Rancho All-Star Update
We are excited to announce that a formerly featured Newsletter All-Star, Rey Rodriguez, was honored by the Association of Community Human Services Agencies (ACHSA) to receive an Inspiration Award at their Annual Celebration of Community in October. Rey was nominated by Rancho and selected from the 549,000 individuals ACHSA members serve each year and honored for his remarkable life and achievements. He proudly accepted his scroll from the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors office. At the luncheon table, he was surrounded by current and former Rancho staff, his daughter, sister, and former Public Defender, now retired, who remembered his case from years ago and was delighted to come celebrate his accomplishments.
Rey credits Rancho with saving his life by supporting him to work through the healing process. Rancho also supported Rey to obtain his first job as a part-time retail employee. After Rancho, Rey graduated from Cal State Northridge, and over time his first job eventually blossomed into a thriving career as a Senior Manager of Global Investigations and Threat Management. Rey is a loving father to his daughter and enjoys the peace of exercising and being outdoors. Rancho could not have felt prouder.
What is your love language?
A NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | Aubree Sweeney, LMFT
We all give and receive love in five different ways: words of affirmation, acts of service, gift giving/receiving, quality time, and physical touch. These are called ‘love languages’ – a concept created by Dr. Gary Chapman. As a Marriage Family Therapist, I have always found it helpful to talk to clients about identifying their “love language” encouraging that they communicate to their partners and loved ones in both their preferred language and the language most meaningful to the recipient.
As we approach the holidays, I was thinking about how this concept applies to our organization, our clients, and our stakeholders. Gift giving is probably the most commercialized love language around the holidays, with a lot of emphasis on shopping and holiday wish lists.
Many kids speak the language of gift giving, and we are so grateful for the individuals and organizations who show their love through ‘acts of service’ and ensure that every youth at Rancho has a wrapped gift for the holiday season.
Gathering for the holidays is also about quality time, physical touch, and words of affirmation. This holiday season, we have our annual staff holiday party as well as our Thanksgiving and winter holiday celebration dinners, where youth participate in an essay contest and share what they are grateful for. We host our benefactor dinner to demonstrate our appreciation for those who selflessly give of their resources, because that is the language in their hearts.
While we often have a dominant love language, many of us are multilingual, showing and receiving love in many different ways. This holiday season, I encourage you to think about your love language and those in your life. Maybe you ask people to donate to your charity of choice in lieu of gifts or you gift an experience instead of a physical present. Maybe you gather with friends and family and request everyone bring food to share instead of gifts. From our heart to yours, Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, in whatever language you speak!
Aubree Sweeney, LMFT
Brother John Crowe
A DAILY REFLECTION
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
– Isaiah 43.18-19
“See, I am doing something new!” Are your eyes open to the exciting and good things that are happening in our midst and our ministry? How are some of your past failures or successes blinding you to the possibilities of this new day? How will you embrace the opportunities that this day holds to be good help to those we serve?
God of the future, may we have the confidence and the vision to embrace the new possibilities you are calling us to this day. Help us forgive ourselves for our failures and to be willing to take risks to participate in the new things and opportunities you are calling us to. We give gratitude for this opportunity and the new ways we are working in our ministry. Amen.
Bro. John Crowe, CSC
Creative Healing Arts
This Holiday season the Creative Healing Arts (CHA) Program is excited to help Rancho reestablish some of its most memorable seasonal traditions. CHA had an opportunity to help enhance the youth’s Halloween celebration by supporting the STRTP dorms in bringing back the agency’s fun and unique way of enjoying the day. The various living units competed in a dorm decoration contest where the youth and staff both collaborated in decorating the units based on a theme. The Saint Anthony’s House stood out as the youth and staff worked together to act out a scene from Batman. The youth and staff’s talents were on display as they gave guided tours throughout their living space. But the winner, the Filippo Fernando dorm, blew judges away with their extremely authentic recreation of a dinner scene from the Harry Potter movies. The attention to detail was astonishing. Entering the dorm transported you from Rancho to Hogwarts. The movie themed decorations impressed all who experienced it. They somehow were able to find candles that were lit remotely with a movie themed magic wand.
Rancho San Antonio’s Office of Refugee Resettlement students’ first Science Fair showcased the exceptional minds of our youth from diverse corners of the globe. The group-based activity provided a platform to display a shared passion for exploration in the field of science. The event not only celebrated their individual accomplishments, but assisted the youth in learning how to work as a team and the ability to communicate with multiple languages in class. The atmosphere buzzed with enthusiasm, as the youth confidently demonstrated their knowledge and creativity. The Science Fair was an exceedingly wonderful experience for the students, as well as an exceptional representation of our incredible staff at Rancho.
Rancho is grateful to our friends who contributed from August 1, 2023 through November 1, 2023. All donations are greatly appreciated. Our mission would not be possible without your continued support.