*Please note the above photo was taken prior to COVID-19.
Greetings from Wildwood Hills Ranch. We pray that you and your family are staying safe during this season.
We wanted to reach out and provide an update on what we’ve been up to at The Ranch as we know many of you have been praying for us.
During the month of June, we creatively served youth at-risk and their families through community outreach programming. This entailed delivering curriculum through online programming and delivering care packages and meals directly to the communities through safe, in-person deliveries and drive-thru pickup.
We are grateful for a generous out of state donor that allowed us to deliver care packages and a local hygienist that donated the toothpaste and tooth brushes. The care packages that were provided to the youth we serve contained the following items: macaroni & cheese, granola bars, fruit snacks, candy, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towel, stress ball, colored pencils, crayons, book, Frisbee, Wildwood Hills Ranch bracelet, marigold and green beans seed packets, art supplies, coloring book, activity packet, Wildwood Hills Ranch drawstring bag and a hand-written card from a staff member with words of encouragement.
Wildwood Hills Ranch staff distribute meals and care packages to youth at-risk & families in need in the Cedar Rapids area. The individual in the middle only lowered their mask for this photo.
The Ranch handed out over 1,300 meals, produce boxes and other food items to the following communities and surrounding areas: Waterloo, Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.
Here is a heart-warming story from one of our community partners in the Quad Cities region regarding the distribution of meals and care packages:
“As a community partner, we are so thankful for our partnership with Wildwood Hills Ranch. This year was extra special, as we had the opportunity for The Ranch to come to our neighborhood and meet each of the Ranchers and their families. While The Ranch could have easily cancelled for this year and begun to plan for 2021, they decided not to miss an amazing opportunity to share the love of Christ with our youth by making the amazing gesture to drive over three hours to come and deliver materials they had prepared as well as some practical help with a box full of produce. Each house visit we made, we decided to pray with every family about some of their needs and praise God for the simple opportunity to be together, even amidst these trying times. One particular family sticks out, as they had forgotten we were swinging by their house. We called and they agreed to meet us in just a few minutes at a parking lot in town. They all got out of the car, so excited to see familiar faces from The Ranch and to experience the love of Christ by people just taking notice of them in a time when so many are going overlooked. We talked for a while and the mom shared that the pandemic had made employment difficult for her and ten of us circled up in a parking lot and cried out to God for His provision for this family. She wept and we closed with a few tears and heartfelt “goodbyes” until next time. We trust God used this time, of praying in the homes of 30 ranchers, to lay some solid foundations for years of ministry partnership to come. So thankful for The Ranch and their leadership that’s willing to think “outside of the box” to make Jesus known.”
In the month of July, we are conducting on-site programming with the youth from counties that have not had widespread transmission. We have reduced capacity and will be following CDC, federal and local guidelines.
Unfortunately, statistics show that cases of child abuse increase during times of isolation and financial crisis. We appreciate your prayer and support as the youth we serve need help, hope and healing more now than ever before.
We are looking forward to a safe and fun July programming season as we serve youth during this tumultuous time.
Thank you for being a part of our Wildwood family, without your support of time, talent and treasure we would not be able to serve the youth at-risk and their families.