2023 Impact Report

BIG OAK RANCH


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.

Big Oak Ranch consistently keeps our worthy organizational goals before us, which are 1.) to build the best children’s home for abused, neglected and abandoned children across the United States, 2.) to fill a major gap within society, through ASCEND, by effectively leading 18-24 year-olds to transition from the dependence of home into the independence of adulthood, and 3.) through Planting Oaks, to have the greatest impact and influence this country has ever seen for children in crisis. 

We plant seeds in unwavering conviction and application of our values, which are anchored in Christian homes and community steeped in love, honesty, perseverance and discipline. We embody resolve to dedicate our lives to this mission because Christ and His message of Hope are worthy, and there are children who desperately need to hear it and receive the opportunity to step into the purpose He has for them.

We are committed to exceeding accountability to: 

1. What God has asked of us

To have an unwavering commitment to see the hurt receive healing and continue to fulfill this vision for the children who have, do and will call Big Oak Ranch home, but also the thousands of children across our state and country who desperately need a chance.

2. What is required

We ensure each member of our team is aligned to their strengths because when we signed up to serve, we committed to putting our full weight down.

We pinpoint shortcomings and work to mitigate the impact of our weaknesses because what we tolerate in ourselves is perpetuated within us. We proactively identify opportunities to improve and make corrections early and often. We own the outcomes within our control and depend on God’s sovereignty to provide what we cannot.

3. The ones who came before us

As we celebrate nearly five decades of Big Oak Ranch, we will not forget the many who put their hands to the plow and faithfully kept planting. They live with memories of monumental victories and wear the scars of great challenges. We honor what those before us invested and strive to keep that sacrifice at the forefront of our children’s minds. We not only remember those who have given so much to the growth of this organization, we recognize it’s our turn to advance an unchanging mission, and we are committed to giving what is required to do so.

So often, we all enjoy the attributes of God but struggle with the absolutes. Likewise, it’s easy to enjoy the “gets” of accountability while not loving the “gives” of accountability. We choose to find joy in both as Scripture reminds us that works do not save us, but they are an outcome of our salvation. Fruit does not make the tree good. Fruit shows that the tree is good. As we have been intentional to look back and reflect on this past year, we hope you are filled with as much joy looking back as we were!

Keep Planting, 

Brodie Croyle
CEO

BIG OAK BOYS’ RANCH

Raising strong, honoring, hard-working men.

Victor new

Anyone who visits the Boys’ Ranch quickly notices the countless adventures that await each boy’s daring soul. Whether it’s fishing, canoeing, wrangling cattle, riding horses, playing ball, swimming or whatever else their heart desires, it can seem like somewhat of a dream. But, in contrast, the hard places some of them come from could be considered a nightmare.

Any houseparent on the Ranch will tell you even a place as great as Big Oak is no fix-all for some of the things our children have experienced. Our ministry, which happens in the home, takes time, patient parenting and plenty of prayer. Some things only God can walk a person through and that’s exactly who we invite to help our boys walk through the various difficulties they’re facing.

One way we help them overcome obstacles and provide teaching opportunities is through chores on the Ranch. Boys were made for work, and if encouraged in the right way, will gravitate toward it, finding within it confidence, an innate desire to earn a wage, and an ability to lead.

 

The Girls’ Ranch sits on 325 acres of rolling hills that has a calming effect when you pull in the drive. The emotions are all too often less calming for our girls when having to recover from difficult circumstances from which most of them came. However, our houseparents embrace these circumstances and consider it their calling to care for them. Each child who walks through the doors of their homes is an opportunity to invite God to work - to truly care in the midst of others in their lives who have either chosen not to or simply didn’t have the means to care for them.

BIG OAK GIRLS’ RANCH

Raising nurturing, wise,
confident women.

Keyara

With the support of those on the Ranch, teachers and staff at Westbrook Christian School, counselors, and social workers, we start to see a difference in our girls not long after arriving at Big Oak. We strive to show them what a loving family looks like, model Christlikeness and offer them grace-filled accountability. We introduce them to extracurricular activities both on and off the Ranch.

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2023 BIG OAK FAMILY REUNION

“It is so good to be home, and most of all, see all of my friends, former housemates, and former houseparents that just poured into my life. I’m going to find ways to support Big Oak Ranch in every way that I can. I love being home.” — Faith Mostella, former resident

MEASURABLE IMPACT

Our Children

205 new

Over the past year, 205 children have called Big Oak home.

29

During 2023, 29 children professed their faith in Christ.

120

Over the past 5 years, 120 children professed their faith in Christ.

12

We have served children from 12 states over the past year, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Nevada, Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas & Hawaii.

2,000

More than 2,000 children have called Big Oak Ranch home since 1974.

Keyara Jones
Jackson Shoars, Garrett Shoars, Francisco Francisco, Holden Meador, Senior Graduation Party, May 2023
Chamma, 14th Birthday, April 2023
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Chaslin Reynolds, Honors Day, May 2023 (1)
Ava Zuniga, Prom, March 2023

MEASURABLE IMPACT

Opportunities to Succeed

EDUCATION

168

children received the blessing of a private Christian education at Westbrook Christian School.

108

children ended the 2022-2023 school year on the A/B honor roll.

52

hours of academic tutoring provided per week.

16

young adults received the benefit of a college or trade school education and life skills training.

OUR HOMES & STAFF

1,260

hours of staff training were completed to better serve our children.

1

home was built on the Big Oak Boys' Ranch in 2023.

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PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH

48

children received orthodontic care.

46

children received glasses, contacts and/or critical vision care.

77

children received therapy and counseling services.

926

medical appointments were provided (pediatrician, eye doctor, dentist appointments).

880

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.

WORK ETHIC & RESPONSIBILITY

83

children participated in P21* this summer, and 17 children earned the opportunity to lead within the program.

7

children worked to purchase their own vehicle.

42

children participated in organized team sports, and 30 in the arts.

54

children ages 15+ learned to search for and maintain a job.

MEASURABLE IMPACT

Stewardship

Big Oak

BIG OAK RANCH REVENUE
SOURCES 2022


Big Oak Revenue Sources 2022 Chart for Web REV[89]

Our support comes solely from Individuals, Corporations & Organizations

  • General Contributions – 53.3%
  • Restricted Contributions –38.0%
  • Other – 0.5%
  • Special Events – 5.5%
  • Honorarium & Memorial Gifts – 2.7%

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FURTHERING AWARENESS
Spending 2022 as a percentage of revenue


Big Oak Spending 2022 Chart for Web REV[39]

Big Oak Ranch takes no state or federal funding
and operates 100% debt-free!

  • Administrative – 6.1%
    “For most organizations, anything less than
    15% spent on admin is considered excellent.”
    — Charity Navigator
  • Furthering Awareness – 10.1%
  • Children’s Programs – 83.8%
    Nearly $0.84 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.
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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 Future Success

“We strive to stay connected to our children long after their days of living on the Ranch. We are a bridge reconnecting former residents and their families with each other, current staff and former staff in addition to providing resources that may be helpful in their life journey. We rejoice because of the beauty God raises from the ashes, lifting one another through trials, and celebrating successes.” — Mary Ingram Graham, Branches Coordinator

THESE ARE STORIES OF LIVES CHANGED.

Dakota Trammell

“When I came to the Ranch, and even for a time while living at the Ranch, I didn’t know who I was, but now I am where I want to be. I can look at myself in the mirror and say I am proud of the man I am. At Big Oak, I learned what a loving family is supposed to look like, the type of wife I wanted, and the type of man God wants me to be. Big Oak shows kids purpose and love. It is a real, authentic home.”

DAKOTA TRAMMELL,
FORMER RESIDENT

Michelle Fogle

“The stability, consistency, and accountability from the staff at the Ranch gave me a solid foundation and an example of how good life could be. I credit my success throughout adulthood to my experience at Big Oak. I will forever be grateful that I was given a chance and look forward to seeing how, I too, can serve God and His children through Big Oak Ranch.”

MICHELLE FOGLE,
FORMER RESIDENT

Ascend

Spiritual, professional and personal
life preparation for the young adults
of Big Oak Ranch.

“Through this ministry, we provide support to our young adults as they navigate a journey to true independence and ultimately find their path to purpose. ASCEND is focused on the individual, equipping them for life’s challenges, and helping them better understand who God made them to be. “ — Kelli Croyle, ASCEND Lead Guide 


TURNING PROMISES INTO ACTION

When you’re a young adult, wisdom and guidance from caring adults can be like a cool drink of water in the hot, desert sun. With so many life decisions it’s easy to get off course, and the statistics regarding today’s young adults, ages 18-24, don’t indicate that changing any time soon. This support branch of Big Oak Ranch is aptly named ASCEND as it provides guidance to help young men and women navigate their journey through young adulthood.

Through this support branch, we help guide each young person to their goals, whether they want to attend college or learn a skilled trade. We provide housing and higher education opportunities as well as practical life skills training with unwavering spiritual, personal, academic, and professional guidance.

This 2.32 acre and 45,770 square feet of living and learning space was meticulously planned to provide enough independence for students to live in ASCEND Village, providing community as well as on-site Village Guides. In such a pivotal time that often brings various challenges, the central meeting space, also known as The Ship, provides accountability in each of the ASCENDant's lives as the ASCEND team guides them through weekly 4:11 sessions, educational and financial check-ins, and small group participation. 

Realizing not everyone is called to the same path, we offer a pathway that encourages higher education and helps guide each ASCENDant forward based on their specific gifting. Whether it’s earning a skilled-trade certification as part of a one-year enrollment, an associates degree involving a two-year commitment, or a bachelors degree in which ASCENDants are enrolled for four years, we offer the opportunity to learn the skills they need to overcome their pasts and step into bright, prosperous futures to which God has called them.

Planting Oaks
A NETWORK OF CHRISTIAN HOMES FOR CHILDREN NEEDING A CHANCE.

MENTOR. RESOURCE. PARTNER. NETWORK.

 

A NETWORK OF LIKE-MINDED MINISTRIES

This year, we grew to serve more than ONE HUNDRED ministries across 33 states, all varying in their childcare niche and stage of their ministry journey. Additionally, we invested in online learning tools that will advance their understanding of ministry, further equip them with resources, and empower them to communicate and collaborate with one another as they seek to do ministry from their part of the country.

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“Through this ministry, we provide support to our children as they navigate a journey to true independence and ultimately find their path to purpose. Ascend is focused on the individual child, equipping them for life’s challenges, and helping them better understand who God made them to be. “ — Al and Missy Terry, Hakima Ministries



  • 6,993 children served
  • 2,281 children cared for directly in residential homes
  • 4,712 children supported with wrap-around services
  • 99    children  who professed their faith in Christ

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.

Teaching Responsibility & Accountability through

BIG OAK CATTLE

Being raised at Big Oak Ranch provides a front row seat to experience God’s creation and the many adventures that accompany living on a rural landscape. The opportunity to stomp around on hundreds of beautiful acres filled with horses and cattle is a rarity for today’s generation. Additionally, life on a ranch is also a great teaching tool to prepare children for their future.

Established in 2014, Big Oak Cattle was birthed out of a desire to build a self-sustaining production system for naturally raised beef that could help feed the families of the Ranch. However, soon after starting this support branch of Big Oak, we quickly learned that few things help a child grow in trust and belief more than working with animals. As our children care for the horses and cattle, their nurturing spirits develop. A cattle operation is also hard work; it teaches responsibility and accountability because the animals depend on their caretakers for everything. It requires a great investment of time and energy, and it teaches a strong work ethic.

Our children have the option to complete an eight-week wrangler program, where they have the responsibility of caring for horses and cattle. The children who achieve Head Wrangler status receive the responsibility and opportunity to raise a calf of their own. They spend time tracking spending on necessities such as hay and daily care, and they learn to watch the cattle market to decide the right time to sell for the most return. After the sale, each child pays the Ranch back according to our costs and then receives the margin to put toward savings, the purchase of a car or another priority that contributes to a successful future. Big Oak Cattle continues to grow, as does the confidence of the children who participate in it.

Keyara Jones
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Victor, Rodeo 2023
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Hunter

 

"Having Hunter as Head Wrangler has exceeded our expectations beyond anything we imagined. We’ve seen him grow in his leadership and overcome great odds. He’s raised the bar, and we know he will continue to do so. We couldn’t be more proud of him." - Drew Jackson, Big Oak Cattle Director