BECAUSE EVERY FOSTER
YOUTH DESERVES A CHANCE
AT A GREAT LIFE.
FOR A GREAT
For $250 you can send a child to cowboy camp
One time donation
SEND A FOSTER YOUTH TO COWBOY CAMP
WITH YOUR MONTHLY DONATION
Our mission is simple – Empowering foster youth to
become the heroes of their own lives.
Through programs such as Cowboy Camp, Launchpad ID Program and the Everyday Heroes Employment Program, our amazing volunteers pour into teen foster youth the beliefs, skills, love and encouragement needed to help a foster teen navigate the world as they ready to age out of the system.
This isn’t about us. This is about creating futures for the foster youth we serve!
How We Serve Foster YOUTH
Whether it’s the boys from Tombstone, Roy Rogers or John Wayne, there is just something amazing about cowboys and their way of life. Tough; but, character driven – focused on doing what’s right drives the true cowboy.
What better way to pour into our foster youth than giving them the experience to be a hero cowboy for a day. Our wonderful partners, Western Destinations, proudly support foster youth by providing an amazing cowboy camp experience that profoundly and positively impacts the foster youth that get to be cowboy/cowgirl heroes for a day. Reaching 450 youth per year, the team of awesome volunteers from Fostering Heroes Foundation, the staff and ranch hands of the Western Destinations ‘Flying E Ranch’ and the donors to FHF provide an experience that is once in a lifetime for a foster youth.
From horse back trail rides, side-by-side rides and campfire talks, you have a chance to impact a foster youth for the rest of their lives. We’ve seen it and we know the impact this amazing event has on their lives (and will have on your life too).
Did you know that more than 50% of foster youth leaving the system will become homeless, enter the sex trade, turn to drugs, enter the prison system or die?
Did you also know that less than 50% of foster youth will complete high school? The high school dropout rate for foster youth is 3x that of low income children. Over 40% of foster youth have educational difficulties.
We know these are staggering numbers. Our goal is to provide foster youth with employment opportunities when they transition out of the system. How we accomplish this is through mentorship with youth while in group homes and partnerships with trades organizations needing workers that have a heart for foster youth.
We have to be honest, this program is hard. Connecting mentors and preparing under-served youth with opportunities to further their lives is not easy. It is only through the power, will, determination and love of our mentors, trades partners and donors that we can proactively change the trajectory of a foster youth’s life.
LAUNCHPAD ID PROGRAM
We’ve seen the brokenness in the foster care system first hand. As much as DCS can provide assistance to foster youth throughout Arizona, there just aren’t enough resources to provide an opportunity to a better life for many foster youth leaving the system.
With so many organizations in Arizona wanting to help foster youth in the aging out process, we have found that these organizations are like ships passing in the night. These organizations are not coordinated in their efforts to assist foster youth with their various services.
Our Launchpad ID program is developed to bring the many resources available throughout Arizona into one easily accessible point for foster youth. The Launchpad ID card is provided to foster youth aging out of the system to help streamline access to the many wonderful non-profits throughout Arizona. The ID will give foster youth quicker access to resources available to them by speeding up the referral process.
GET TO KNOW THE 'E'
75+ years of ranch history; immeasurable amount of love for helping foster youth.
Back in 1946, Lee Eyerly from Salem, Oregon purchased 3000 acres and established the original Flying E Ranch. Lee and his crew built the original lodge, eight guest ranch rooms, the picturesque “Oregon”-style barn, and a 3200-foot airstrip.
Mr. Eyerly fashioned the Flying E brand with its distinctive wings to reflect his surname and his love for flying. The certified brand is still owned and used by the ranch today.
George and Vi Wellik first circled the ranch in their private plane in April 1949. “Looks like a motel in the middle of the desert” was Vi’s remark.
Concluding their stay at the Camelback Inn in Phoenix, George and Vi flipped a coin to decide whether to go back and visit the Flying E or continue on to their original destination, the Flying W in Bandera, Texas. A flip of a coin completely changed the lives of the Bellflower, California residents. George and Vi landed their private plane at the E, thus beginning their ranch legacy.
While still occupying their residence in California and with George continuing to run his tire and land developing businesses, the Welliks became frequent visitors to the Flying E and by 1952 found themselves in full ownership of the Arizona guest ranch.
A few changes have occurred over the years. George donated land to the town, and Wellik Field, named in his memory, now serves as the municipal airport of Wickenburg. The original airstrip is now a beautiful grass horse pasture. Various land parcels were also donated by the Wellik family to Wickenburg for city parks, schools, and the development of residential and industrial parcels. The ranch still maintains 20,000 acres to ride and roam.
The guest ranch still proudly operates the cow/calf operation, raising a few of the offspring from the original Murray Grey cows that Vi started breeding on the ranch in the mid-1980s. They mix with our modern-day Angus, Hereford, and Barzona stock.
A rancher’s dream, a flip of a coin, and a “hotel in the desert,” all brought together what the Flying E Ranch still offers today: The way of the West for dudes and cowpokes alike to enjoy the serenity and tranquility of the peaceful ranch life.
With a wild spirit and the love for impacting youth, the Brown family actively works with the foster youth community providing the ranch for the annual ‘Cowboy Camp.’ This event brings hundreds of foster youth to the ranch to partake in a once in a lifetime experience of being a cowboy or cowgirl. It’s an amazing opportunity for the volunteers and ranch staff to connect with these youth to express their love and pour into the kids a hope for the future. Cowboy Camp is truly an amazing experience that deeply impacts the youth beyond words can describe. Fostering Heroes Foundation is proud to partner with the Brown family and the Flying E Ranch to provide the 2023 Cowboy Camp!