Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches receives a first for the state with the national honor, Good Samaritan Award, from The Action Institute.
"Probably if I wasn't here, I hate to say it, but I'd probably be in jail or something because I was a really bad kid when I was younger," explains rancher, Mackenzie.
Mackenzie just turned 17 and for the last 3 years he's called Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches, home.
"Laundry, kitchen, animals, taking care of animals," says Mackenzie of his daily duties.
This cowboy is just one of many changed by the compassion found at the ranches.
"Our mission at the ranch is to provide safe secure homes for abused and neglected children," explains CEO Mike Cumnock, "We've had about 800 kids here over the almost 32 years now."
Recently The Action Institute noticed those efforts and now, the place so many kids call home holds the Good Samaritan Award for outstanding charity.
"Compassionate ministry to whatever population they represent," adds Cumnock.
And while volunteers are honored by such a prestigious award they admit it's testimonies like Mackenzie's are just as incredible.
"It's brought me stronger, closer to God. I didn't use to pray before I came here and now I pray everyday at least 5 times a day," says Mackenzie about his experiences at the ranch.
"One of the impacts on me is being able to see kids lives completely turn around," adds Cumnock about seeing ranchers change while living at the ranch.
For more on how you can help Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches click here .