Scholarship Fund – $75,000
We are quickly approaching the end of the year and we would like to bring you current with some exciting things happening at the Ranch. We also want to tell you about three opportunities to support important parts of the ministry at Miracle Mountain Ranch as you consider your year-end giving.
This past year, over $75,000 was raised to scholarship 286 kids to attend summer camp. Of the total 1,200 kids who attended summer camp in 2017, almost a quarter of them could not have attended without scholarship help. The ability to scholarship kids to camp is meeting a vital need. Our community has many kids who not only need to hear the Gospel, but also need to see the Gospel lived out by committed Christians, and this is exactly what they find when they come to summer camp. They are placed in a safe, fun camp environment where Jesus is central to every part of their day. From bunkhouse devotions in the morning to exciting games, activities, trail rides, and evening chapels, the Gospel is proclaimed.
In 2018, we will continue our policy of never turning a child away from camp for a lack of funds. In anticipation of scholarshipping 286+ kids next year, we need to raise about $75,000 throughout the coming year. End of year giving is a great opportunity for Ranch Partners to get the Scholarship Fund growing in anticipation of a full summer camp season in 2018.
Projects and Improvements – $50,000
The second area of Ranch Partner giving focuses on the physical needs of the facilities at MMR. For the last several years, we have been raising money to finish different phases of the Brokenstraw Bathhouse & Inn. We are excited to tell you that the bunkrooms are almost finished, which will allow us to add at least 24 more kids per week of camp. As a bonus, we now have more quality retreat and guest housing during the rest of the year! This year, we are shifting end of year giving toward the completion of many smaller projects that are vital to the overall quality of MMR facilities. Here is a list of the smaller projects we hope to accomplish in 2018, which amounts to $50,000:
- Paintball is being moved from Fort Wilderness to a course within walking distance to main camp.
- A roof on the Gopher Ball court
- The front entrance will be widened to accommodate two lanes of traffic.
- More parking and a driveway for supply trucks to access the back of the kitchen without having to drive through the main parts of camp.
- There are also numerous bunkhouse repairs and upgrades to be done, including the addition of bathrooms to the three bunkhouses on the first floor of the Cattleman’s Hotel.
- Maintenance and renovation of important staff housing
The last area of focus for end of year giving is the launch of an effort to raise funds for the increase in support of the permanent staff. Our committed staff are the lifeblood of what makes the ministry at MMR special, but most are just getting by or going backward financially. For more than 30 years, MMR permanent staff have raised their own financial support from family, friends, and churches. No administrative fees are taken out of the amount given to the staff’s support. Some benefits include a broader financial support base for the Ranch, a connection between staff and their support base, as well as lower costs for our camps and retreats. The drawback, however, is that staff face a difficult challenge in raising adequate support to responsibly meet their needs.
The pool of potential employees is restricted to those who can or will raise their own support. Raising support can be time-consuming in addition to the full time job of working at MMR. There are very few staff who are able to maintain the minimum support level determined by our board of directors. The staff who have been working here for 25-30 years are asking themselves what happens in the next phase of life when they can no longer perform their jobs at the high level required. They feel the pressure of wanting to be responsible as that next phase of life comes quickly to meet them. Some are looking for other opportunities that will allow them to prepare for the future.
We are looking for Ranch Partners who will commit to long-term support of MMR staff through regular monthly giving. These funds will be divided amongst the staff to supplement their existing individual support. This will not meet all of their needs, but will make a difference to help them thrive. If you already support an individual staff family or member, we are not suggesting a change, but this new system will address some of the difficulties while preserving the benefits of the current one — a hybrid of sorts. Our hope is that the Ranch Partners campaign will provide a small base of support that will help our staff to keep moving forward in their service at MMR.
As a new feature, we have set up a way for Ranch Partners to sign up for automatic, recurring online donations toward any of these three areas of focus. You can find out more on the Giving page.
Thank you for hearing our needs and for partnering with us in the work of the Gospel here at Miracle Mountain Ranch.
The Board of Directors
Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions, Inc.