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Volunteering at the Ranch
From our humble beginnings, to our current ministry, hands that freely give are the life of this place.
Volunteering at the Beginning
Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch experienced its humble beginnings in 1995 when Troy and Kim Meeder chose to pour their lives into an idea. They freely gave their time, finances, property, and many long days of backbreaking work to help this ranch get on its feet. Never asking for anything in return, their volunteer heart is the reason Crystal Peaks exists today.
Volunteering as Healing
The first children who were ministered to at the ranch came as volunteers. They were not coming for what they could get, as the horses were in such terrible shape they couldn't be ridden. They were coming to give. It was within the selfless and beautiful relationships between broken children and broken horses that we witnessed our first miracles here.
Today the ranch has rehabilitated a herd of riding horses that many of the kids who come are able to ride. Volunteering is still a foundational part of our program, and most riding sessions begin with a chore. This is usually 10-20 minutes where a leader and child work together mucking paddocks, pulling weeds, or working on various ranch projects. Involvement in these simple tasks builds value into the heart of a child.
We strive to teach our children that they can do something to improve the life of someone else. This fulfills an elementary need in every child’s heart. That is, the need to be needed. Oftentimes having this feeling of value is an integral part of a child’s healing.
Volunteering and the Ranch Property
The beauty of Crystal Peaks is a ministry all its own. Many visitors ask for nothing more than the chance to sit for a while and bask in the peaceful environment. Creating and maintaining this environment has proven to be quite a challenge. However, our volunteer force (local, long-term and group volunteers) have been invaluable in keeping things going.
A trip to the ranch will prove this, as so much of the ranch has been built by the hands of those who freely give their time. From the wind shelters built as an Eagle Scout project, to the bed of flowers planted by a child’s grandmother, most everything here has been blessed by the touch of a volunteer. Volunteers have been building, cleaning, fixing, and improving this ranch ever since it began, all without expecting anything in return.