Each year, we invite the community to vote for its favorite nonprofits in Northwest Arkansas, and the nonprofit with the most votes receives a $3,000 check from us. This year, we were honored to give that money to Autumn’s ReRide Youth Ranch, an organization providing a safe and peaceful environment where broken children, horses and families can find hope and peace within the healing glow of unconditional love.
Ranch co-founder Rebecca Christians’ vision for this organization came from 7 years of prayer and struggle. In December of 2002, Rebecca’s 15-year-old daughter, Autumn, committed suicide. From that moment grew Rebecca’s desire to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children. Through periods of heartbreaking depression, she fervently prayed for a direction for her life. It wasn’t until 2009 that Autumn’s ReRide Youth Ranch rose up out of the ashes of Rebecca’s broken heart.
The Ranch allows for children to love and take care of rescued animals, mainly horses, and learn that they can do something to improve the life of another living being. This fills an elementary need in every child’s heart: the need to be needed. Often having this feeling of value is an integral part of a child’s healing.
As the transformation begins to unfold, the children and families begin to come, not always for what they can get, but sometimes for what they can give. As the children work diligently caring for these struggling horses to help them get better, the children get better. There is something very spiritual about the bond that grows between the child and the horse; an unspoken language of complete acceptance.
All of this healing and hope is provided free of charge. Volunteers have been building, cleaning, fixing and improving the ranch ever since it began, all without expecting anything in return. Learn more and find out how you can help here.
*Information courtesy of the Autumn’s ReRide Youth Ranch website.