How You Can Help
Hands Tell Stories.
Each Is Different.
The hands of a mother comforting her child are different from the hands of the carpenter building a house. The hands of an open heart surgeon differ from the hands of the welder.
Your hands are different too. Look at them and think of all they have learned and all they have done.
Look closely and you will see the crease running horizontally across the palm from the base of the thumb. Now look at your own hand and see the difference.
Physicians use this knowledge to identify Down syndrome in a newborn, like they did in 1984 with our daughter Kelly now 29 and the inspiration for Down Home Ranch. When she was first delivered they looked at her tiny hand and knew.
There are other differences that come with these special hands. Not many of them will write a great novel, steer a plane or win at chess. Few have hands that will play a concert piano or write an algorithm.
For example, people with disabilities can do many things with their hands use a mop or broom to clean, take hay to the horses, collect chicken eggs, cook a meal, work in a greenhouse or vacuum a rug. Some get stained hands picking blackberries.
Others might have calloused hands from bringing in the hay. Some have fine motor skills and their hands are great at planting the tiny seed that will become a head of lettuce.
But just about everything they do is harder for them than for us. Harder to learn. Harder to master.
That's why people with disabilities need a helping hand to have a good life.
And that's where you come in.
Down Home Ranch gets a lot of support from the government and we appreciate that support very much.
But the support is limited to paying for daily needs like housing, food, staff and the like. It doesn't include things that most of us want in our lives like taking a continuing ed class at the local college, going out for pizza and a movie with friends, or going on vacation every now and then. Government support won't buy a golf cart and teach a Rancher to drive it safely which they absolutely love doing.
Moreover, government support is declining and will probably continue to do so for years. In 2011 alone we suffered a cut of about $55,000, making it tougher to give our Ranchers the lives they deserve.
Still, even if it seems we are forever climbing the mountain, we aren't inclined to whine and complain. We go to work. We bootstrap it. We look for help from those we know care about the most vulnerable among us, our Ranchers.
We're hoping this includes you.
Because you can give our Ranchers with Down syndrome, autism and other disabilities the help they need.
Reach out. Click here and be a hand that makes a difference.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season,
Jerry and Judy Horton
Founders of Down Home Ranch
We don't just need your donations (although we'll never turn them away)! We often need items that you might have and no longer need.
Your Help Made a House a Home...
August 22nd, 2011 will be a day to remember. It's the day Sterling, Kyle, Travis, and John had been waiting for patiently for over a year. It's the day they finally got to move into their new home and spend their first night.
Isaiah House, the newest house in the Village, is a beautiful six-bedroom home with spacious bedrooms for each of the Ranchers who live there. Since Isaiah House is an ICF-MR licensed home like our other five homes on the Ranch, there's a mountain of paperwork that had to be approved before the home could be opened.
Our deepest appreciation to all who made Isaiah House possible! The Meadows Foundation provided the lead grant for the house, but many individual donors and volunteers pitched in to get it through to completion. Mr. Pat did much of the interior finish work, and it's a beautiful place.
At last our guys can come home to the Village at the end of the day after just a short walk home from the Pavilion, kick up their heels, visit their neighbors andlike all the rest of uswater their lawns!
Our deepest appreciation to all who helped, especially our anonymous family who donated many thousands of dollars to make it possible.
Down Home Ranch is a 501 (c) (3) corporation and registered as a Texas non-profit. This means that the Ranch is a charity, and as such gifts of money, goods, and services are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about charitable deductions, consult your tax advisor.