GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — Brodie Croyle wishes expansion weren’t necessary at Big Oak Ranch, but he’s seen the need in the community, and he knows his organization can help.
Croyle, the executive director of Big Oak Ranch, will speak Thursday afternoon at a dedication ceremony for three homes in a new community at the ranch. The community is called Twin Oaks, and it’s already serving as a home to boys in need. They’re among the 179 children who live at the ranch’s location in Gadsden.
“We get the incredible opportunity, the incredible privilege to be able to speak back into our children that, man, God has a purpose for your life,” Croyle said. “There’s something out there that you are the only piece to the puzzle that fits it. And you’re going to go fulfill it, and we’re going to help you get there.”
Big Oak Ranch provides a home for children who were abandoned, abused or neglected. Since opening in 1974, it has opened its doors to more than 2,000 kids. The expansion will allow the ranch to welcome more kids. Six boys will stay in each of the three new homes.
As excited as Croyle is about the expansion, he would prefer that it didn’t have to happen.
“I wish it was going out of business,” he said. “I wish we were shrinking more than we were growing. But unfortunately, we are growing at a very quick rate.”
That’s why Croyle and the ranch’s leadership decided to expand, and the three new homes are just the beginning. They plan to add eight more homes to the community over the next few years.