Under the Rainbow Ranch Presentation OneSpark

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Information about Under the Rainbow Ranch Presentation OneSpark

Published on February 19, 2014

Author: LaJMC

Source: slideshare.net


We would like to thank you for checking us out. We are starting from ground zero on this endeavor. This program that we are starting is unique in content. Though, there are many programs that serve our Veterans it has come to our attention that there are not many programs that help our children who have been abused. The Veterans will help these children who have lost all faith in adults and learn to trust them once again. This is where it helps our Veterans as well. Many Veterans come back from serving our country only to find out that what they once knew is no longer there. They lose their sense of self and many times their families. This is an unfortunate truth for our Veterans. The Veterans will 'adopt' these children as if they were their own. This is the benefit of our program. All who are involved gain something in the end. We have always been passionate about children and our military forces who have served our country. We feel it is now our time to give back to our community and hopefully help the ones who feel lost and alone. This all can be done with your contributions. Please do not forget to share this page with your friends. Also, please stop by Under the Rainbow's fan page and give it a like so that you may follow our progress of making all this a reality. Again, thank you for your support and I hope to be able to invite you to see what your contributions have done very soon.
Our Humble Regards,
Under the Rainbow Ranch

Under The Rainbow Ranch Every lost, wandering soul deserves a safe place to call home. Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, Tempest-tossed to me I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Our Objective To give purpose as well as hope to all Veterans and to children affected by abuse. To provide a positive environment to children of broken and abusive homes by using horses as a source of therapy. We will integrate the veterans with the children pairing them up to provide a natural bond among the individuals as they work side by side all the while helping each other overcome traumatic events. This will provide a source of income to the veteran while showing the children that not every adult is untrustworthy. 

Laura Javens McConnell Who is she? I was raised all over the United states but have always called the Southeast Georgia/ Northeast Florida area home. So when it came time to build my dream into a reality it was only natural for me to want to give back to the community that had given me a sense of belonging and a place to call home. Under the Rainbow Ranch comes from my sincerest commitment to give back to the community and to help as many individuals as possible. We will use Equine therapy to break down the barriers that are formed when trust issues are present. It is my sincerest belief that early intervention can save lives and break the cycle of abuse. This program will give children and Veterans new coping skills as well as an outlet to share their traumatic experiences. When you come to us there is no judgment passed on the individual. We will have an open door policy and if all possible no one will ever be turned away. As many know there is always work to be done on a ranch and all volunteers are appreciated. As a long time member of this community I know that there are a lot of citizens who need this kind of program.

Laura‟s Story Why is she the one? I have searched my soul and prayed on what I am about to share with you. This is my testimony as to why child abuse is a very passionate subject in my life. My parents divorced when I was just 3 years old. What I remember is very vague and some told by my older siblings. What I do know is that their marriage was or had become a very volatile relationship before they parted ways. I remember fights and bodily injuries. I lived in South Carolina at the time. By the age of 5 both my parents had remarried. My mother was good about telling all of us what a horrible person my father was. I do not have any memories of my father being an active part of my life after the divorce. I do know that he was actively serving in the military at the time. The man my mother married would have looked like any other guy you pass on the streets. A 20 something year old, wearing a military uniform, and serving his country. You might have walked up to him even and shook his hand for his sacrifice. I still remember to this day the speech we received when we (My siblings and I) were made aware that he was now part of the family. We were all called to the stairs and asked to sit down. He stated, “You can call me dad, Daddy M, or even „M‟.” Seemed innocent enough to all of us. So began our life as what we now call a blended family. I could not tell you an accurate time frame as to how long before things drastically changed but I can tell you they did.

Laura‟s Story (Continued) I will do my best to keep this as brief as I possibly can but if we ever meet one day I will gladly share my story of survival more in depth. For as early on as I can remember, there were days that we were not fed and food was withheld from us as a way of punishment for the smallest of infractions. Beaten with razor straps, fist, and other objects. Before I go on, I will say that though I suffered a lot of the same, I witnessed a lot of horrific things done to my siblings that would try and protect me. I witnessed my mother physically beaten and in one instance her life was threatened in front of her children. Holidays and birthdays were used against us as a form of punishment. In 1983, my mother did conceive and was able to carry another child to term. It was not long after the birth of my youngest sister that we were taken from my mother‟s home by children‟s‟ services and we were placed in foster care. They were able to contact my father and he regained custody of us; when I was 6. We then moved to Florida. Though he regained custody my father was always gone due to his career. So, my stepmother was our guardian. I continued to live in that home until the age of 12 almost 13. Things were only marginally better living there. Though, I have never been sure of the reason why, I never felt that I was truly welcomed by my stepmother.

Laura‟s Story (Continued) This is only part of what I endured throughout my childhood and would continue until my cry for help was heard. By the age of 14, I had been beaten, sexually molested, neglected, and emotionally/mentally abused. I started using drugs, drinking alcohol, and was sexually active by the age of 13. When that did not help I eventually attempted suicide. Thankfully my attempt failed. I was in and out of foster care, treatment facilities, and therapist offices throughout my entire childhood. At the age of 16 I was emancipated and was left to figure out how to survive life on my own. I had no real life skills to speak of. Lost in a vast world just barely scraping by. These are my reasons for wanting to help the children who are in this situation and the ones who have survived the same things that I have. It is my belief that just one person who shows these children that there is someone who wants them to succeed in life will make all the difference in the world. For if I did not have this myself I could not imagine where my life would be today.

Laura‟s Story (Continued) I am now 37 and have two beautiful daughters of my own. I broke the cycle of abuse because I knew what it felt like to be “that child.” This is my first time ever going public with my story. I felt the need because if it was not for people like my girl scout leader, my high school sweetheart‟s mother, and one of the ladies from the group home I lived in, I would not be the person I am today. I could never thank them enough for what they did for me. Though, I am sure that there are a couple that I am forgetting at this moment, these are the ones that stick out in my mind the most. There is one thing that I have learned throughout my life. That is to never give up and never surrender because there is always a greater purpose that is yet to be known to you. These days I focus on raising my girls and enjoying the time I have with my family that I have created. My siblings and I are very close but we all live scattered across the United States. So we do not get to see each other as much as we would like to. I have to thank one person that I have yet to mention. After 36 years of my life spent in a journey of selfdiscovery and learning what really matters in life I have found my true soul mate. He has been very supportive and a true inspiration for this project. He has inspired me in ways that no words could ever describe. I will be forever grateful to him. He truly is the love of my life. I hope to one day be able to meet each and every one of my fans. With the grace of God be able to invite everyone to visit the ranch. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to hear my story. May God bless you and keep your families safe wherever the road may take you.

Christopher L. Mehr Who is he? I grew up on a large farm in rural TN. I came from a military family. My grandfather and my step grandfather on my fathers side both serving in the United States Army in World War II and beyond. I am named after an uncle that died in World War I. I have had many uncles, cousins, etc. that have served this country. My mothers side of the family has been in the United States and served the country since the beginning. Growing up on a farm to a military family I had a very strong sense of pride, patriotism, and work ethic instilled in me from a very early age. I entered in to the United States Military right after my high school graduation, not only to honor my families tradition but also to get away from home. At this young age I thought I had, had a horrible childhood, raised all out in the “sticks”, in the middle of no where. After entering the service I found out that farm life was not so bad but also there was a big „ol world out there. I ended up serving 23 years in the United States Air Force. The majority of this time I was fortunate enough to be in the senior enlisted ranks, and a 1st Sergeant. I also spent 15 years of my career working with a law enforcement agency, seeing the under belly of our society daily.

Christopher L. Mehr Why is he the one? I now have two children of my own. I have experienced abuse in my own family. I am now personally retired and disabled from the military. I have spent the last year working through some of my own issues, spending time with the Wounded Warrior Project as a “Peer Mentor”, completing a fellowship at Veterans Farm, also serving as the organizations Operations Manager, and Farm Manager. I am also a client at Hope Therapy, an equine therapy farm. I have realized that I am very passionate about helping others. The two groups that stand out the most are two that are very dear to my heart, Veterans and abused children. Through Laura‟s and my experiences, our hard work, tenacity, and her vision, we will make Under the Rainbow Ranch a home for as many lost and wandering souls as we possibly can.

Our Goals Overtime - - - Non-profit organization status Big Brother/Sister program using only Veterans or dependents of Veterans. After school programs using the Veterans as mentors. Summer camp programs. Counseling programs for Veterans and children. Outreach programs that assist with relearning/learning life skills. Assisting with finding the children and Veterans homes as needed. Finding jobs sources and employment for all Create scholarships for children to further their education. Foster/adoption programs Use traditional equine and agriculture therapy in a new innovative way while uniting Veterans with abused children. Guardian ad litem programs.

Financial Proposal Property- The proposed property is a Forty-eight acre ranch set in rural Jacksonville, Clay County, Florida area. Current estimated cost to purchase is $575,000 for forty acres, current outbuildings and the house itself. If the equipment that is located on the ranch, the entirety of the house contents, and the un-cleared eight acres is included then the estimated cost will be $750,000+. This will also include the livestock that is currently on property.

Our Dream Property

Financial Proposal (cont.)  Property taxes and insurance $3,000 annual  Veterinarian Expenses Needs estimate  Feed and Ferrier $4,000-$6,000 monthly  Tack and other equipment Initial cost $10,000-$15,000 ($500 monthly maintenance)  Utilities Needs estimate  Electric- $1,000 monthly  Gas- $600 annually  Building upkeep and maintenance $10,000 5 years  Payroll To be determined  Field trips and other events To be determined  Cost of 20-30 horses (Starting out with 5-10 horses at first) $5,000-$10,000  Trucks, trailers, and other transportation needs Needs estimate  Business insurance and licensures Needs estimate  CPR, AED, First Aid certifications and training $3,000 2 years  Construction expenses for added housing and barns Needs estimate  Attorney fees (501c3 and other documents) $1500 initial

Thank you for your time… Under the Rainbow Ranch

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