RAVEN ROCK REPORT
I am a Fall Fan- I simply LOVE the red and gold trees, with a bit of a snap in the air. But this year, I am holding tightly, unsuccessfully, to the bright, busy days of summer. Because of COVID-19 this summer was particularly hectic for us. Many of our kids came for more than one session per week. Many stayed the whole day.
Because we are outside and can easily distance, our days were filled morning to dusk with activity helping our kids and families cope with a confusing and ever- changing world. Our needs went up, even as our funding nearly dried up. We usually get quite a few grants, but we are down 95%. We usually have three or four fundraisers that other organizations put on for us, but those were not as successful and a few were cancelled all together. In a time when need is up, we were forced to freeze enrollment and hiring. I am holding on to Summer as I know, for sure, we helped so many children and teens cope with a desperate mental health situation. Though our revenue is down, I am so very grateful!
First of all, we made a SIGNIFICANT difference in our community. The children and teens who come here are already stressed and traumatized from their life experiences. Now, the virus has exasperated that trauma. Add to the original reason they came, the trial of being socially isolated, trying to navigate online school, being stuck with an unhealthy family dynamic and it spells a lot of trouble. But our Raven Rock kids were outside working and playing in a productive way in a safe and healthy environment. I am proud of the work our passionate staff did this summer to make the mental health of those we work with stronger.
Secondly, Tim reached out to some faithful donors, some former donors, and some who have never donated before and they came through for the horses, staff and children I love so much. Amazingly, numerous people gave sacrificially a
$10,000 gift. One amazingly generous couple gave $25,000 and another couple gave $20,000! We are humbled and honored by this overwhelming show of support for our ministry. Tim told me that the experts are saying that 40% of all charities will perish this year, and that we will need 18 months of funding to stay afloat as that is how long it will take for “normalcy” to return. Our online auction is October 10th We hope each one of you will tune in that night to help us continue our important work.
We lost Augie, our 13-1/2-year-old Labradoodle in August. If you have been to the ranch, you have had the pleasure of meeting our beautiful curly black girls. She loved EVERYONE who came-unconditionally. She made everyone feel welcomed. We miss her sorely, as does Barney, her BFF. We decided to get another furry family member to help us welcome all to the ranch. Her name will be “Samantha” and we will call her “Sami.” Samantha means, “God Hears.” He surely does…
One of our teens, “Lola” (not her real name) has been coming to the ranch for a few years trying to overcome the trauma her adopted brother had caused her through his violent outbursts. When Lola first came to the ranch, she suffered
with dissociation. That is, she would “tune out” or just be absent, though she was physically present. It was the only strategy she could adopt when confronted by an unpredictable, violent brother. If she were mentally absent, essentially
“blacked out” it would not hurt her. Lola is not unusual in that way. We have so many kids who dissociate. It is our job to help them stay present. Being safe around a horse means that you must be constantly present and aware of your own sensations and those of your horse. Being present is difficult for many people. They are either talking about what will happen or what place. Being in the here and now is a tough assignment.
One of Lola’s first rides was a trail walk while I led her horse. The horse got startled from behind and took a huge leap forward. I had her on a lead-line, so Lola was safe, but immediately my heart-rate went up, my muscles tightened and my breathing became shallow. I was in a heightened state of awareness. But Lola was not. She sat on her horse like a sack of potatoes. In the face of danger, she simply blacked out. You can see that this would leave her unable to keep herself safe. She wouldn’t be able to take any action that would secure her well-being.
Fear is a very important emotion. It almost always keeps us safe. It is not a good thing if everything makes you afraid, but if it is a real threat, fear will come in handy. But Lola did not have the ability to feel fear. Strangely, this became our task: to feel emotions that are appropriate and real.
In the beginning, I could get about 4 minutes of being truly present in a 90-minute session. Today, after a few years of work, Lola is able to stay present while at the ranch, at home and at school. We are still working on making that all the time, instead of most of the time, but some days we do get 100% here and now. Once again, God hears.
Here is the MAIN MESSAGE: Please join us for a brief (30-45 minute) VIRTUAL AUCTION ON October 10th. Here is the LINK Auction Registration CLICK HERE so that you can be with us. When we work together, lives are saved and success is attainable.
- WHAT: Raven Rock’s 9th Annual Auction, “Wage Love: Agape’ in Action”
- WHEN: Silent Auction begins October 3, 2020 Live auction October 10, 2020 7:00-7:45pm
- WHERE: From your own home using this link Auction Attend/Registration CLICK HERE
- WHY: Because Raven Rock needs your support for the kids, horses and committed staff
- WHO: You and all of your friends!
We have not stopped working, and will keep changing people’s lives as long as we
can team up with our beloved family and friends who catch the vision. With love and blessings,
WAGE LOVE: AGAPE’ IN ACTION