ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. — Giving Tuesday Now is a global day of unity to respond to the massive need caused by COVID-19.
Big Oak Ranch is committed to helping others but now needs help itself.
The ranch has been around for 46 years.
It's a safe haven for abused, neglected, or abandoned children.
"Ultimately, what we do is we put a godly man or woman in a home and we give them 6 to 8 boys or 6 to 8 girls and we say 'they belong to you. Show them what family looks like," Brodie Croyle, Executive Director of Big Oak Ranch said.
The organization operates at two locations.
The girls ranch is in Springville and the boys ranch is in Gadsden.
"Our children are very special," Jamie Kilgo said. "They have come from hard places, places of abuse and neglect. They just need to feel love."
Kilgo is a houseparent in Gadsden.
She has eight children in her home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed things for Big Oak Ranch.
"During this time we've had two children that were emergency placements," Croyle explained. "Like they had to have a place to go at that time. So we went through the process, and they came to live with us."
The cost for each child is about $12,000 annually.
That money is used for food, clothes, and any psychological or emotional therapy needed for the children.
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Big Oak Ranch set a goal to raise $24,000 for Giving Tuesday.
The community has responded with much support.
"The more that they see other people helping us it gives us an opportunity to lead the voice of Christ and to be able to give them a hope and a future," Kilgo said.
The ranch has raised just under $30,000 by Tuesday evening.
Organizers are also preparing for an influx of children they may see once the pandemic ends.
"There's nothing to say that we're not going to have another two kids show up in the distance. We're so blessed and so grateful and we will make sure that this gets placed in the right place."
Big Oak Ranch operates solely on private donations.
You can donate to Big Oak Ranch by clicking here.