The word “home” means something different for everyone, but for hundreds of Big Oak Ranch former residents, arriving at the Boys’ Ranch to attend the recent Big Oak Reunion was truly special.
“This is a place we get to call ‘home.’ We get to come back to people who support us, love us, encourage us and pray for us. It’s great to come back and see where it all started to make a difference in our lives,” said London Heiser, a former resident.
At Big Oak Ranch, we strive to be a forever home for all of those we have the privilege of caring for, keeping former residents connected with their brothers, sisters, houseparents, and staff. The Reunion is a unique opportunity to connect former residents with their larger Big Oak family and celebrate what God has done in their lives since they first stepped foot on the Ranch.
The annual event brings back a flood of emotion for some. “Coming back, it’s really cool to be able to show the people close to you the things that made you feel welcome, that made you feel like part of a family,” said Ronald Howell, a former resident.
Not only is the event uplifting for former residents but it shows children who are currently living at the Ranch that Big Oak is their forever family. “Coming home today feels amazing and when referring to here, I always say ‘home’ – this will always be home,” said Holly Messer, a former resident who traveled from Louisiana.
With one of the largest turnouts yet, we greeted about 600 Big Oak family members in attendance with a heartfelt “Welcome Home.” We couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable and meaningful time together, and we can’t wait to see everyone again soon!
Watch the highlights from the 2022 Big Oak Family Reunion!