Our world is not perfect and our nation not without ills; and, unfortunately, sometimes the victims of those ills are children. 

Abuse, neglect, unsafe living conditions and a host of other causes can see children, still trying to discover their own place in the world, set adrift. 

Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that work on their behalf — guardian angels who can shepherd these young people toward safety and security. 

Hill Country Youth Ranch is one. 

Since 1977, staff and volunteers have worked to provide long-term therapeutic care for abused and orphaned children, no matter the severity of their traumas or the size of their need.

The nonprofit operates three campuses — Hill Country Youth Ranch and Enhanced Horizons, both in Ingram, and Big Springs Ranch for Children in Leakey. 

The two ranch facilities serve school-age children who are wards of the state and attend charter schools also operated by the youth ranch. Enhanced Horizons provides a program and housing for those who have graduated out of the youth ranch and are working to establish independent, productive lives

But they need your support. 

On April 6, the nonprofit will host its Headwaters of the Frio Marathon/Half Marathon/10K — a major fundraiser timed to coincide with Child Abuse Prevention month. 

Registration is still open for the event and sponsorship opportunities are available. You can learn more about the race by visiting 

Of course, there are other ways to provide assistance — volunteers are always needed and both single people and couples may apply to become house parents. The nonprofit’s website also makes donating quick and easy with a simple online form. 

You might not be able to run a marathon yourself, but many of the children served by Hill Country Youth Ranch have and will continue to face far greater obstacles. 

Let’s help those who are running beside them in that struggle, urging them on. 

For more information on how you help, visit www.youth-ranch.org.

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