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In 2014, I found myself in the oncology unit with my youngest son awaiting a bone marrow transplant surrounded by children battling childhood diseases. My heart broke for them and how these children had done nothing to bring these circumstances on themselves. Then in 2015, when I returned to work as a law enforcement officer, I was assigned to an elementary school where I listen to the stories of children facing childhood traumas. Traumas such as living in domestic violence, victims of abuse; physically, sexually, and/or emotionally, or parents who are incarcerated, struggling with addictions, or absent from their lives. I realized children battling childhood traumas are no different from children facing childhood diseases. They do not ask for their lives and have done nothing to bring these circumstances on themselves.

As this revelation occurred, my training further revealed the physiological impact childhood traumas have on the development of the brain. I have seen the brain scan of a healthy three-year-old child next to the brain scan of a three-year-old who had lived in domestic violence and could see a clear difference. I was taught how the constant release of the stress hormones triggered by flight or fight on the still-developing brain hinders development. But in all of this, I was also taught how resilient the human brain is. In a healthy positive atmosphere, our brains can heal. This is where it gets exciting…

With the information my experience and training provided, I founded Community Hearts Ranch, a program aimed to empower and nurture these children who often face ongoing emotional and/or behavioral struggles stemming from their backgrounds. We desire to create a naturally therapeutic ranch and farm-like learning atmosphere to support these most vulnerable youth. This will help to interrupt the negative thought patterns that come with trauma, helping heal their brains, emotions, and hearts. Community Hearts Ranch will empower youth to develop character, social awareness, and leadership qualities using a combination of animal interactions, research-based programming, and a homeschool curriculum. Equipping youth to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, find their purpose, and strive to be successful members of their community. The programs take place in a Christ-centered atmosphere with the finest American traditions.

Community Hearts Ranch's first big obstacle was a need for the property. I am excited to announce the collaboration with a local ministry, The Rock Youth Camp. RYC is looking forward to helping this vision take shape. Together we believe children are the most precious creation of all!

In times such as these, we are all looking for ways to support the youth of our community, if you would like to learn how to be a part of helping hurting hearts heal at Community Hearts Ranch through direct tax-deductible donations or volunteering, I welcome you to reach out to me directly: Bonnie Bee (President / Founder), 239-253-7744,

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