Community Hero Winner: Kim Meeder
In 1993, Kim and her husband Troy purchased the only piece of property in Central Oregon that they could afford: a nine-acre, abandoned cinder mine. The land was so completely ruined that no one else wanted it. Together, over two years, they began the rehabilitation process of the land. In 1995, Kim brought home the first two broken and discarded horses.
Shortly after the horse’s rescue, children began to find their way to Troy and Kim’s home. The kids came not for what they could get, but for what they could give. In their efforts to help the horses recover, something miraculous took place in the heart of each child. As they cared for the horses in need, healing began.
After witnessing a mute girl speak freely to one of the rescued mares, the need to build a ranch where horses and children could help each other heal became vitally clear.
Today, the Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch serves between four to five thousand visitors a year and the program is being duplicated globally. To date 205 additional ranches, in the US, Canada and eight countries, are up and running.