Year End Appeal 2023
As this year quickly comes to an end, there is much to reflect on and be excited about in 2024. As most of you are aware, we are making swift progress on the building of our new Beaty cottage. This has been an exciting endeavor, and all of us here at The Ranches are eager to see the final product come to fruition. The generous donations that made this dream a reality have been a real blessing to us and we cannot thank each of you enough for the part that you have played in this project. In order to keep our facilities in optimal condition the next vision I have for the campus is to be able to make improvements to the four older cottages so that we can ensure the longevity of our campus and make sure all the residents are comfortable and safe.
The four established cottages were built between the years of 1968 and 1980. These cottages have housed approximately 2000 residents since their construction. As I am sure you can all imagine, with that many teenagers living in these buildings, they are in need of some renovation and repair. I personally know, and am sure many of you would agree, that our homes would also need the same care if we had up to 10 teens living in them. In order to keep these cottages in good condition, there are some upgrades that we need to make in order to continue to use them. This includes improvements to the kitchens, and replacing the flooring to be more resilient for the high-traffic environment of a cottage setting, and structural improvements to plumbing and electrical that ensure we provide a safe and pleasant setting for our residents while they are with us.
A core aspect of our program revolves around meal times and the effort that is required to prepare the food, teach healthy nutrition, provide fellowship and teach table manners. Unfortunately, the current set-up of our cottage kitchens tends to limit this process. Increasing the size of the food preparation areas would enable more residents to participate in these activities and would encourage bonding with the house parents while they work together fixing food they will enjoy together.
As we have all watched the building of the new cottage, many of our kids are also getting excited about the new addition and are all vying for the opportunity to be able to live in Beaty Cottage. While it is the unfortunate reality that all of them will not be able to move into the new cottage, I do believe that some of that excitement can be shared when they realize their cottages are being remodeled and upgraded. As these buildings are approaching 60 years of operation, the ability to improve them has become critical so they can continue to operate for as long as possible.
An ultimate dream of mine would be to eventually have the ability to rebuild the cottages similar to the design of the Beaty cottage. While planning this building, we were able to utilize nearly 80 years of experience in childcare to create a layout that we believe will be the most effective and practical for the needs of our residents. Having said that, the improvements that we can make in the meantime can greatly improve the functionality of the current buildings so they can serve us for many more years until that dream can be realized.
We are excited about the upcoming year and all the blessings that 2024 will have for us. I will have more to share with you in our next newsletter. Again, thank you for investing in New Mexico’s children.
Mikela Kull – Interim President