Our residents, the very soul of our Ranch, have had a series of achievements this year. Their accomplishments range from academic feats to personal growth. Residents consistently maintain the highest behavior level, while others have shone academically with straight “A’s.” Some have found forever families through adoptive placements. Their talents have not gone unnoticed, whether through special recognition in schools or showcasing their art at The Appleton Museum. Their growth stories, both academically and emotionally, have been truly inspiring.
Continuous improvement and development have been at the forefront of our operations. From renovations of our cottages to providing our children with enriching experiences like trips to Fun Spot, the beach, springs, pools, and the YMCA, we’ve been constantly striving to provide the best for our kids and staff. The support from the community, including three churches that generously contributed to renovating parts of our Administration building, has been invaluable.
Our representatives have been spreading the word about our mission far and wide. Sis. Alice and Dr. Sweet have been our ambassadors at various conferences and gatherings, while Michael and Nicole have been engaging with community groups to share our story. A special mention to Mr. Sean, who took time out of his honeymoon to speak about his journey at The Ranch, which speaks volumes about the impact and importance of our mission. Through all these endeavors, the story of the Ranch reaches more and more individuals, garnering support and amplifying our mission.
This year’s successes, both big and small, have been due to the unwavering dedication of our staff, the continuous growth of our residents, and the undying support from our community. Each shining moment is a testament to what we can achieve together.
Special Appreciation: Community Partnerships in Faith
We often say that it takes a village to raise a child, and at Heart of Florida Youth Ranch, our ‘village’ extends well beyond the borders of our campus. Among our most cherished partnerships have been those with the faith community. Today, we express our deepest gratitude to three extraordinary individuals who have turned faith into action for the benefit of our Ranch: Pastor Eric Burch of Lake Placid Temple, Pastor Graham Chancey of Pahokee – Good Shepherd, and Pastor Jamie Wyatt of Middleburg.
These three pastors have mobilized construction teams to work on a critical project that will profoundly impact the operations at our facility. They served in overseeing the renovation and addition of three offices specifically designed for our Case Management team. With the unsettling rise in children who come to us after enduring the terrible realities of trafficking, these spaces are not just offices but sanctuaries—places where critical work will be carried out to support these young lives in their journey toward healing and growth.
The new offices will be instrumental in providing a more efficient, private and compassionate environment for our staff and the children they serve. It’s a significant contribution, one that echoes the collective spirit of our mission and amplifies the positive influence that our faith community has on the Ranch.
Our appreciation for Pastors Eric Burch, Graham Chancey, and Jamie Wyatt and the amazing team knows and no bounds. Their commitment and that of their congregations have brought more than material renovation; they have helped create a sense of renewed hope and fortified commitment, enriching the lives of everyone involved at the Heart of Florida Youth Ranch.
Thank you for your unwavering support, generous contributions, and continued faith in our mission. Together, we can continue to serve as a beacon of hope, love, and restoration for the many lives that we touch.