The Heart of Our Mission: The Importance of Family at Boys Ranch

President's Message

Dear Friends,

As we begin a new year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the importance of family. At Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch we believe that every child deserves a loving and supportive family. Unfortunately, many of the children who come to us have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect and have never known the warmth and security of a stable home. That’s why our residential programs are designed to provide a safe and nurturing environment where children can heal, grow, and thrive. We offer a range of services, including counseling, education, and life skills training, to help our residents build the foundation they need to succeed. I hope that you are well aware of the incredible impact we have on the lives of the kids in our care. Our mission is not just about providing shelter, food, and education; it is about nurturing a sense of belonging, love, and faith in the hearts of these young souls. At the heart of our mission lies a profound commitment to the importance of family. As we serve these children, we must never lose sight of the pivotal role that family plays in shaping their lives. In the spirit of our Christian values, let us explore the significance of family, drawing inspiration from the timeless wisdom of the Bible.

This year's Cantata provided a wonderful occasion for our kids and house parents to come together and enjoy an evening celebrating faith and family.

Creating a Sense of Belonging: Family is where children first experience a sense of belonging. At Boys Ranch, we must strive to create an environment that replicates the warmth and security of a family. In Matthew 18:5 (NIV), Jesus says, “And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Our dedicated staff becomes their surrogate family, and our love for them should know no bounds.

Fostering Faith and Values: Families often play a crucial role in transmitting faith and values. We have a unique opportunity to instill spiritual and moral principles in the hearts of these children. Proverbs reminds us, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” We should provide them with opportunities to learn, explore, and deepen their faith, just as a family would.

Emotional Support: Families are the first line of emotional support for children. At the Ranch, we must ensure that our kids feel safe to express their thoughts and feelings. We should provide counseling, mentorship and a listening ear to help them navigate life’s challenges. Galatians encourages us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Preparation for Independence: Ultimately, a family’s role is to prepare children for independence. We have a responsibility to equip our kids with life skills, guidance and mentorship to ensure they are well-prepared for adulthood. This includes teaching them responsibility, self-reliance and resilience. Colossians reminds us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

Building Lifelong Bonds: Just as family bonds are lifelong, our connection with these children should not end when they leave Boys Ranch. We should strive to maintain relationships with them, supporting their journey even as they grow into adults. Romans assures us, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Every child under our care deserves to experience the love, support and values that a family provides. By nurturing these aspects, we not only fulfill our Christian mission but also empower these children to lead fulfilling lives rooted in faith, love and family. Let us continue to work together to be a beacon of hope and love for these children, embodying the Christian principles that guide our organization’s mission.

My best,

Richard Nedelkoff

President & CEO of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch

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