Former University of Alabama Football Quarterback, Brodie Croyle, spoke to the Scottsboro Rotary Club at their weekly meeting on Wednesday about the Big Oak Ranch Christian Home for Children.
Croyle talked about investing in the children that are brought to the home.
“That is what we get to do on a daily basis,” he said. “We have a boy’s ranch in Gadsden and a girl’s ranch in Springville. We have 10 homes in each ranch. We put a Godly man and woman in each home. We give them six boys or six girls and tell them to show the kids what God intended for a dad, mom and a family to look like.
“When it is easy to chase the world, just keep investing,” he said. “At some point that investment is going to pay off.”
Croyle said that the ranch takes care of 140 kids on a daily basis.
“We feed them, clothe them and send them to school,” said Croyle. “We have 22 in college that we paid full tuition for them to go to college.”
Croyle said the expenses daily are about $21,000 to operate every day.
“We pay for 120 grade school kids to go to a private school education every day,” he said. “There is a lot that goes into it. But it means nothing if we do not do our daily investment in our children. At some point the investment’s fruit shows. I told the last couple that we had that this is not an instant gratification job. You might never get to see the fruit of what it is you do, but you invest anyway.”
Croyle asked the audience to think about what they invest in.
“All of the earthly things are great things, but if we are not investing in our children, our spouse, in our relationships, our relationship with God, then what is it all for?” Croyle asked.
Croyle shared a story about meeting kids that were dropped off at the ranch by their father. Croyle said he was five-years-old when it happened.
“It was three days before Christmas and this guy pulled up to the ranch,” he said.
The man told Croyle’s father that he had to choose between his sons and his new girlfriend.
The boys were left at the ranch, and the youngest one was six-years-old.
“Little did I know that boy was going to grow up to be my best friend,” said Croyle.
They were in each other’s wedding, and played sports together.
He said that the boy grew up and married a woman that has a daughter without a father.
“That little girl hit the jackpot,” said Croyle. “She now knows what love looks like. She now knows what to look for in a husband. He knows what the other side looks like because a mom and a dad that were not even his biological parents started investing in his life. The fruit, 30 years later, is a boy that has turned into a man that will love his life and love his daughter.”
Croyle said the success rate is not known until 20 years down the road.
“That is how we view success,” he said. “It is never too late for us or our kids.”
Since 1974, Big Oak ranch has been called to meet the needs of over 2,000 children by giving them a “solid, Christian home and a change to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.”
For more information, visit www.bigoak.org.