NONPROFIT NEEDS FOR 2017: Candlelight Ranch

A Candlelight Ranch camper works their way across a Challenge Course bridge. The facility offers at-risk youth and children with disabilities a chance to get outside, try new challenges, and grow as a person. The nonprofit is always looking for donations and volunteers. Go to candlelightranch.org for more information. Courtesy photo

MARBLE FALLS — Tucked amidst the tree-covered hills between Marble Falls and Lago Vista on Muleshoe Bend Trail, Candlelight Ranch offers at-risk youth as well as children with disabilities a place to go outside, get their hands dirty, zip across a canyon, and just experience things not typical in their everyday lives.

The nonprofit focuses on nature-based educational and therapeutic experiences for the youth, including equine therapy, a wheelchair-accessible treehouse, a challenge course, zip lines, a sustainable food program, and much more. For some of the youth, it’s their first introduction to a natural setting and outdoor activities.

Candlelight Ranch partners with schools, groups, and other nonprofits to provide its services, but it can always use the support of the community.

Basic needs include sports equipment such footballs, soccer balls, and basketballs.

Two big-ticket items the ranch is looking for are a single-seat kayak and a tandem kayak. Though new would be nice, gently used would suffice as well.

The facility also needs nature art supplies and tempura paint, which the kids use to create artwork on two of Candlelight Ranch’s horses, Rusty and Comet, as part of its equine therapy program. The paint washes off, but the experience for the kids lasts a lifetime.

Of course, volunteers and monetary donations are always appreciated. Go to candlightranch.org for more information on volunteering, donating, and the programs.

Candlelight Ranch is in the process of planning regular Military Family Days each month, and on Sunday, Feb. 12, it is hosting the Candlelight Ranch Chili Cook-off and Car Show. Chili cooks, car owners, and people just looking for a fun day out are welcome. There will be live music as well.

Go to Candlelight Ranch’s website or check out its Facebook page for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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