Crystal Peaks or Bust!
Organized by: Karina Burns
My story all started when I was nine years old When I was nine years old, one of my friends gave me the book A Bridge Called Hope by Kim Meeder for my birthday. I read the book and fell in love with Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch instantly. God imprinted on my heart the dream and desire to go and volunteer at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch someday. I wrote a letter to the ranch and was shocked when I got a response! After this letter, I became receiving the quarterly newsletters from the ranch. I read the first few but then just threw the rest away. I totally forgot about my dream about going to Crystal Peaks. Not long after this, my life took a sudden turn. I began being consumed by suicidal, self-destructive thoughts. It started small. I would fall asleep sobbing and making mental lists of all the things I hated about myself. Then it got worse. I started self-harming every day and I was losing hope. I had a plan to end it, I just needed the chance and the courage to go through with it. In December 2012, I got another newsletter. As I mentioned, I was just throwing them away and not reading them. This time though, my mom told me that I needed to read it and if I did not like it, I needed to contact the ranch and ask them to stop sending me the newsletters. I read it and before I had even finished the first page I was sobbing. The story was about how one of the main directors of the ranch struggled with self-harm, suicide, and depression when she was my age. The story was so touching and it gave me hope. I postponed my plans. I started to read and save the newsletter and I resumed my dreams of going to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch (CPYR). A year later, there was another story about self-harm, by a girl just years older than me. I was touched enough to connect with this girl and we were good friends for a while. I also wrote another to CPYR at this time. I told them about my struggle and how much the newsletters had impacted and changed my life. One of the wonderful volunteers responded to my letter and encouraged me out of the goodness of her heart. I prayed and prayed that God would give me a way to go out to this small ranch in Bend, Oregon that had become such a huge part of my life. I am now 17 years old and will be going to Oregon and fulfilling my dream by becoming an intern for a season. To make this happen, I need to raise money so I can afford to live in Oregon. I am asking for donations so that I will have a bit of money to help me get started and cover my living expenses for the first two months. I will not be payed for this position. To find out more about Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch and read their mission statement, please visit www.crystalpeaksyouthranch.org or call 541-330-0123