Celebrating 38 Years: Our History
Since its founding 37 years ago, Texas Boys Ranch has been giving young children the chance to grow and develop into productive men and women. To date over 900 children from more than 125 Texas communities and representing a variety of backgrounds and circumstances have called Texas Boys Ranch home. Some came because they literally had no place else to go; they were homeless. Others came through referral from social workers, seeking to remove them from home environments of abuse or neglect. These young people at Texas Boys Ranch are given a renewed opportunity, no matter their previous circumstances.
Texas Boys Ranch was first conceived in 1972 by concerned citizens of Lubbock, who wanted to make a difference in the lives of homeless, neglected, and dependent boys of the South Plains area. Mr. and Mrs. Edwin L. Forrest also wanted to make a difference and, in 1975, this pioneer Lubbock couple donated the land on which Texas Boys Ranch is located. With this act of concerned generosity, the Ranch took the first step in making a dream become reality.
Others soon stepped forward to help make a difference in the lives of children. The first cottage was finished in the summer of 1975, and the Ranch was ready to accept children. Simmons Pump Company donated an education/office building. Mrs. Fern Cone donated recreation/dining hall. In 1976, the Lubbock Lions Club constructed a second cottage, and the Caprock American Business Club built a vocational training building. In 1986, a beautiful chapel was completed, named to honor Mr. and Mrs. Ben Bruckner, Sr. In 1988, a third cottage was built by Lions District 2T2. The donations and support of countless others helped build a pavilion, corrals, animal shelters, and a hay barn. In 2002, the Lubbock Lions Club donated funds to provide for a new playground. Until then, the Boys Ranch did not have any kind of playground on campus. This new addition met a pressing need for the children, who are now coming to the ranch as young as four years old. In 2006 a fourth cottage was built with contributions from foundations, companies and individuals.
Texas Boys Ranch made history in 2010, when we admitted girls into our program. TBR was faced with a decision a few months ago when we received a call for an emergency placement with no other foster care facilities available in the Lubbock area. The sibling group consisted of three girls and two boys. One of our goals at TBR is to keep siblings together, so in an effort to do that, Texas Boys Ranch and its Board of Directors placed all five of the siblings together in one of our cottages. Since then we have had a total of five sibling groups of both brothers and sisters who would have otherwise been seperated. Keeping all the siblings together on the same campus has been so beneficial to our children.
For the children who call it "home," Texas Boys Ranch is, first of all, a place far different from what most have experienced - a working ranch covering some 460 acres located a few miles northeast of Lubbock.
The Texas Boys Ranch is also a place of opportunity, better than most of these children have ever known. TBR is a place to learn the value and rewards of hard work. It is a place to receive whatever individualized attention is needed to attain a sound fundamental education. It is a place to learn cooperation, teamwork, and respect for others. It is a place that encourages healthy and meaningful religious experiences.
Every resident is responsible for his or her fair share of ranch work and household chores. In return, each child earns wages and learns to manage his or her financial resources, held for each individual in a money management account. With their wages, the children buy some of their clothing and personal hygiene supplies along with those items children always feel they need. The children are given guidance along with some freedom in how they spend their money. They also are taught to contribute and to save.
The children learn the relationship between the work and effort they invest and the rewards - both financial and personal - they receive as a result. As they care for the ranch and farm animals-hauling hay, fixing fences, mowing lawns, doing repairs-they learn life skills. Equally important, they and their fellow residents become part of a real, functional, and supportive family. And, as part of that family, they learn what it means to be respected and to have respect for others. They learn to be proud of themselves and their abilities. They learn what it takes to be a responsible and productive citizen.