Moore Time Ranch
Cooper, Texas 75432
Mike Moore has his hands full with responsibilities.
He is the lease director at D&M Leasing Fort Worth. He deals with employees and customers all through the week. And, he and his wife are raising five children.
But that’s not stopping him from acquiring 70-acres of land, building a new facility from the ground up and starting a new nonprofit with the mission to mentor and help youths for free.
“We only want to offer them a better opportunity than they’ve ever had in their life up to this point,” Moore said. “That’s what this program is about.”
The program is the years-in-making Moore Time Ranch. It welcomes young men undergoing struggles such as social isolation, depression, family problems or even violence and pairs them with vetted mentors for life.
“Helps you establish direction, helps you figure out where you’re going – what’s a map good for?” Moore said, comparing the program to a map. “You have to have a plan and something planned out. So, you can follow a map on this pathway they’ll have to manhood or to a career path or whatever they want to accomplish.”
Moore and the organization’s board members designed a comprehensive curriculum, which starts with a three-day retreat at the Moore Time Ranch, located about 120 miles northeast of Fort Worth in Cooper.
A group of 10 teenage boys from across North Texas completed the first camp on the weekend of Oct. 25. The inaugural group were assigned 10 individual mentors, who went through a third-party background check.
Moore Time Ranch’s board of directors is comprised of business veterans in industries like marketing and public relations.
“I’m blessed to have a beautiful office to work out of every single day, work for an incredible company that supports my efforts in what I’m doing,” Moore said. “I want to give back to the people of this community. What’s the best way to do that than to help develop emerging leaders?”
Apart from the main focus on “troubled teens,” the program has quickly garnered interest from other parents, as well as other organizations.
Since the recent launch of the organization’s website and social media forums, several church groups, school districts, a state trooper’s association looking for an alternate juvenile program, along with families from Florida, New York, California and North Texas have started discussions about enrolling children in Moore Time Ranch.
However, as a fully donor-funded organization, the starting phase of the process has had its challenges. Moore said fundraising is difficult.
Some building construction on the 70-acres property in Cooper is currently stalled. While several people are volunteering their time for the program, the camps run hefty expenses on food, bedding, utilities, games and activities, and staff to develop and grow the programs.
Moore personally acquired the property two years ago, costing him a few hundred thousand dollars. Then, the basic structures and buildings cost about $250,000.
The initial cost per child who goes through the program is approximately $4,000. The cost increases in the subsequent five-year follow-ups.
“I’m confident that there are people out there that want to help,” Moore said. “We just haven’t reached them all yet.”
The camps with new children will be conducted in a monthly basis. At present, the camps will take place in various other locations until Moore Time Ranch receives enough donations to fund some necessary upgrades and constructions.
The long-term fundraising goal for the organization is about $20,000 per month.
“I’m in the auto industry. I look at people who are very wealthy, who buy $250,000 vehicles, who had a child that maybe had serious challenges in the past. They spent $5,000 to $15,000 for a one-week program to get some help and that dropped them after that with no follow-up intentions,” Moore said. “But, yet, it’s difficult to reach these people or to convince them to donate to a nonprofit.”
– Neetish Basnet