Offering Heart Wellness Retreats

“I am excited to be here. This point in my life has been in the works since 2019, when I began reading about Down Home Ranch and the dream of having my brother live there was born.”

☀ Check out what DHR volunteer and enthusiast, Jake Hastings, has to say about us ☀

“On my first day as a volunteer at Down Home Ranch, I was asked to work at the 5K run Dash n’ Splash – DHR's summer fundraiser. I pulled into the Ranch during a downpour of rain, not ideal weather for a 5k run event, but that is what good ol’ Texas provided for the day. Despite the setback, the teamwork and optimism I witnessed from the DHR staff and volunteers showed me just how much the Ranch and Ranchers are loved. I knew I had found a true hidden gem in Elgin, TX.

Growing up, my brother Aaron was just Aaron to us. He has never had a formal diagnosis, but he had complications at birth that caused brain damage. He is one of the nicest people on the planet! He is kind, funny, witty and never holds a grudge. Aaron is someone I strive to be more like every day. To me, knowing Aaron has an intellectual and developmental disability simply means that he processes things differently and has a unique world perspective. I grew up around Aaron and learned a lot about him, but I had no idea the depth of knowledge that comes with the IDD community. Introduce Down Home Ranch.

My first week volunteering at the Ranch was also the first week of Ranch Camp 2022, where adults with IDD come from all over the United States for a week of fun in the sun. They get to practice archery, go fishing and canoeing, do crafts, learn horsemanship, have fun dancing and enjoy some good food! My brother Aaron was in attendance at this first week of camp, and my whole family was nervous. Aaron had never been to a camp before, nor had he ever been around other people with IDD. The conversations leading up to camp were interesting and humorous at times, but after much contemplation, his decision to go to Camp was a resounding YES. I honestly think my mom was more nervous than Aaron was, but it turned out, he loved it! Aaron was so excited and had a ton of fun. He caught a fish and held it for the first time, got to brush the mini horses, played basketball with the other Campers and even got into the pool! He is usually scared of the pool, but he put on a life jacket and decided to test out the water, which completely shocked me. Seeing how the Ranchers and Campers would stretch out of their comfort zones to try something new was very impressive. ✨ Real growth happens when people get out of their comfort zones, which is no different for people with IDD. ✨

For years I had felt the calling to start something that matters. I wanted to build a company that was also a way to give back. Down Home Ranch has given me that purpose that I was striving for. I recently created a wellness retreat company called Offering Heart. At Offering Heart, we host virtual and in-person retreats with a purpose. We strive to have unique, fun, and engaging retreats that promote neurodiversity in the workforce. Offering Heart donates a portion of the proceeds to Down Home Ranch and asks attendees to donate if they feel called. In our first month of business, we booked the finance company Robinhood to host 3 virtual offsite events, and we are excited! We look forward to partnering with other large companies that are looking for a different kind of event for their team. I am so happy with my decision to move to Texas and get involved with Down Home Ranch. This month of volunteering has been one of the happiest and most fulfilling months of my life, and I am grateful for all the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to make the Ranch a fantastic place.”

💙 Check out Jake and learn more about his Offering Heart services! 💙
Instagram: @jakehastingstravels