(Download flyer, click HERE)
A Rich History…
In the early 1970’s and 80’s, GFWC Florida clubs from all over the state contributed funds to build three homes for abused and neglected girls on the 25 acre Hacienda Girls Ranch in Melbourne. The cottages – Perkins, Pratt and King-Harris – were named after the GFWC Florida president in office at the time each was built.
GFWC Florida ran the hacienda Girls Ranch until 1988, when it was acquired by Children’s Home Society of Florida’s Brevard Division. A fourth cottage, the Jimmie G. Smith Transitional Living Cottage, funded by philanthropic efforts, was built in 2003.
The Hacienda Girls Ranch thrives today, more than 45 years later, with the continued support of GFWC Florida, and it remains the only statewide project for GFWC Florida.
Today the Ranch serves as…
• A foster care group home and emergency shelter for up to 14 females ages 12-17.
• A transitional home for up to 8 single females ages 18-23.
Today’s Hacienda Residents…
Have experienced greater challenges than ever including:
• Criminal Sexual Exploitation (Human Trafficking)
• Increased psychiatric diagnosis
• Increased PTSD due to years of abuse and exposure to domestic violence
• Increased drug and alcohol use
• Increased dependence on psychotropic medication
• Decrease in self-esteem, self-worth and self-care
• Obesity and physical health issues are on the rise
• Pregnancy is on the rise
• Increase in self-harm
Why I chose this as my President’s Project…
Mary Powell, President 2016-2018
GFWC Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs
Throughout the years, GFWC Florida Clubs have continued to contribute funds, time and resources to the girls at Hacienda.
But expenses continue to increase, as do the needs of the girls. The State pays a per diem for those in foster care program that covers 3 meals a day, a bed, and education. Special therapies and extra-curricular activities are not funded by a girl’s placement at Hacienda.
Increased expenses and decreased State and local funding are ongoing challenges. This combined with the upkeep and maintenance on homes that are now 40+ years old has taken a toll.
I want to establish a GFWC Florida Legacy Fund with the Children’s Home Society of Florida’s statewide foundation, earmarked solely for Hacienda Girls Ranch to cover items such as those listed.
It’s up to us to see that our Legacy Fund will be there for many years for “our girls”.
GFWC Florida Foundation for Hacienda Girls Ranch would be designated for items such as….
“Safety and Security” – Security Fence and Gate ($30,000 - $50,000 project); outdoor lighting; exterior building maintenance; transportation fund for van (maintenance, insurance, repairs); etc.
“Comforts of Home” – Furniture; mattresses & bedding; appliance repair/replacement; pots & pans; glasses & dishware; cleaning supplies; interior maintenance (like painting, carpet/flooring replacement); gardening/landscaping; adult swing set; etc.
“Girly Things” – help the girls feel good about themselves; Prom or Homecoming dresses & tickets; yearbooks; school pictures; dance classes; art supplies; birthday celebrations with friends; hygiene items; haircuts; gift cards for shopping, eating out, movies; etc.
“Into the World” – opportunities to participate in different activities promoting healthy living, social skills, and positive relationships I the community; summer camp; YMCA memberships; sports shoes, equipment, registration fees, travel expenses to games; musical instruments; school field trips; items needed for employment (shoes, uniforms, special attire), funds for driving lessons, driver’s license, driver’s tests, insurance; etc.
A Thought: An annual GFWC Florida Sponsored Field Trip would be an amazing experience for these girls and a way to extend our legacy by creating special memories and moments.
|Margaret (Margie) Harper (Chair)
Make a check out to:
• GFWC Florida and include “Hacienda Legacy Fund” on the memo line.
• Mail to:
4444 Florida National Drive
Lakeland, FL 33813