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Helping Our Children Heal...

Supportive School helps our communities with traumatized children.

Frequently I work with children who are facing traumatic experiences. These experiences range from a family's difficult divorce, a family death, absent parents, parents who face addiction, or sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. I spend countless hours seeking out support services or programs to assist these children, frequently coming up empty-handed. A child's tools to deal with these adult issues are non-existent without proper support. The lack of services in our community leaves traumatized children to fend for themselves. Even if the child has adult support, the adult often lacks the knowledge and support to guide their traumatized child. This invariable leads to a growing mental health crisis.

To heal from the trauma, the child has to rebuild their sense of self while they and their family develop coping skills, resources, and tools to continue on the road to success. Childhood trauma's impact on brain development leads to behavioral, social, and psychological issues that continue long after the initial trauma has passed. Suicide among young people is at an all-time high. Children need support in an environment that will provide them with the necessary love and guidance to heal their hearts, minds, and emotions. Behaviorally, most children, if not provided support, continue to develop cognitive decline, behavioral issues, and mental health struggles. Often they enter the judicial system, which further exacerbates an overcrowded system that cannot provide the needed support.

I was fortunate enough to meet Bonnie Bee, and we immediately connected with a mutual passion for helping children through crisis. Bonnie's vision to create a program for our struggling youth emerged out of her firsthand experience with the outcomes of children in an overcrowded system without vital support. We have both witnessed the overwhelming need for a program to provide love, support, and tools in a therapeutic environment. All this has led to the development of Community Hearts Ranch.

Community Hearts Ranch needs to secure a piece of property to develop a hands-on, outdoor, alternative learning private school that will give traumatized children the chance to feel nurtured and reconnect with themselves and others. This one to three-year private school in a therapeutic ranch-like setting will support our most vulnerable youth by collaborating with local organizations.

Community Hearts Ranch's mission is to empower youth to develop character, social awareness, and leadership qualities using a combination of research-based programming, therapeutic animal interactions, and a homeschool curriculum. The programs will take place in a Christ-centered atmosphere with the daily support and consistency needed to help these children heal. We equip our youth to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, find their purpose, and strive to be successful members of their community.

If you would like to learn how to be a part of helping hurting hearts heal at Community Hearts Ranch through direct donations or volunteering, don't hesitate to get in touch with: Bonnie Bee (President/Founder) 239-253-7744,,

Submitted by Katherine Arpin, a mental health counselor for over 25 years

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