Family Life Atmosphere
Joy Ranch of Woodlawn, VA was incorporated in 1957 and opened its doors in 1961 under the direction of the late Rev. Richard and Mary McHenry with a vision of providing a home for children and leading them to Jesus Christ. With the generous help of many faithful supporters, Joy Ranch has served over 5,000 children and is considered home by many of its former residents.
Joy Ranch is committed to a family-based orientation and family-life atmosphere in the treatment of children. The mission and objectives of all programs at Joy Ranch is to bring wholeness and wellness to the child and his or her family. Residential care is provided for dependent and needy children ages 5 – 17 from all over the United States who require placement because of death, tragedy, abuse, neglect, or other unsatisfactory or necessitating family situations. The staff of Joy Ranch moves forward with one goal- to change a child for Christ.
Joy Ranch Cottages
At Joy Ranch children live in ranch-style cottages staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by loving, committed caring Christians. Staff and children share meals and participate in activities in a family setting. Daily expectations of youth include good personal hygiene, chores, preparation of meals, appropriate relationships, school attendance and therapeutic participation when necessary. Joy Ranch children also take part in many other events, including church and community service related outings.
Cottages at Joy Ranch accommodate up to eight residents with one or two persons to a bedroom. Our emergency cottage is reserved for cases that require children to have private rooms. Male and female residents are housed separately. All cottages have areas devoted to recreation, exercise, and study, and have access to a full sized gymnasium and ball fields.
Lots of Love and Laughter
Church attendance and devotions in each cottage are a part of the regular schedule at Joy Ranch. “Once during evening devotions,” Mary McHenry remembers in Feed My Lambs, The Joy Ranch Story, “I told the children with whom I was praying that this time we would have sentence prayers. I explained that we would sit in a circle and we would pray one sentence when our turn came. We had two small boys in our midst – a 5 year old and a 4 year old. When the 5 year olds turn came, he said, ‘I’ve done said mine.’ And then the 4 year old said, ‘I’ve done forgot mine.’ I think the Lord forgave the rest of us for laughing during prayer time. In fact, I rather think the Lord laughed with us.” There’s lots of love and laughter at Joy Ranch.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge
Joy Ranch is comprised of 62 beautiful acres nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and located at 813 Joy Ranch Road, just off Highway 58, in Woodlawn, Virginia. The campus has five ranch-style cottages, a gymnasium/auditorium complex, administrative and counseling offices, a recreation facility, soccer field and ball diamond.
Admission to Joy Ranch is dependent on a completed admission packet and pre-placement interviews. All placements must include a signed agreement from the child’s legal guardian. Service rates are dependent on placement needs and/or income level of the child’s legal guardian. Scholarship funds are available to families who demonstrate a financial need. Joy Ranch is grateful for the many friends who are making a lasting difference in the life of a child through prayers, volunteer service, and financial support. A representative from Joy Ranch would be glad to visit your church or organization.