Planking on Friendship Bridge
With Vasquez Family on Jobsite
Gerardo and Troy
Chema and Jon Putting in a Column
Mixing Concrete Costa Rican-Style
El Toro Grande!
Gerardo Troy and Jose-Mario
With Vasquez Family Digging Holes
Keepin' it Real
Brand New Ride
Artists at Work
Dishing Up Flavor!
Off to the Races!
Neck and Neck
Cooking with Bea
Outside with JB!
With Casa Esperanza Brothers
Anthony and Myles cleaning blinds
One of the most exciting opportunities we provide for brothers at Recovery Ranch is the opportunity to travel abroad to give back to families living in poverty. Last February, fourteen guys traveled abroad to Nicoya, Costa Rica with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a family. Residents got to build a foundation for the house with local contractors, participate in intercultural activities with the family, and practice recovery together in a challenging new environment.
The trip was a success, providing a life-changing opportunity for clean and sober men with 6+ months sober to broaden their perspective and connect with the local family as well as each other. The Ranch standard of accountability, hard work, and selflessness were integral to the experience, allowing residents the chance to apply the principles of the 12-step program and embrace their newfound role as positive ambassadors to those struggling with poverty.
Habitat for Humanity has been selflessly providing housing around the world and giving volunteers the opportunity to help since 1976. Partnering with the awesome, well-established non-profit Habitat for Humanity is a great opportunity to learn how to apply the Ranch standard of selflessness and care in the international community. We are really lucky to be working with such a solid organization and we hope to take what we learn abroad and apply it towards future volunteer trips.
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity click here
Transition House is a transitional living program for homeless families looking to get back on their feet. They offer a clean, inviting home with a variety of supportive programs for children, teens, and adults. To find out more about Transition House, click here.
When we visit, we spend time cooking a meal for the 40 or so family members that will return in the evening as well as cleaning the facility--weeding, detailing, organizing. When families arrive around 5:30, we start playing with kids, doing art-projects, reading, playing on the jungle gym, etc. It's an incredible experience, allowing both the Ranch brothers and the families of Transition House to connect through gratitude, shared experience, a healthy meal, and having a blast together!
"Today, we all got the opportunity to go to Transition House in Santa Barbara to cook for a bunch of homeless families and play with all of the kids. I'm super fired up still! It's amazing what energy we could all bring from what we've regained, and help others--putting a smile on their face and light to their heart. I hope to do it again soon. It was a great feeling not being so wrapped up in myself and to think about other people and to just enjoy giving back to people--something I wouldn't have done unless I was with the Ranch clean and sober!"
Costa Rica - Recovery Abroad
Casa Esperanza is a clean and sober homeless shelter for men and women coming off the streets looking to rebuild their lives. With a bed and a warm meal, supportive staff, work opportunities, counseling, and community support, many residents have successfully moved on to become productive members of society. Find out more about Casa Esperanza here.
Volunteering there offers guys the opportunity not only to help around the facility and cook and serve for the 100+ residents, but to connect with people who struggle with many of the same things that we have--addiction, homelessness, a lack of direction and resources to face our problems, a supportive community, etc. Coming together to give back the excitement, attention to detail, and care that we have received in our recovery at the Ranch is an incredible feeling and it reminds us that our recovery only comes from working together and helping out another addict and alcoholic.
"To the whole team from Recovery Ranch - Thank you so much for all the support this past Friday! We are so thankful to all the men who gave their time to help in the kitchen, gardening and cleaning at the Center. Also our donation van has never looked better! Please pass along our thanks to everyone who participated on Friday. Staff, members and volunteers today notice the different in the front of Casa Esperanza. We welcome your men back any time to lend their support. I hope that you might be able to volunteer again in the future. Thank you!"
- JB, Volunteer Coordinator at Casa Esperanza Homeless Shelter
Alameda Park Meal Share
Dishing Up Flavor
Daniel and Gavin - Barbecue Sauce?
Fired Up for New Threads
Alameda Park Meal Share
The Alameda Meal Share is a gathering 3 days a week where volunteers prepare a meal and serve to the homeless residents of Santa Barbara. We partnered with Uffizi Order to get involved with the Thursday Meal Share, and are making a monthly commitment to help out the homeless in downtown Santa Barbara.
We showed up to the event with our Ranch Guys trailer to serve up delicious tri-tip sandwiches, hamburger sliders, golden french fries, and a creamy potato salad. We also brought a few bags worth of pants, jackets, shoes, shirts, undergarments, belts, ties, suits, and formal shirts, to give away. It was an incredible experience, serving and passing out clothes with urgency, excitement, and a smile, and having a laugh with those we were serving. The energy was infectious, and we ended up having a great time and getting to know some of their stories. We will definitely be back!
"Today at the Ranch, I got to be a part of Ranch Outreach. We got a chance to feed the homeless at Alameda park in Santa Barbara. It was great! We were serving so much food and I was the one running the food to the servers. It was good running as fast as I could to get the food out there. It was a good day, and I hope I get the chance to go to the next event!"
Fired Up with Connie (90 years old)!
Phil - The Home Owner
Bryan and Brooks
Bryan, Nick T., James, and Nick W.
Habitat for Humanity Santa Barbara
Habitat for Humanity's vision is to see a world where everyone has a decent place to live. They have many chapters around the world (including Costa Rica where we volunteered in February). In Santa Barbara, Habitat focuses on monthly home-renovations called A Brush with Kindness, as well as larger-scale construction projects building affordable homes for lower-income citizens.
Our experience with HabitatSB was very fulfilling. We got the chance to bring our Ranch enthusiasm and teamwork to the worksite, getting fired up with the home-owner as well as the other volunteers. It's a great opportunity to get our hands dirty while giving back the work-ethic we've learned at the Ranch to people who could not do the work themselves.
"Working with the guys on a Habitat for Humanity crew was awesome! We brought fire and energy to the group we were working with. I was hedging a jungle of trees and bushes with my brothers and lifted heavy trash cans with dirt and branches. I've never felt that powerful in my life. Had a great time - would love to do this kind of work again!