For centuries, the breaking of bread has brought people together. It’s a symbol of familial commitment, a practice that’s as much about emotional sustenance as it is nourishing our bodies.
Tragically, it’s also a practice our modern always-busy lifestyle often leaves by the wayside. But, not here.
Across an inviting-looking dinner table in one of the 27 group homes at Boys Ranch, I see a group of current Boys Ranch residents soak up all their guest has to say. A few decades ago, she was in their place.
What should I expect when I leave Boys Ranch?
What’s the hardest part about living on your own?
Do you still talk to the people you knew at Boys Ranch?
The young people pepper her with questions, which she happily answers with patience and wisdom. Laughing and sharing over the meal set before them, the people around this table are brothers and sisters, part of an extended family well over 12,000 strong. They share no common ancestry and come from every imaginable race and culture. They may have vastly different world views and preferences on everything from entertainment to food, to sports and beyond.
Yet, they are united by Boys Ranch, part of an inseparable group bonded not by blood, but by choice, by love for the organization and people who so enriched their lives.
For eight decades now, Boys Ranch has served the needs of children from every corner of our nation and beyond. Those thousands of men and women — businessmen, tradespeople, housewives and more — stand taller than any monument ever could. Their testimony to the love, nurture and respect they experienced at Boys Ranch speaks louder than any megaphone. Each man or woman who’s ever found success and inspiration at Boys Ranch is a living legacy — a legacy not of our greatness, but of yours.
Show me any great accomplishment. My assertion to you is it did not happen alone, the result of a single individual operating in a vacuum. Each of us is where we are today because of the love, support and sacrifice of the people in our lives. And, the same is true for Boys Ranch.
After all, it’s your commitment to changing lives through our transformative programs and services that has provided for their needs. It is your unwavering loyalty to sharing the timeless values of integrity, perseverance and faith in God that allows Boys Ranch to accept a young person, instill those values and help him or her launch off into a great big world, ready to take on whatever challenges may come.
So, as you read the stories before you in this issue of The Roundup, I know you’ll see the connections between past and present, the bonds between yesterday’s and today’s youth. But, I hope, too, that you see yourself sitting at that proverbial table breaking bread with us.
You’re a part of our family, too — and I’m honored to have you.