30th anniversary

Category Archives: COVID-19

  1. Buffets of Blessings

    Reba’s Heroes: A Series Highlighting Our Wonderful Volunteers

    Due to COVID 19, we had to cancel our annual volunteer luncheon that we hold to honor our amazing volunteers! In our effort to cover the many aspects of volunteering at Reba’s Ranch House we found a plethora of wonderful stories. In the coming months, we will cover the many ways to volunteer at Reba’s Ranch House. Read some of our 28 years worth of stories and see if you are visualizing yourself joining these beautiful souls giving their time and love to those who need it. Remember: Studies show that volunteers stay healthier, are more active, and live longer with more productive lives. We are here and would love to talk to you about volunteering and we always need a volunteer somewhere!

    Thank you so much for reading our stories and going through this unexpected year holding us close to your heart. Thank you, Thank you! We are here and will continue to be here while we find our new normal!

    May the Lord bless you, and hold you close to His heart.

    Reba’s Ranch House Director Marilyn Bice

    Hot Meals, Snacks, & Love

    Hundreds of people have taken part in our meal ministry program from churches with decades-long commitments to the ranch house. 89-year-old Wyota Hannon witnessed the grand opening of Reba’s Ranch House in 1992 and was one of the earliest volunteers.

    “My husband, James, was always so helpful,” she says. “He would make a big pot of stew and bring it over to the ranch house. We would eat a meal with all the people there with their families. We started setting up with churches to do monthly meals. We had several churches that participated. There are a lot of good people out there.”

    Wyota worked in an emergency room in Denison for 15 years, and James, her husband of 72 years, also worked in Denison. She began volunteering at the ranch house, dedicating her time for 12 years. After retirement and settling in Colbert, Oklahoma, Wyota had turned fully to volunteering.

    “We had people that would come to me and say, ‘Is there anything that we can do?’” she recalls. “‘We know families are there, stranded, and we want to do something.’ I suggested people do a meal once in a while, and I started contacting churches. I made up a little schedule. It worked well, and something that was really fulfilling to me to do.”

    Twelve local churches support the meal ministry program at Reba’s Ranch House. Though the COVID-19 shutdown restrictions prevent them from offering full meals, churches like Trinity Lighthouse Church still bring snacks, frozen breakfast and fruit combos, and bottled drinks to keep the guests supplied with easy-access food.

    Deena Steen is the ministry coordinator at Trinity Lighthouse Church. She began volunteering when churches in the area were invited to participate in the meal ministry after the ranch house opened. Since then, until the time of the shutdown, Deena made sure hot meals were at the house every Friday.

    “The first director [of the ranch house] was Barbara Points, and she was a very personable young woman,” Deena says. “I visited with her many times whenever I would take food over, and see the vision and the heart she had for the families. I could put myself in those families’ shoes, especially if they were from out of town.”

    Trinity Lighthouse has retained some of the volunteers from the original group who stayed faithful in their commitment for nearly 30 years. Deena is also seeing an increase in younger women joining the program, and men as well. Their pastor, Raymond England, is a strong supporter of the team that serves RRH, always willing to promote the need for volunteers.

    “I’m never short on volunteers,” she says. “Before COVID, we had fifty-six women on a rotation basis. If I ever lost one for whatever reason, all I had to do was put a notice in the bulletin that we needed volunteers for Reba’s Ranch House. The slots would instantly be filled because of what the ranch house represents to people. So many of the members have needed their services.

    “I feel we’re an extension of Trinity Lighthouse into the community, being arms and legs to serve hurting people. The ministry of Reba’s has been a joy for the people that do it. They all say that it’s a ministry that touches their heart.”

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  2. COVID-19 Precautions for Reba’s Ranch House

    Our process during COVID-19

    Reba’s Ranch House is following and observing federal, state, and local regulations for healthcare housing facilities. Our stringent policies are updated frequently and they include:

    Coverin’ Up the Cowboy Way

    ALL in the House are required to wear cloth face coverings when in contact with guests or other staff.

    Keepin’ Clean

    Lather Up! Please wash your hands frequently. Hand sanitizer is available for Team Members and all guests to use throughout the day.

    Our Team Members are also:

    • Increasing handwashing, disinfecting and deep cleaning procedures to help assure a safe environment.
    • Increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing using cleaners that are listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website of disinfectants for use against COVID-19.

    Giving Space

    • We ask all in the House to please give six feet of space or more to those around them.
    • We also are operating with as few staff as is necessary to meet and exceed guest expectations for a great stay!
    • The dining room tables are six feet apart.

    We will continue to monitor and implement new policies from the CDC recommendations and the World Health Organization as we learn more.

    Signs, signs … everywhere are signs

    The staff at Reba’s Ranch House has had several clever cowboy-themed signs created to remind staff, guests and any visitors of the policies and best practices for staying healthy during COVID-19.

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  3. Watching Her Husband’s Hospital Window from Reba’s Ranch House

    She could see the window of her husband’s hospital room

    From her room at Reba’s Ranch House, Angela Farmer could see the window of her husband’s hospital room. Despite them both being in isolation because of the COVID-19 quarantine, she could stay connected with Alan, her husband of 16 years, through the closeness of Reba’s Ranch House. Even from another building, Angela watched over her husband, able to see his room that held him safe.

    The ranch house has remained in continual operation, 24×7, 365 days of the year, since its opening in 1992. Round the clock, round the year, and through a major global crisis, caregivers still need a comfortable place to stay and loving care while they watch over their loved ones.

    Connected by video chat

    After pneumonia, contracting the flu, and experiencing severe low oxygen, Alan remained in isolation at the hospital. It was a long, long two weeks for them.
    But through the power of technology, Angela was able to video chat with him. He reacted by blinking his eyes and moving his head. Angela knew he recognized her voice.

    Prayers from Peru

    “Everybody has been praying,” Angela said. “I have a big crew of people praying for him. I have family praying in Peru, I had three groups on my phone and messenger. Prayer is the best weapon you can have for anything. If things turn out bad, God knows why and then gives you strength to keep going. I’m a living witness of how the Lord acts.”

    Angela met her husband years ago through the Internet. She came from Peru to marry him.

    “Before I met Alan, I prayed for him,” she said. “I prayed for the Lord to give me somebody that would love me, and He brought me Alan. Now we have this test, and the Lord is still with us.”

    It was during a recent time of Angela’s family visiting from Peru that Alan experienced a turn in his health. They were all traveling in Oklahoma when the discomfort in his chest began.

    A series of procedures, expert care at the hospital, and the love of his wife stabilized Alan and put him on the road to recovery.

    “If I had been in Corsicana [instead of staying at Reba’s Ranch House], I don’t think my husband would have made it,” Angela said. With the ranch house remaining open, she had a stable place to stay as things around her, and the world, changed.

    Giving Back

    After an extended stay at Reba’s Ranch House, an essential service that remains open through the COVID-19 crisis to take in caregivers, Angela returned to Corsicana, Texas, while her husband finishes therapy and prepares for release. She works at a candy company and plans to bring a batch of chocolates to everyone who helped during their trying circumstances.

    “All the staff in this house and in the hospital, they’re the best,” Angela said. “They treated me like one more member of the family, and I appreciate everybody. I couldn’t have been in a better place. People need to help places like this. When all this is over, I’m going to start donating [to Reba’s Ranch House] because it could help another person like me.”

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