Big Oak Ranch exists to meet the needs of abused, neglected and abandoned children by giving them a solid, Christian home and a chance to realize and fulfill God’s plan for their lives.
The ways in which we speak and live out our promises to our children daily, within Christ-centered homes and like-minded Ranch communities, have been the center of this wheel turning at Big Oak for nearly 50 years.
Our commitment to both foundational truths and constant improvement requires discipline. It requires honesty, love, perseverance. It requires focus, humility, trust. It requires the understanding that the exact methods of getting here won’t always get us to what’s next. It also requires a respect for the God-given standard and foundation that got us here, knowing it’s what will allow us to reach what is next.
In Joshua 3, the Israelite army reached the Jordan River. After a journey filled with both provision and challenges, Joshua could have backed out at the sight of the Jordan, but instead, he followed the direction of the Lord, expecting that He would do amazing things.
God gave Joshua two steps. First was to tell the priests who carried the ark of the covenant to step into the flood-stage waters of the Jordan so the Israelites could walk across the river bed on dry ground. Second, after asking His people to literally go “all in,” chapter 4 tells us God instructed Joshua to choose 12 men from among the people, one from each tribe of Israel, telling them to take up 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan so they could be placed in remembrance of what God brought them through and what His power would lead them to. God would use these rocks to remind His people of His unchanging foundational truths and His faithfulness to assign their next right step.
He used the rocks to not only remind the ones who crossed the Jordan, but their children, and the generations that would come after them. The rocks were not only a reminder of who brought them from where they were, but also that there was no turning back. There was new territory to gain and the same God would lead them there.
We seek to operate from that posture as we focus on financial and operational balance that creates the ability to grow to 20 homes at each Ranch over the next decade. We embrace the enhancements that will continue to be made to the daily care and opportunities provided for every child and young adult who call Big Oak home. We continue to work toward increased awareness and multiplied impact of Planting Oaks, as it will serve as our growth model once there are 20 homes planted at both the Boys’ Ranch and Girls’ Ranch.
As you read about the impact of this mission, we hope you see just how far God has brought us this past year and how your giving is pointing children to a new way of life. We will continue in our faith-filled journey forward bringing you the vision God has given and the transparent reports of resulting impact. Realizing our inability to control every outcome, as we scale, we will refrain from a level of structure that removes the opportunity for a miracle. Where He calls us to more, we will boldly go. Where He calls us to slow down or change, we will willingly do so. The God of the harvest is in control and we look forward to what He will do through our partnership in the mission to see hurting children receive healing.
A GROWING COMMUNITY OF FAMILY FOR CHILDREN WHO NEED A CHANCE.
ONE HOME AT A TIME.
New home: Mark and Liz Vorsatz Home
New home: Neugent-Mouron Home
BIG OAK BOYS’ RANCH
Raising strong, honoring, hard-working men.
One boy at a time.
In scaling our impact at both the Girls’ Ranch and Boys’ Ranch, we are serving the children who need us through our two newest homes at the Girls’ Ranch with another home for girls soon to follow, as well as one additional home coming to the Boys’ Ranch. The vision to see 20 homes at each Ranch over the next 10 years is actively being pursued.
With the pursuit of this vision comes focused and consistent investment in community and culture at both Ranches and within our individual homes. We realize our culture is either created by default or by design. We choose design.
We choose to invest in full-time family, in the daily opportunities to build authentic relationships so that our children can not only grow within that blessing
but realize its value as they form future families. We choose a community where people serve in the heart of get to, not have to. Where we work as
we, us and our, not I, me, my. Where there is home, not institution. Where we invest in the responsibility to steward our lives for something greater
than us. A place where we speak promise before performance, within a circle of people who push one another forward.
As we add homes at Big Oak, as we enhance initiatives to better serve our children and fortify the community that is essential for our mission’s success, sharing the measurable results from those efforts is important. We do so not in the pursuit of sheer numbers, but of inviting you to also share in this Big Oak community and in the newfound life our children are encountering. In the midst of the growth, we still see each child, each individual family at Big Oak. And every child who experiences the earthly impact of family, which pales in comparison to the celebration resounding throughout eternity when they claim the freedom only Christ offers.
BIG OAK GIRLS’ RANCH
Raising nurturing, wise,
One girl at a time.
2022 BIG OAK FAMILY REUNION
“Coming home in 1989 did my soul good and, just like for the reunion this year, it still does today.” — Doris Martin, former resident
Over the past year, 203 children have called Big Oak home.
We have served children from 10 states over the past year, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas & Hawaii.
During 2022, 27 children professed their faith in Christ.
Over the past 5 years, 108 children professed their faith in Christ.
More than 2,000 children have called Big Oak Ranch home since 1974.
DOMINIC MCMATH, FORMER RESIDENT
“The academic opportunities provided while at Big Oak were life-changing for my siblings and me, and I know they continue to be for all of the current and future Big Oak kids.”
Opportunities to Succeed
children received the blessing of a private Christian education at Westbrook Christian School.
children ended the 2021-2022 school year on the A/B honor roll.
hours of academic tutoring provided per week.
young adults received the benefit of a college or trade school education and life skills training.
homes for girls, with another home entering the construction phase soon.
homes for boys, with another home currently under construction.
Our staff received a total of 1,155 hours of training to better serve our children.
former residents and their spouses have returned to Big Oak now serving as houseparents.
children received orthodontic care.
children received glasses, contacts and/or critical vision care.
children received therapy and counseling services.
meals were provided daily.
medical appointments were provided (pediatrician, eye doctor, dentist appointments).
counseling/therapy appointments were provided, as our full-time staff counselors enter everyday environments with our children to provide relational counseling relevant to their daily experiences, in addition to our strategic network of external counseling partners.
children worked to purchase their own vehicle.
children participated in P21* this summer, and 13 children earned the opportunity to lead within the program.
Big Oak Cattle’s self-sustaining herd provides more than 15,000 pounds of red meat each year to help feed our families.
children participated in organized team sports, and 17 in the arts.
children ages 15+ learned to search for and maintain a job.
BIG OAK RANCH REVENUE
Our suliliort comes solely from Individuals, Corliorations & Organizations
- General Contributions – 61.7%
- Restricted Contributions –15.1%
- Other – 15.8%
- Sliecial Events – 3.5%
- Honorarium & Memorial Gifts – 3.9%
ADMINISTRATIVE AND FURTHERING AWARENESS
Spending 2021 as a percentage of revenue
Big Oak Ranch takes no state or federal funding
and operates 100% debt-free!
- Administrative – 6.9%
“For most organizations, anything less than
15% spent on admin is considered excellent.”
— Charity Navigator
- Furthering Awareness – 6.2%
- Children’s Programs – 86.9%
Nearly $0.87 of every dollar was allocated to the care of children and programs benefiting their overall development now and in the future. This far exceeds the $0.75 benchmark set forth by national guidelines.
Big Oak Ranch, Inc. received Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating. Charity
Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, provides free ratings
of the financial health, accountability, and transparency of thousands of charities.
Current impact leads to generational change.
“Though I didn’t come from the best circumstances in my childhood, I had a chance to restart. I learned that when you have been taught right from wrong, you can love people while also not following in their footsteps. Thus, I now get to pour the values that I learned back into my biological family.”
“Big Oak Ranch shaped a kind, hard-working man who I am blessed to call my husband. As a father of two, he learned so many invaluable parenting skills from his houseparents at Big Oak. He shows me and our children the same love and compassion, leading us well and guiding our kids to be kind people.”
WIFE OF FORMER RESIDENT,
Spiritual, professional and personal
life preparation for the young adults
of Big Oak Ranch.
“To ascend and to descend, to climb and to fall, to lead and to follow. These are seasons we have all walked through and have grown from in one way or another. Times when we have been unsure of our next best move. After high school graduation, this is what every graduate surely faces – uncertainty, obstacles, and the unknown. A longing for independence while still needing to learn the responsibility that comes with it. They need people to walk alongside them to navigate these pivotal seasons.”
— Kelli Croyle,
Lead Guide, ASCEND
WE’LL STICK WITH YOU.
It’s one of the four foundational promises we make to every child who calls Big Oak home, and ASCEND is one way we keep that promise. Through their time in the homes at Big Oak, each child receives consistent examples of love, honesty, perseverance and discipline. Daily, they gaze upon the examples displayed throughout their childhood and form healthy spiritual and character habits. As our children become young adults, focused guidance and teaching is required to show them the way from childhood to adulthood. This guidance is vital as they learn to transform what they have seen into what they live.
WE TEACH OUR YOUNG ADULTS HOW TO TRANSFORM THE DEPENDENT HABITS LEARNED ON THE RANCH INTO INDEPENDENT HABITS NECESSARY FOR SUCCESSFUL ADULT LIFE.
ASCEND helps our young adults take ownership of these healthy habits, making them a deeply personal aspect of their lives. As they walk this journey, experiencing accountability, rising to responsibility and reaching established milestones, we support each young person’s goals through a fully-paid college or skilled trade education, life preparation training through our 4:11 curriculum, mentoring through ASCEND guides, ASCEND Living including a 2-3 bedroom apartment, a roommate, utilities, and onsite resourcing through a responsible married couple, as well as intentional career development specific to their selected ASCEND pathway.
WE PROVIDE A COMPASS FOR EACH ASCENDANT TO WALK THEIR PATH TO PURPOSE.
While in ASCEND, our young adults gain an understanding of financial responsibility, effective time management, how to set goals, prioritize and
plan to reach them, the art of
professional communication, proper social etiquette, how to prepare for, secure and maintain a job, how to identify and best apply their spiritual gifting and personality traits, and how to live out authentic faith in Christ through every aspect of their lives.
WE GUIDE OUR YOUNG ADULTS INTO A LIFE OF MEANINGFUL IMPACT.
ASCEND is designed to support each young adult’s unique goals as we help them create a plan to achieve them and take the best steps forward throughout the journey. The pathways through which we guide them are full of as much responsibility as opportunity. Ascendants are active in their churches and small groups, they work a minimum of 15 hours per week for a local employer and carry a full time higher education course load as they build a promising resume, they participate in regular meetings with ASCEND guides who walk alongside their spiritual, professional and personal development. They invest in themselves along the way, with their investments being stored in a savings account, and the opportunity to earn those investments back as they complete milestones.
But, the most valuable aspect of ASCEND, is the guidance into furthered healing and a deepened faith in Christ. As they learn to stand on truth, they become bold, unshakeable men and women of God. And, through ASCEND, they learn to have meaningful impact in the world while not being of the world, as they serve and love others well.
A NETWORK OF CHRISTIAN HOMES FOR CHILDREN NEEDING A CHANCE.
one Ranch at a time.
- 80 Planting Oaks partners
- 3,719 Children served
- 27 States
- 71% of Planting Oaks partners have moved into their next phase of growth this year
- 22 Planting Oaks partners have secured land, begun development of their first home or expanded their number of homes this year
AS AN EXTENSION OF BIG OAK RANCH, PLANTING OAKS RESOURCES AND EQUIPS
LIKE-MINDED MINISTRIES AS THEY ESTABLISH CHRISTIAN HOMES FOR ABUSED,
NEGLECTED AND ABANDONED CHILDREN.