San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc. Supports the Work of Jamie’s Ranch,
as it Serves South Texas’ Special Needs Community;
This Spring, Jamie’s Will Offer Family Days
On any given weekday, you might see a group of animated people – from ages seven to more than 80 years old – sitting on a hayride gleefully calling out 106 items hidden in live oaks, mesquite, cacti and brush along well-tended trails. They are visitors to Jamie’s Ranch for Special Kids enjoying a scavenger hunt, just one of the many activities that ranch owners Sheri and Roger Mitzel provide for special needs children and adults at their 49-acre property in McCoy, Texas.
“We can’t change their situation. We can’t necessarily make it better. But what we can do is give them a day of fun,” said Roger Mitzel. “It’s that simple. Our goal is to provide FUN.”
The couple has been doing just that since 2015 when they formed their nonprofit organization, Jamie’s Ranch for Special Kids. But the Mitzels were involved with the special needs community far earlier. Their daughter Jamie, who passed away in 2009 from Batten Disease, was special needs.
|“It became obvious just how much she and her friends enjoyed outdoor activities and interacting with animals,” said Sheri. “We knew we had to share those experiences with others.”|
In addition to the very popular scavenger hunt, visitors can enjoy horse rides, outdoor games, crafts, music and a cornucopia of animals, including horses, donkeys, llamas, alpacas, pigs, sheep, dogs and from 25-30 cats.
The biggest expense of providing this resource – which is completely free to those with special needs – is the feeding and caring of the animals.
|And that’s where San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc. comes in, granting $1,000 to the ranch annually, along with donating hundreds of volunteer hours that San Miguel employees have spent tree trimming, weeding, cleaning out pens, repairing fences and tending to many miles of trail. The ranch relies on donations from San Miguel and other corporate and private donors to offer this essential service, which spreads joy to those with special needs of all ages.|
And that’s where San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc. comes in, granting $1,000 to the ranch annually, along with donating hundreds of volunteer hours that San Miguel employees have spent tree trimming, weeding, cleaning out pens, repairing fences and tending to many miles of trail. The ranch relies on donations from San Miguel and other corporate and private donors to offer this essential service, which spreads joy to those with special needs of all ages.
“One of our favorite groups is the over 50s,” said Roger. “They get bored just like everybody else, with very few opportunities for them to get outside and have fun. They are probably the most appreciative and effusive of the groups, although everyone greatly enjoys the experience.”
For the first time, Jamie’s Ranch plans to offer Family Day this spring, when the families of special needs kids and adults can join their loved ones on the ranch for their special day.
Jamie’s Ranch for Special Needs truly is a family affair. The Mitzel’s other daughter Kasey and her husband, Jay, and their two children, Shyanne and Kolton, have a home on the property, and everyone helps out with the animals and property.
“The Ranch is not just a group we contribute to as an organization,” said Faith Miller, San Miguel Electric Cooperative’s Executive Assistant. “Through the years of volunteering at the ranch and getting to know the Mitzels, many of us have become friends, as we support this vital community service. We are very proud to be part of that.”
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About San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc.
San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a member-owned mining and power generation company that serves the people of Texas' rural communities, working and living in partnership with its members. Through integrity, hard work and a commitment to safety, San Miguel maintains a dependable power supply at the lowest possible and competitive cost. Visit San Miguel Electric Cooperative for more information.