Theo and Helen Embry looked out the window of their tour bus as it rolled across the rugged Texas Panhandle. The land stretched on for miles before them, an occasional mesa popping up toward the heavens to give an unearthly beauty to the otherwise flat landscape.
As the tour bus pulled into their next stop, the Embrys had no idea they were about to have an encounter that would impact their lives for years to come.
That stop was Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Thousands of people like the Embrys visit our campus each year, learning about both the site’s Wild West heritage and its modern purpose helping struggling children change their lives for the better.
“We met the boys and saw the operation,” Helen remembered. “I was really impressed. They gave us a tour, and we saw the homes. The house parents were nice; they were so good to the children.”
The Embrys even ate a meal with the boys and girls at Boys Ranch, learning more about their daily lives, their backgrounds and the ways Cal Farley’s helps youth create a positive, hopeful path for their lives.
Many things about Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch appealed to Helen and Theo, particularly the Christ-centered environment. Helen and Theo themselves had met in church years before.
“He was a clown … full of jokes!” Helen laughed, recalling her first impression of Theo.
They also appreciated how Cal Farley’s staff took time to understand how each child’s background affected his or her individual needs.
“I was a school teacher for years. When you’ve taught junior high children for years, you know about that age group!” Helen said. “Y’all become aware of their background from their homes or their schools. So, that makes Cal Farley’s more understanding of what the child is coping with. I know that from my own experience in teaching.”
Over the years, the Embrys funded a number of Cal Farley’s charitable gift annuities. These annuities support Cal Farley’s mission to help children from across the United States after providing the Embrys with an additional income.
Theo recently passed away, but Helen is grateful for the life they had together, and for the decision they made to support Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch.