Texarkana, TX 77° View Live Radar Fri H 71° L 48° Sat H 65° L 55° Sun H 73° L 59° Weather Sponsored By:

Runnin' WJ in financial straits

Runnin' WJ in financial straits

Nonprofit ranch says majority of its donations have dried up

December 15th, 2018 by Ashley Gardner in Texarkana News

Mercy Bunch rides a horse that is being led by a horse leader at the Runnin' WJ Ranch on Wednesday in Texarkana, Texas.

Photo by Hunt Mercier /Texarkana Gazette.

Runnin' WJ Ranch is having financial difficulties and may have to cutback on services if the situation continues.

"In the last 12 months our donations are down 60 percent," said Sam Clem, Runnin WJ executive director. "I don't think we're doing anything different. I just think people have forgotten we're out here. It's our day-in, day-out donations that have basically disappeared."

Runnin' WJ has a variety of programs, but it's most important one is its therapeutic riding program for children with different challenges, both physical and cognitive.

Approximately 120 of the 150 children who attend that program are either on full or partial scholarship. The ranch doesn't receive Medicaid, insurance or government assistance for the service it provides.

"My scholarship reserves are $700. If something doesn't change I can see getting to our barrel race in June but I can't see getting past that," he said.

The barrel race is the agency's biggest fundraiser and last year brought in $43,000.

"All June will do is catch us up," Clem said. "We have been a community ministry for 20 years but it's going to be up to the community to decide if we stay or go. It's that bad."

Runnin' WJ has four full-time employees with an operating budget of $350,000.

"That covers everything," he said.

The ranch does what it can to raise awareness by sending out quarterly mail-outs, updating its Facebook page and more.

"We're actually doing more awareness-type things than we ever have," Clem said.

In addition to therapeutic riding, the Runnin' WJ has a ladies' ministry to help women get their lives back together, is part of Tim Tebow's A Night to Shine, partners with a variety of different nonprofits in the area and more.

"We also normally provide jackets and shoes for the kids at Christmas but we aren't able to do that this year," Clem said.

Runnin' WJ needs a significant amount of donations to ensure all services continue.

"The main thing is we need probably $150,000 in the scholarship fund. That way children come first," Clem said. "We have 23 horses and the scholarship per horse is $1,200 per year which covers vet bills, feed, and hay for horses. That sounds like a lot but it's just 23 Sunday school classes adopting a horse. Everybody I have been calling and talking to, their first comment is 'I had no clue the ranch is in this situation.' I feel very strongly it's my job to make sure the community understands how serious the situation is. The ranch will be here next July but if something doesn't change I just don't know what it's going to look like and I don't know where you start cutting ministries."

Donations can be made online at runninwjranch.org or mailed to Runnin' WJ Ranch, 4802 S. Kings Hwy., Texarkana, Texas 75501.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com