys. Because of that, the judge ruled it unsafe for Shelley to live there and she remained with her father. Seriously??? More unsafe than being raped and beaten? A few weeks later, her father beat her until she died. This inspired John to open up a girls ranch and he named the road leading into the girls ranch "Shelley Drive".

So where am I going with all this? Well, I have been so inspired by this organization that I am going to start donating to it and volunteering my time at the ranch. Next Thursday, a group of work friends are going to the boys ranch and then on Friday, another group is going to the girls ranch. I'm going to try to go to both if my managers will allow me. If you're interested in donating to help Big Oak Ranch provide for neglected children, please click here. It tears my heart up that parents do this to their children and they don't deserve it but in order for them to have the future they would have had with a good family, they need our help. Any donation helps!!! It takes about $3 million per year to run these ranches and they are entirely funded on private donations, so help these kids out. If every person in the workforce gave as little as $ that adds up.

But you don't even have to give donations. Like the website says, prayer works wonders. These kids feel abandoned by their parents and there will always be an adjustment period for them. Please pray for them as they adjust to this new lifestyle and that their emotional wounds from the scaring their parents left on them will heal. Also pray that the ranch will always find a way to make ends meet so that it can bring in more and more children. And don't forget about the staff working there. There are families that have given their lives to this cause. They open up their homes to numerous children that are not their own, but they take responsibility for them. Pray for them. And pray that God continues to put such amazing influences in these kids lives. I so look forward to doing more with this organization!


Jenny said...

I would love to go and help volunteer! Why can't I live closer to you?

A Bride In Boots said...

Marcie - This place is near and dear to my heart - it was my sorority's philanthropy at Samford, so we went there about once a month to tutor and play with the kids. I absolutely loved going out there. If only you were still my neighbor, I'd go with you every time!