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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Golden Heart Ranch

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Autism, Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Epilepsy, Group Homes, Health, Human Services

Mission: Golden Heart Ranch® is dedicated to providing young adults with special needs the opportunity to reach their fullest potential and enjoy a dignified quality of life, by creating and building a “life-center” residential community where they can live, learn, work and create solid friendships in a harmonious and caring environment that is emotionally and physically safe.

Results: In five short years Golden Heart Ranch has become an organization instrumental in providing services, events, camps, sports and fun to a wide range of individuals with special needs. We are proud to say we are embracing the next phase of growth... GHR has purchased the beautiful property that many young adults with special needs will call home. The property will also host vocational training, camps, day programs and a variety of events.

Target demographics: teens and young adults with special needs

Direct beneficiaries per year: numerous teens and young adults with special needs and their families

Geographic areas served: South Bay/Los Angeles County/San Fernando Valley

Programs: Life Skills and Social Skills Classes; Cooking, Yoga, Track & Fitness, Art, Supper Club, Summer Camp and Camp Coyote Ridge overnight camp.

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch has been a God send for my nephew Tyler and our entire family. It's like having a second home. Golden Heart Ranch provides a safe environment where Tyler can spend time and share a multitude of experiences with others. The smile on Tyler's face when he's at the ranch says it all. The joy we see in Tyler brings joy to all of us. Thank you for being there for our boy. It has changed all of our lives!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter enjoys visiting the ranch with her friends from the SouthBay.She has spent the weekend and always wants to return. The pool and multiple activities including music, arts and crafts provided by the awesome staff are outstanding. Looking forward to and excited about the October carnival. Wish we lived closer so our daughter Erin could spend more time at the ranch.

Sneek R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5


Golden Heart Ranch allows me to volunteer and make a difference in a meaningful way, by providing the opportunity to connect with special needs young adults. I personally love seeing the huge smiles and how they progress within the years of me volunteering with GHR.

Client Served

Rating: 5

From the moment we arrived at Golden Heart Ranch, we felt like family. Its staff and volunteers radiate a culture of genuine love and respect for their ranchers. It’s not the kind of artificial family-feel dictated by some carefully crafted mission statement. This is the real deal! My son is thriving in their program. He feels safe, confident and bolstered by his leaders, who approach everything they do with contagious joy and enthusiasm. We are so grateful to be a part of this remarkable community!

Nicole D.6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch is a great company to be part of and work for. It provides an environment that helps young special needs people develop positive relationships with there peers. It provides enriching, creative activities that they can participate in. Golden Heart Ranch gives the youth opportunities to develop leadership and decision-making skills as well as life skills.

Jeni P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch provides opportunities for learning life , social, recreational skills, and much more in a unique mountain setting. Ranchers with and without disabilities are working alongside each other building an inclusive environment to care for all the animals (cow, chickens, rabbits, tortoises, goats). The variety of program activities led by professionals ensures that each individual will find a program that aligns with their goals and personal interests: cooking, fitness, art, community outings, to just name a few. If you are looking for a program for an individual with a disability Golden Heart Ranch is a MUST!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch is such a special place. The property is amazing, serene, peaceful and well cared for! The animals who live there are extremely docile and calming to the kids. Rosie the cow is so friendly and the goats, chickens and rabbits sure do love the ranchers. The pool is beautiful and very inviting. The best thing about Golden Heart Ranch are the people that work there. Loving, caring, kind, nurturing, understanding, and thoughtful. Golden Heart Ranch is awesome.

kerileeann

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Many of our Ranchers have never slept away from home without their parent (or other trusted family member) with them. We started our Camp Coyote Ridge program about 1.5 years ago. In that time, we have had at least 9 or 10 Ranchers sleep away from home in a Camp type setting for the FIRST TIME! It is an amazing opportunity for the Rancher, their parents, and for the GHR staff. We are working on increasing independence, parents get a much deserved "break," and the staff get to share in the smiles, fun, and success of the weekend. Camp Coyote Ridge is one of many of our amazing programs, but it has quickly become a favorite. -Nurse Keri BSN, CDDN

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch has been a place of calm and acceptance in a world that can be unkind towards people who are different. The ranchers/participants teach us to slow down, look at the world through different lenses, and challenge us to find unique ways of communicating. I do my best to be their friend and mentor, and each one of the ranchers teaches me something in return. Sometimes the greatest gifts come when we aren't looking, and Golden Heart Ranch is truly one of those gifts for me.

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Meet Noel: my exceptionally handsome, shy, twenty-two-year old son with autism. Noel is fond of swimming, silly noises, but most of all, he loves working/eating/doing anything and everything with his friends. For many years, I have known that the happiest environment for Noel to live in would be communal, much like the Kibbutz’ in Israel. Golden Heart Ranch is the only organization in the Los Angeles area with a vision of the sort of the future we dream of for Noel; one where he will flourish as he does laps in the pool, prepares meals, laughs at the silly sounds the chickens and the cow make as he does his daily chores in a safe environment surrounded by friends he loves. Golden Heart Ranch is both our prayer - and Noel’s best chance at a dignified, happily ever after.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch provides amazing programming for my brother and so many people like him. I am grateful for the sense of belonging that Golden Heart Ranch provides to my brother and his friends, and the community that has built up among participating families.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch provides wonderfully rich opportunities for special needs young adults. Camp Coyote Ridge, sponsored by GHR, was my son's first sleep away experience and he had a blast. The staff is amazing, they're always looking for ways to facilitate meaningful interactions with peers and the community.

Stephanie B.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adore Golden Heart Ranch! This grass roots program started by Rose van-Wier Hein, supported by a small tight-knit group of parents with the same desire , launching programs to support all kids/adults in the different abilities community. Rose has been the visionary and the drive to get this to the point it is today. Programs in both the South Bay (SoCal) and Agoura Hills. Camps, Stay-overs, holiday parties & events, family pool days. Amazing this has come so very far in a short amount of time.
My son participates in many of their activities (track club, Supper club, cooking classes, outings and camps). Its wonderful to know that your child is able to go on excursions, be safe, and enjoy with people who will guide & support the group with a range of abilities. Love GHR!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have served the ASD community for 20 years. It has been such a humbling experience to see a place that is dedicated towards building lifelong friendship and recreational activities fit for a community that truly needs it the most. GHR brings heart to many families across the Ventura County area.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Golden Heart is an excellent place for parents to leave their special needs young adults. There are a variety of great activities and the staff is great. Highly recommended. Prices are decent and I actually believe the prices should be raised since the quality is just that great.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After hearing about this special needs ranch I began volunteering my time working with these wonderful young adults. Everyone involved is caring, loving, and giving individuals. Many have degrees and education needed. Everyone is trained to be able to handle issues from the smallest to bigger issues that come up. I loved working with everyone involved and if I didnt move to another state I would still be there . I can't say enough to tell you what a wonderful place this is, not only for the young adults attending, but the peace of mind it gives the parents..

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch is an amazing organization. Their beautiful ranch located in Agoura offers kids/young adults with special needs a variety of fun and engaging things to do. Some examples include the Art Center where the kids get to try their hand at arts & crafts. There are cooking , fitness and gardening classes. They also have a number of special events for kids and their parents to meet other families.

My wife and I can't say enough about Rose and her terrific organization. Keep up the great work team!!!!

1 MarciaGHR

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege to work as a volunteer for the last two years with this amazing organization! The Golden Heart Ranch is well deserving of this honor!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am honored to be a part of The Golden Heart Ranch. I started as a volunteer in the Spring of 2016 and ended up becoming one of the family! Our “ranchers” immediately feel at home and comfortable with their surroundings.

Client Served

Rating: 5

There is simply not enough room to tell you how beyond appreciative and grateful our family feels about Golen Heart Ranch. Our son started attending programming at GHR when he was in middle school and it was a BIG struggle just to get him out of the car at drop off. Fast forward (since he will soon be 18 years old) Zach would often remind me that it was his day to go to one of his GHR after-school activities. Unfortunately, we have moved out of the area but it's not too far where we can easily jump right back into the swing of things. The seasonal camps offered when school wasn't in session was a huge plus because it provided the much-needed respite for the caregivers and parents while providing an enriching, purposeful and fun opportunity to connect with others and build friendships. So many skills were introduced, reinforced and modified depending on the level of functioning of the participant. In addition, no two days were the same and the environment put the safety and well being of all the participants as their number one priority. My son came home everday from happy, tired and looking forward to what the next day would bring. Golden Heart Ranch will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you GHR and staff for setting the gold standard.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Golden Heart Ranch offers wonderful activities to keep our daughter healthy. She enjoys exercising with her friends weekly. Programs like this aren't common and we are blessed to have it in our neighborhood.

Cindi H.1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic place helping the most beautiful people.