Hi Friends and Family!
What a year! God has been doing SO much with Oaks Restorative Ranch in this season and we are just blown away!
Here’s a Brief Recap:
Looking Back on 2021
We had some big plans going into 2021! We had an extensive plan for session startup and curriculum development which we worked on through the spring, and when summer came we even met with potential clients who we could serve. We were not able to have the program functioning fully just yet, especially with Covid and ever-changing regulations added to the mix, so we set off on a journey of figuring out how to support people and horses in our community in the meantime! For me (Kali) that looked like volunteering time with an awesome rescue up in Bakersfield called All Seated in a Barn and serving in the youth and young adult ministries at my Church, all while working on Oaks Restorative Ranch in the background. All Seated In a Barn rescues horses and donkeys from being shipped to slaughter. They rehabilitate and rehome these equines so they can live their best lives possible! In the future we would love to serve their horses in addition to horses locally who need love and support in order to get to where they can be adopted! Supporting other nonprofits is a huge one of our values!
Volunteer Work Day - 2021
We were so blessed to be able to host a volunteer work day where a small group of volunteers came together to help get the property we were working out of all set up for sessions and for the horses there. We moved and installed (pun intended there!) sand into the horses stalls to level them out, and we gave the barn a good cleaning as well! One of the highlights of the volunteer work day was simply the time spent together and with the horses! One of the most exciting parts of the day was surprising our volunteers with custom Oaks Restorative Ranch T-Shirts with our awesome logo by Bailey Hill! Read more about the volunteer work day by clicking the link in the title, or by clicking here! We are so thankful for everyone who came out to help!
Spring 2021 was spent refining our curriculum. From January to May we spent each week reading through the curriculum and editing it so it would be a valuable resource for our program and other programs in the future! It is now over 60 pages long! We are excited to add to it further by creating videos that go with each session so both the client and the session leader has a reference as needed.
Thanks to an amazing donation we were able to purchase our web domain! Now you can click on Oaksranch.org and Oaksrestorativeranch.org and it will take you to our page!
Go on, you know you want to try it!
We are working to make our website more mobile friendly as well in 2022! (If you notice anything in the website that could be more user friendly, please let us know! We so appreciate feedback!)
After months of filling it out, we submitted our 1023 on June 7th of 2021!! This is the form that will define us as a nonprofit organization if it is approved, which can take between 3 months and upwards of a year! Nonprofit Status will help us toward our goal for Oaks Restorative Ranch, which is to offer free Sessions for horses and people where they can grow and heal together. By allowing us to receive donations and be exempt from some types of taxes, this will be a major financial asset to our program! This is so important. In these sessions we remind both clients and horses of their worth. Horses so often develop issues that in people we would classify as anxiety and even depression (loss of motivation, hopelessness, muted mood etc) when what they do is the only thing that gives them value in their person's eyes. It is a beautiful picture, because we know horses are worthy just because they are horses! God made them and loves them! But how silly is it that we don't transfer that same principle over to ourselves! When we value ourselves, or are valued only because of the things that we do, we develop these same issues and more. It mirrors quite beautifully. Submitting our nonprofit paperwork means we are one step closer to our goal:
To walk through healing with individuals,
to honor and value horses who have been left behind,
and to be a catalyst for restoration in the community.
One person, one horse at a time... or sometimes many horses and many people! Even other kinds of animals too! We love healing together, and sometimes finances get in the way of that so by offering these services for free we are opening up that door so connection and healing can happen for anyone!
So, How's It Going Now?
We got our first response from the IRS in January of 2022. We had some updates that were needed in our 1023 form, which, in a 40-page-form, that totally makes sense! We still needed to file with the secretary of state, which required some revising of our Articles of Incorporation to be current with state law. Then we needed a "Good Faith" Financial Plan to figure out what costs would look like if we were fully up and running. We went back and forth with the IRS for a few months making updates! I(Kali) even learned how to Fax because everything with the IRS has to be on paper! My biggest question through all of this was, Once we have this, how can we best use it to benefit our community? How can we best serve people and Horses where we are now?
THE BIG SURPRISE
Some of you may have already guessed it, but just over a year has passed since we submitted our 1023’s for Nonprofit Status…. Well in April we received the news that...
WE ARE OFFICIALLY A NONPROFIT!!
We received our Determination Letter, dated April 11th, 2022, granting us tax-exemption and nonprofit status which would be considered active tracking back to February 10th!! We are so excited to see where this journey takes us in the near future and we are so happy to have you along for the ride! (Yes that was a pun too!)
If you are (or even if you aren’t) a praying person, here’s how you can be praying for us:
Location, Funding, Staff, and Insurance. (Let’s Break that down a bit…)
Thank you to everyone who is coming along on this journey with us! We appreciate you!! Please reach out with any questions, ideas, comments, concerns etc etc! We are so thankful for this awesome community with a heart to help others!
You, yes YOU, are simply amazing, and so very very loved!
Talk to you all soon!
IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing a mental health emergency Call #988. If you are in danger Call the 211 Hotline.
Oaks Restorative Ranch, © 2023. All rights reserved.
We are a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization.