Business as Missions: Still Creek Ranch Project

Business as Missions: Still Creek Ranch Project

We often get questions about how The Master’s Craft is different, and one of the first things we say is that we aim to do business as mission.

But what does that actually mean?

“We’re very passionate about teaching people that you don’t have to sacrifice your skills and a career and vocation to go make the world a better place,” explained Daniel Elbrecht, our Southern Regional Manager. “You can take your skills to work towards whatever mission that you have.”

We look for ways to serve in our daily business as well as ways that we can give back in more than just a monetary way. Many times this includes donating flooring or even going out and installing the floor ourselves.

In June we installed a floor for Still Creek Ranch, a boarding school of sorts in Bryan, Texas, that provides safe and loving homes for kids from crisis situations. Today, 30 years after its founding, they have expanded with a school and equestrian center. Still Creek is home to over 30 boys and girls who live with house parents on the property.

Still Creek Ranch in Bryan, Texas
Still Creek Ranch in Bryan, Texas, is home to over 30 boys and girls from crisis situations who live and go to school on the ranch.

“We’re actually listed as a therapeutic boarding school which can be a little bit misleading,” said James Imnon, director of Still Creek Ranch, “When I think ‘boarding school,’ I think about wealthy families who are able to send their children to a boarding school, but it’s not like that.”

Many of the children are on scholarships and are privately placed by family members, guardians or other advocates.

“We get these kids who come [and] are so hurt and so broken. So many traumatic events have happened in their lives,” said Evelyn Priest, who was one of the first girls to live at the ranch and is now a house parent along with her husband, Wes.

Front door of boys' home
We took over one of the boys’ homes for a weekend to replace the old broken tile with a new hardwood floor. The kids at Still Creek live with house parents in homes on the ranch.

Over a weekend, six of our employees installed Brick and Board “Hearth” into one of the boys’ homes. The floor was donated by Real Wood Floors to replace the broken tile that had caused many cut feet.

“God is faithful to us. He’s definitely using you guys to bless the ranch,” said Wes, who will be moving into this home with Evelyn as the new set of house parents this summer. They have worked here as house parents and in other leadership roles for 15 years.

“It’s right on time.” – Wes

Inside the gym at Still Creek Ranch
Inside the gym at Still Creek Christian Academy. Right on the property, the school gives children ages 10-18 a Christ-centered education and also the opportunity to be active in sports.

Many of the kids at the ranch are from Texas, but some are from other states and even a few are from other countries. One of their programs, Restore Her, takes in girls who have been rescued out of human trafficking in Houston and other areas.

Our Houston manager, Jordan Ward, contacted Still Creek after hearing about this program at his church.

“I was interested because my wife and I have always wanted to help with human trafficking efforts, so I reached out to the facilities director of Still Creek. After talking to him, he said that they may need new floors installed in a few of their homes,” recalled Jordan.

Still Creak Ranch property
The ranch sits on 200 beautiful acres of Texas countryside. Part of Still Creek’s holistic approach is to provide healing and learning opportunities through riding and caring for the horses in their equestrian center.

“Anchored in Hope, Restored through Christ, and Equipped for Life since 1988.”

– Still Creek Ranch

By combining home life, school and chores on the ranch, Still Creek provides its residents a safe, encouraging environment to heal and start a new life.

“We’re casting seeds along the way – like the fruits of the spirit,” Wes explained, “but also teaching them how to do laundry or how to take care of house chores, how to be self-sufficient and independent, learn how to read and write, teach them how to fish. That’s my favorite thing to do.”


Tile torn out of living room
The preexisting tile was torn out by a group from a local bank the day before we started installing the new wood floor.

“Volunteer groups multiply the effort and do in a week what would’ve normally taken us months,” – James

Entirely funded by private donations, Still Creek Ranch does not take government funding and is not a part of the foster care system. Over the years they have had many of their needs met through the generosity of local organizations.

The day before we installed, a group of employees from a local bank came to tear out the broken tile that we replaced with wood flooring. They also painted the walls and donated the extra money in their budget to other necessities on the ranch.

Employees installing new floor
Aaron Keicke, Austin manager, and Louis Gaston, Dallas territory manager, install the new floor.

Another group from a local church was also helping out around the ranch while we were there, helping with some landscaping and painting projects around the girls’ homes.

“Even the boys were there to help unload,” recalled Marvin Solano, Inside Sales Representative in Dallas, “One of them came back after the others had all left, because he wanted to be sure to say thank you without the other kids being there. It makes it all worth it.”

Brick & Board "Hearth" in living area
We installed Brick & Board “Hearth,” donated by Real Wood Floors, in the two main living areas and four bedrooms in one of the boys homes.

“It’s really cool to see firsthand what The Master’s Craft is behind.” – Marvin

This project at Still Creek Ranch is one of the many business as mission projects that we’ve done over the years. Often we work with local organizations, but we also work closely with Real Wood Floor’s efforts in orphanages in China.

“I got to go to China as well, two years ago. That was the first major install I had been a part of,” said Marvin. “I’ve missed out on other trips though, and now that I did this one I want to be more involved in other trips. It means a lot to me to see this organization taking in kids and being able to help somewhere closer to home for me.”

Wondering how you can use your business as mission to help others right now? Here’s 3 simple ways to use your time and skills to help your local community:

  1. Research and find an organization that works with a cause that you relate to. Ask them if they’re in need of a new floor or need any other type of maintenance work done. They may not need new floors, but they might need some repairs or other touch-ups.
  2. Ask your employees or crew what causes they feel passionate about and consider offering a matching donation fund, or paid time off to serve those causes.
  3. Invite your customers and suppliers to be a part of your business as mission by letting them know what you are involved in and specific ways they can help.
Still Creek Ranch Project
Still Creek Ranch Project

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