• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

Archives for April 2015

7 Reasons and 15 Ways to Give to Charity for Troubled Youth

Since 1965, generous donors of varying backgrounds have made it possible for Rawhide to change lives. These donors provided second chances for hundreds of troubled youth in Wisconsin communities. Many people don’t realize that it came down to a last minute donation for Rawhide to even exist at all!

Under the Wire

The year was 1965. Rawhide was holding another fundraiser in the hopes of raising enough funds to retain ownership over the land they planned to use for the ranch. Rawhide held other fundraisers prior to this, but they came up short after each one. The stakes were high as John and Jan Gillespie had already begun living on the property, so they contacted Bart Starr who in turn asked Vince Lombardi if he could convince some of the other Packer players to join in the fundraising efforts.

As the fundraiser wrapped up, the Packer players in attendance wrote checks to Rawhide on their way out. Workers began to count the donations, and as each dollar was counted, the looks on their faces turned to sadness. Local developer, Julius Johnson, noticed this and approached the workers managing the money. He couldn’t help but notice the look on their faces and asked them what was wrong. They told him Rawhide was about to come up short again. Julius asked them how much they needed and they told him $6,000, which is the equivalent of over $45,000 today. Without hesitation, he wrote a check for the exact amount on the spot. Because of Julius’s generous, last-minute donation, Rawhide could begin operations on the land, and the Gillespies could continue their mission of making a difference in the lives of troubled youth.

Why Donate to Rawhide?

For Julius, donating to Rawhide meant helping a non-profit begin a strong legacy that has helped reshape the lives of troubled youth for 50 years and counting. Today’s donors have many reasons to donate to Rawhide:

  1. Leave a legacy of helping troubled youth
  2. Receive tax deduction
  3. Maximize your tax deduction on vehicle donations – on average 48% more than from other car donation charities [1]
  4. De-clutter and get rid of a vehicle taking up space
  5. Make a difference in young lives
  6. Know that you are giving to a trusted charity, as seen on Guidestar
  7. Set an example for youth and peers to help others

Many of Rawhide’s donors receive 48% higher tax deductions than other car donation charities. We can’t put a number on the improved sense of well-being or stronger spiritual life you’d receive by donating to Rawhide, but you will know you helped fund programs that give troubled youth a second chance. And these programs have a 83% success rate. This allows you to feel just as good as Julius and know your charitable donation helped fund future programs just like his donation.

What Can I Donate?

Maybe you can’t make the type of donation Julius made. That’s okay! Rawhide accepts many different types of donations, all of which help fund programs that give troubled youth a second chance. If you are interested in making a donation, you may do so a few different ways:

  1. Cash Donation
  2. Car or truck Donation
  3. Volunteering – the gift of time and self
  4. Boat Donation
  5. Motorcycle Donation
  6. RV Donation
  7. Camper Donation
  8. Jet Ski Donation
  9. Will or Estate
  10. Retirement or IRA Fund
  11. Charitable Remainder Trust
  12. Charitable Gift Annuity
  13. Charitable Lead Trust
  14. Life Insurance
  15. Miscellaneous items based on Rawhide’s current needs, such as wood for the school’s woodworking class

Planned Giving: Numbers 9-14 are options that many people don’t know about. Planned giving is a thoughtful way to leave a legacy.

Vehicle Donations: We accept running or non-running vehicles nationwide and even pick them up for free! The car donation process is simple, and the vehicle will be off of your hands, meaning extra storage space in your garage!

Gift of Time: If you’re interested in donating your time, Rawhide offers different volunteering opportunities that allow you to help make a difference.

And if you’re wondering what we mean by miscellaneous items, let’s just say we’ve received some… interesting donations during our 50 year existence!

Your donation doesn’t have to be exactly like Julius Johnson’s to help Rawhide in the very same way. Any and all donations help Rawhide Boys Ranch give troubled youth the second chance they deserve. Please consider making a donation to Rawhide’s successful programs and maintaining the legacy that 50 years of donors have helped build.

 [1]Rawhide’s average sales price, based on 2012 IRS tax filings, is 48% higher than the top nationwide car donation charity

4-12-15: Behind the Scenes

4-12-15 was not an ordinary day. Nor were the days leading up to it as we prepared to honor three special Packers, now known as The Mighty Three — Favre, Rodgers, and Starr. Yes, all Packers are special if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Packer Backer. And Rawhide employees are surely that because:

  1. We’re Wisconsinites.
    This is reason enough, and if you’ve ever lived in this state, you know what I mean. Wisconsinites love their Packers, and the enthusiasm is heartwarming. Yet, Rawhide employees have one other very important reason to love the Packers.
  2. The Packers have supported Rawhide for 50 years, beginning with Bart Starr as co-founder.
    We shudder to think of where Rawhide and the hundreds of families we’ve helped would be if not for Bart and other Packers.

Rawhide’s Executive Director, John Solberg, had been looking for a way to thank them for all their support. And he found it.

The Inspiration

Proclamtion of 4-12-15 dayAs the date 4-12-15 approached, John had an Aha moment. As you all most likely know by now, those numbers represent the jersey numbers of Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, and Bart Starr—the great quarterback trio of the Green Bay Packers—The Mighty Three.

  1. Brett Favre, Jersey #4
  2. Aaron Rodgers, Jersey #12
  3. Bart Starr, Jersey #15

What better way to thank them than to get 4-12-15 officially proclaimed as “THEIR” day?

And so it began. Here’s a peek behind the scenes on how it all came together.

11 Days Prior

I was greeted at the door one fine sunny morning while strolling into my office with a triple-sized cup of coffee, feeling pretty calm despite the caffeine. “Let’s meet in 10 minutes. Bring your team, I have a project,” said John Solberg with a smile, Rawhide’s Executive Director.

Now those of us who work with John know that when a brilliant idea pops up, you should fasten your seat belt because it’s most likely going to be BIG. And it most definitely will be a ride. Our Chalk Talk 2014 with Brett Favre and Steve Young is a case in point.

John’s new idea was big. And brilliant, as the day would prove. 11 days to go. Gulp.

We’re ON It!

“We can do this,” we voiced. With a lot to do and some mighty tight deadlines, we set about making our to-do list that included:

  1. A press release
  2. New website – design and content
  3. New social media profiles with content
  4. Online outreach plan and execution
  5. Official proclamations

“One more thing,” stated John, “This information stays with the people in this room.”

Mum’s the Word

Oh, my mother in Florida would love hearing about this. After all, she was at THE ICE BOWL in 1967 when Bart Starr won the Super Bowl for Green Bay. And no matter what state she lived in over the years, autumn and winter were all about watching the Packers. Well, mom would have to wait like the rest of the football world. Time was ticking.

Setting the Wheels in Motion

We flew out of the meeting, and I corralled my marketing team to synchronize our watches and clarify who was doing what. To say that I got at least one deer-in-the-headlights look would not be a lie. It was the bring-it-on grin, though, that did my heart proud.

The next few days were a blur as we registered domains, did a photo shoot, built a website, and set up social media streaming of fan pics to name but a few action items on our list. I think we wore out the carpeting between our desks.

As we made our way through the list, we each had our own little idiosyncrasies to deal with the fast pace. Jessie chomped on a steady stream of pistachio nuts, which is why her office is now dubbed the peanut gallery. Paul, a runner and former track athlete, could be seen pacing the halls between bouts of creativity. And Katie giggled. Me? I cut back on caffeine.

The D4-12-15 workingay Arrives

As 4-12-15 dawned, it was evident that Packer fans around the globe were thrilled about THIS day. The Mighty Three, Favre-Rodgers-Starr Day. We heard from nearly 10,000 of you on Facebook and Twitter. People as far away as Germany, UK, and Barbados reached out to us. We were even trending on Facebook, second to only a Presidential candidate announcing their bid for the oval office in 2016.

Thank you Packer fans for helping us thank one of Rawhide’s biggest supporters: The Green Bay Packers. And I thank my marketing team for making it happen.

You can view all the social media activity here.

Tell Us

You can still honor the Mighty 3. Post your message to honor Favre, Rodgers, and Starr right here in the comment section. Also:

  1. Were you one of the 10,000 honoring the Mighty 3 online that day? Tell us below in the comments section.
  2. Did you see your picture on TV? Tell us.
  3. If you missed it, what do you want to say to them now? Write it.


23 Benefits of Track and Field for Troubled Youth

As the spring air fills with the sound of athletes running, jumping, and throwing, it can only mean one thing: it’s track and field season! Guys at Rawhide’s Starr Academy have the opportunity to compete against area schools in track and field, and the impact extends beyond the fun of running fast or devouring a post-race meal. The benefits of track and field for troubled youth impact our guys mentally, physically, and emotionally and show them they’re capable of great things with hard work and discipline.

Coaching a Track Team at Rawhide

Starr Academy instructor, CJ Behnke, coaches the track and field team for troubled youth and admits that his favorite part of coaching is witnessing the guys transform as the season progresses.

Coach Behnke also loves to see the guys change their attitudes. Many of the guys at Rawhide struggle with blaming others. As they break this bad habit and begin taking responsibility for their own actions, a noticeable change in their perspectives and attitudes occurs.

This change is obvious to others as well. Competing athletes at other schools gladly welcome our Starr Academy athletes. Coach Behnke attributes these warm welcomes to the positive impression the guys make at track meets. Every year, Rawhide guys form friendships with competing athletes which the Rawhide guys love most about running track. Participating in track gives them a chance to demonstrate their growth and maturation and cultivate relationships that represent Rawhide in a positive light.

23 Benefits of Track and Field for Troubled Youth

Benefits of Track and Field for Troubled Youth Relay

The positive impression the guys make at other schools could be due to track practice and competition. Rigorous exercise can create better brain activity by generating new nerve cells and blood vessels. Coach Behnke has seen the beneficial side of competition for many of the guys.

“Track is therapeutic for the guys. It keeps them moving, gives them goals, and develops mental toughness.”- Coach Behnke

This toughness appears most when a guy signs up and finds he’s in for more than he anticipated. We’re pleased when they stick it out until the end of the season. The guys usually surprise themselves by discovering a special talent they didn’t realize they had. At the very least, they prove to themselves they can stick with a goal until completed. The guys benefit in other was too, such as:

  1. Maintaining a healthy body weight

Track and field workouts help burn body fat and speed up metabolism which helps athletes reach and maintain healthy a body weight.

  1. Improved ability to cope with anxiety

Exercising creates new neurons in the part of the brain that copes with anxiety.

  1. Creating healthy habits for later in life

For many Rawhide guys, track and field is the first sport they participate in and can help develop a passion for working out and staying fit after Rawhide.

  1. Better sleep patterns

Regular exercise makes it easier for your brain to relax when you need it to, helping make sleep easier.

  1. Strengthen balance

Running and jumping helps develop muscles in legs which make it easier to have good balance. Why is balance important? Good body balance makes it easier to move and helps prevent injury.

  1. Better decision making

Studies have found tough workouts, like those in track and field, help increase levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor, or BDNF. BDNF is a brain protein that helps with decision making.

  1. Better ability to multitask

When a person exercises, specific neurotransmitters are released, helping their brain process more information at once and making multitasking easier.

  1. Increased capacity for learning

Individuals that exercise regularly have greater volume in their prefrontal cortex, which assists with thinking, memory, and other aspects associated with learning.

  1. Enhanced mental performance

Working out for 30 minutes a day at least three days a week creates better mental longevity, and helps the brain work better overall.

  1. Increased memory

Running stimulates the growth of new brain cells which enhance and improve memory.

  1. Able to pay attention longer

Physical activity helps increase cognitive control. The University of Illinois found that students with ADHD who participated in 20 minutes of moderate exercise were able to pay attention longer.

  1. Increase creativity

Running is a solitary activity that allows an individual to clear their mind and let it wander down any creative path. Many writers have used running or working out to help their creative process.

  1. Decreased distraction

Running and working out allows athletes to clear their brain. It also helps them focus better, both during, and after the run.

  1. Learning how to work well with others

Track and field events like relays require teamwork and communication to be effective. Track and field also creates one on one situations between athletes and coaches that help athletes understand constructive criticism.

  1. Working towards a goal

Setting goals for individual performance is a big part of track and field. Being able to set goals and work towards them provides experience for goal setting and hard work later in life.

  1. Balanced mood and behavior

Track and field workouts and other physical activities help burn excess energy and release mood balancing endorphins.

  1. Improved motivation

The hardest part about exercising is getting started. Seeing successes in track and field and regular practice helps increase motivation and encourages goal setting for bigger and better things.

  1. Increased ability to withstand stress and frustration

Hard workouts provide stressful situations, and track and field is full of them. The ability to handle the workouts and grow from them helps individuals learn how to handle other stressful situations. Hard workouts also burn excess energy and allow the brain to think more clearly during stressful and frustrating situations.

  1. Increased coping skills when presented with a new situation

Track and field is full of different events and challenges that provide plenty of opportunity to try new things. Experiencing changes and participating in new events during track and field helps outside of track and field too.

  1. Lower risk for depression

Aerobic workouts like those found in track and field help release endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine which combat depression.

  1. Increased self-discipline and self-esteem

Self-discipline is required to stick with track and field workouts. If an individual sticks with workouts, they start to see physical changes, faster times, better jumps, and longer throws, which may build self-esteem and confidence.

  1. Increase self-confidence

Seeing hard work payoff builds self-confidence by giving track and field athletes something to be proud of and to showoff where they started the season and where they ended it.

  1. Inspire others to live healthier lives

Running and working out is always fun when a friend joins. Consistently working out and eating right can help encourage other friends and family to follow suit.

Making History

Benefits of Track and Field for Troubled Youth Shot Put

Shot put is one of the many events Rawhide guys compete in.

Through many years of competition, Rawhide guys have set numerous school records for Starr Academy, but three jumping records stand out:

  1. Long Jump: 20’4.75”
  2. Triple Jump: 41’6”
  3. High Jump 6’0

All three records above were set by the same guy in 2002. Had he been eligible to compete in the Wisconsin State Track and Field Championship that year, his long jump and triple jump records would have placed him in the top five in any of the divisions.

The 100 meter dash record is also impressive. Set in 2012, it stands at a blistering 11.64 seconds, a time that would qualify many runners for Wisconsin’s state track meet almost every year. Many of the guys on the team have their eyes set on the record book.

Whether they set records or not, the guys look to have fun. They’re excited to make new friends and learn they are capable of doing things they didn’t know they could do. As Olympic distance medalist Kara Goucher said:

“Your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.”

Wish the track team good fortune in the comment section below!

17 Therapy Specializations for Troubled Youth & Families

Family therapy can help troubled and at-risk youth, their parents, and their siblings get their lives back on track, with the ultimate goal of living together in a more healthy and supportive way. But it takes plenty of time and effort from everyone involved.

Many parents experience difficulty—at one point or another—in raising adolescents, particularly those demonstrating any of the warning signs included within our “11 Warning Signs Your Child May be Troubled” blog post. A clash of personalities can occur and often does.

Family Relationships

“Teens get angry because they feel their parents don’t respect them and aren’t giving them space to do what they like, and parents get angry because they aren’t used to not being in control or they disagree with the teens’ decisions. It’s easy for feelings to get very hurt when there are conflicts like these. And more complicated issues … can cause even bigger arguments. … It can take several years for parents and teens to adjust to their new roles.” This excerpt is from the article “Why Do I Fight with My Parents So Much?” and was reviewed by D’Arcy Lyness, PhD, Child and Adolescent Psychologist and Behavioral Health Editor. (Published by TeensHealth, part of the KidsHealth family of websites run by the Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media.)

Sometimes, an objective second opinion is necessary to expedite the healing or mending process. Most people don’t know that Rawhide offers outpatient counseling services for young girls, families, adult individuals, adolescent groups, and couples—anyone needing professional, therapeutic input and guidance. While we are known for helping troubled young men, we are also dedicated to helping the entire family unit—parents and siblings. You may visit any of our Wisconsin outpatient office locations even if you have never had a son in a Rawhide program.

17 Therapy Specializations for Troubled Youth & Families

Fortunately, Rawhide’s outpatient family therapy specializes in treating the following concerns and issues in a safe, confidential environment:

  1. Abuse—Emotional, Physical, Sexual, and Verbal
  2. Adolescent Emotional or Behavioral Problems
  3. Anger Management
  4. Anxiety
  5. Depression
  6. Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  7. Bipolar Disorder
  8. Life Crisis
  9. Transitions
  10. Loss and Grief
  11. Men’s Issues
  12. Parenting Issues
  13. Marriage counseling
  14. Phobias
  15. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  16. Relational Difficulties
  17. Sexual Behavior Issues

Our outpatient therapy gives our Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) a candid and up-close glimpse into each individual family’s dynamic, thereby fostering opportunities for continuous growth and improvement. In turn, through mutually beneficial, two-way communication, families are able to speak and listen to each another in an open forum that systematically has a way of raising questions, awakening emotions, resolving conflicts, and repairing relationships.

Our counselors use a blend of therapeutic styles and approaches to address a variety of personal and family concerns. They each hold a master’s or doctoral degree and are licensed by the State of Wisconsin.

How to Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an outpatient counseling appointment, please call 877-300-9101 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may also call after hours and leave a message for the receptionist on our secure voice mail.

Classic Car – 1951 MG Kit Car Donated to Rawhide

Eye Candy for Classic Car Collectors

This car donation is definitely visually pleasing whether you collect classic cars or not. However, this is not the real deal. It’s a kit car replica of the 1951 MG TD. Today, this replica is called a Daytona MIGI. And according to the donor, this kit car has an intriguing history.

This kit car was reportedly owned and driven by LaVerne Martincic, president of the original MIGI kit car company —Daytona Automotive Fiberglass. In fact, this very vehicle was LaVerne’s prototype of the MIGI.

What is a Kit Car?

Although it sounds like something you may buy at a hobby shop, a kit car is not the 10” models you may have assembled as a kid. A kit car is a full-size car made from a kit—just like the name implies. Manufacturers sell the car to customers in pieces except for the chassis (internal framework and running gear) which is already intact, and the customer assembles the rest of the car himself.

Assembling these kit cars can be a work of love too, as the time commitment ranges from 100-1,500 hours to complete, depending on the model and type of kit. In some cases, drivers may purchase the car already assembled for an extra fee . In order to be road-legal, each car must pass an inspection and be licensed.

Revolving Consumer Tastes

Kit cars have been around since the late 1800s, yet they really gained ground in the 1950s. Kit prices start around $5,000 and go up from there. The popularity of styles has changed over the decades.

Decade Demand Examples
1970s Sports car replicas Aston Martin, Corvette
2000s Classic car replicas Bentley, Rolls Royce, MG

The sports car kits of the 1970s were built on a Volkswagen Beetle chassis because the Beetle body was easy to remove from its framework. Most current kit cars are designed as replicas of classic cars, much like our Daytona MIGI, which is a 1951 MG TD replica.

More about the MIGI

Daytona Automotive Fiberglass was the first automotive company to manufacture the MG TD replica in 1975 and called it MIGI. Like other kit cars at the time, the MIGI frame bolts to a standard VW chassis. Over the years, they made modifications and enhanced features to add dashes of flair, but the quality and authenticity remained constant. In a letter to her customers and constituents in 1982, president of Daytona Automotive Fiberglass, LaVerne Martincic, expressed her company’s dedication to stay true to the MG TD design and offer a quality kit car at an affordable price. She worked hard to preserve the quality and reputation of her product and truly cared about her customers.

We treasure opportunities to learn the history of a donated car. Thanks to LaVerne’s dedication to her company and a donor’s heart for Rawhide, this story goes on from here. You might say that a car donation is a gift that keeps on giving. This car donation will give a troubled youth the help he needs to turn around his life.
For classic car collectors, you can bid on this Daytona MIGI kit car on our EBay store.


11 Warning Signs Your Child May be Troubled

You’ve probably heard the descriptors “troubled” or “at-risk” youth more than a few times. News media, education systems, and advertisements use these expressions quite often these days. While it may be an indicator of the times in which we live, what exactly do these descriptors mean? What exactly defines a troubled or an at-risk youth?

A Distinction

Not every guy arrives at our ranch with a record as a juvenile offender. Many are considered to be at-risk, which means they are precariously leaning toward a downright dangerous future, unable and ill-equipped to guide themselves along the path to self-actualization and success.

Most adolescents face common concerns—among them, bullying, peer pressure, finding their identity, and stress. Some wrestle with a distorted body image or low self-esteem. Others suffer from anxiety or depression that is carefully monitored by their therapist. But a wide range of disruptive, destructive, and delinquent attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, or actions that persist for an extended period of time could mean trouble is brewing.

11 Warning Signs

Common warning signs troubled youth may exhibit and signs to look out for include:

  1. Falling grades; truancy
  2. Extreme mood swings; volatile temper
  3. Persistent sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest
  4. Suicidal thoughts or actions
  5. Self-harm such as cutting of the skin
  6. Habitual tobacco, drug, and/or alcohol use
  7. Running away from home
  8. Sudden change in friends
  9. Secrecy, disobedience, rebellion
  10. Repeated lying to avoid consequences for misbehavior
  11. Finding humor in other people’s pain or distress

What Causes These Behaviors?

Causes can be due to any combination of a host of variables ranging from mental health issues—like ADD or clinical depression—to abusive family relationships or unstable homes. It seems each successive generation has to grow up quicker than the one before it, causing more stress factors and temptations at a younger age. If the home environment is unable to equip young people with healthy living skills, the potential for problems increases.

How Rawhide Helps

Whether a guy is struggling at home or at school, by himself, with his family, or his friends, Rawhide has a unique, specially designed program or service for every young man who walks through our doors hoping to get his life back on track. Our talented education and counseling staff members are dedicated to helping these troubled youth meet their academic, personal, professional, civic, and spiritual goals each and every step of the way.

If you suspect your son may be battling any of the above symptoms, he could benefit from alternative education or outpatient youth and family counseling services to overcome and rise above this difficult stage of his life. Please contact us.

Or if you are a social-services professional and think residential care is appropriate for your client; please contact us today to discuss options.

A Rawhide Graduation – New Alumnus Says Goodbye

Nick’s* life has been full of choices, some good, some not. He was recently faced with another choice–return to his hometown and graduate from his high school or stay an extra month at Rawhide and graduate from Starr Academy. After much thought, he decided to stay at the ranch and graduate from Starr Academy.

Parting IS Sweet Sorrow

When his Rawhide graduation time came, Nick’s friends and family packed the school’s auditorium and listened as staff and fellow students praised Nick for his growth and accomplishments. And as the guys experienced the sweet sorrow of parting ways, 14 individuals shared personal stories regarding Nick. The stories centered on how he is:

  1. Friendly and likeable
  2. Kind-hearted
  3. Motivated and results-driven
  4. Knowledgeable about cars

Friendly and Likeable

Each speaker agreed that Nick was very open with his thoughts and feelings. This characteristic not only helped the staff better understand him, but it also helped Nick better understand himself. A fellow About Face student shared how that also helped the two get along. “We had troubles early, but we solved it by talking and learning about each other–understanding where we both came from.”

It took some of the guys a little while to warm up to Nick, while others became friends with him right away. One guy was nervous when he transferred to the About Face Program because he didn’t know anyone. But then he met Nick, who immediately welcomed him with a big, warm smile. “Without hesitation,” he declared, “I’d call Nick my brother.”

A Big, Kind Heart

Nick’s friendly personality and kind heart extended beyond the ranch. The About Face students perform tasks for underprivileged individuals in the local community. Nick cared deeply about one of these individuals—Dotty, a senior citizen living alone. He frequently asked how she was and when they would go see her.

Nick was unable to attend one of the trips to see Dotty, and Dotty noticed. She had been waiting to see him to show off her new dishwasher, a model that Nick had suggested to her. She told the About Face captain that Nick had noticed her old dishwasher and suggested a new model. She took his advice, went to the hardware store, and purchased that very model. She told the captain that Nick was a better salesperson than the one at the store!

Motivated and Focused

Nick was always going above and beyond in other aspects of his life. Nick’s house father, Cyril, said Nick was the best worker of anyone in the house. Nick completed tasks extremely well and always asked to do extra work. For instance, he always volunteered to clean the boot room every time it needed cleaning. Many other speakers gave tribute to Nick’s positive attitude and how he rarely complained.

Mixing Car Knowledge with Future Plans

Nick is a motivated individual, and he has already started planning for his future. Nick plans on attending a technical college to study auto mechanics, something Cyril believes he will succeed in. According to Cyril, the guys in the house always talked about cars, and Nick’s knowledge on the subject was greater than most. Cyril believes that Nick’s work ethic, knowledge, and passion will help him succeed at technical college and whatever else he sets his mind to.

Words of Encouragement

Rawhide was fortunate enough to be a part of Nick’s transformation and help him find power to make the right choices. As one of Nick’s teachers, CJ, told the audience, “Anybody around him and will leave better for it.”

Nick’s grandfather summed up what everyone felt by saying to Nick, “There are no words for how proud I am for how far you’ve come.” Congratulations Nick. We look forward to hearing about what your promising future holds.


*Names have been changed to protect anonymity

1941 Oldsmobile with WWII Ration Sticker Donated to Rawhide

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” (Keats) and this 1941 Oldsmobile is no exception. This thing of beauty was recently donated to Rawhide, complete with a bit of history in its rear window—an ‘A’ sticker—a gasoline rationing sticker. No kidding. What did the sticker mean for the original owner and other 1940s car owners? We did some research, and here’s what we found.

Looking Back: World War II Rationingshare conserve sticker

To conserve resources during World War II, the government rationed common items such as food, clothing, and gasoline. In order to persuade individuals to be on board with the rationing system, the government utilized ads, radio shows, posters, and pamphlets to urge people to help out willingly.[1]
In May 1942, gasoline rationing took effect in the eastern half of America. President Roosevelt later decided to expand the ration to include the entire nation in December of that year. Then, the entire country banded together and found ways to manage the change, such as carpooling.

The Real Shortage

Even though President Roosevelt was adamant about the gasoline ration, limited fuel supply was not the issue. Rubber was. [2] Japanese armies had taken over plantations in the Dutch East Indies, which accounted for 90% of America’s rubber supply. The U.S.A. was in dire need of rubber for war efforts, and limiting Americans’ non-essential driving meant less wear and tear on their tires.

Classifying Essential and Nonessential Drivinggas ration

While the gasoline ration did affect Americans, people could fuel their cars enough to complete their essential driving. But what determined driving needs as essential or non-essential? Drivers received one of the following classifications:

  1. Class A drivers received only 3 gallons of gas per week. These were considered non-essential drivers, so they were allowed just enough gas to get to and from work.
  2. Class B drivers were considered more essential to the war effort, thus receiving 8 gallons of gas each week. These cars likely belonged to industrial workers or traveling salesmen.
  3. Class C drivers were deemed essential to the war effort and included police officers, doctors, and mail carriers.
  4. Class T drivers were truck drivers.
  5. Class X drivers included politicians and other VIPs.

The last three classifications—C, T, and X—had no gas restrictions due to their necessity.[2]

Along with their classification, drivers received a coupon book to be presented at the gas station each week. This booklet tracked every driver’s gasoline purchase and regulated it based on their classification.

What Would We Do Today?

So, according to the sticker, our recently donated Oldsmobile owner was a Class A driver – whose use of this car was deemed to be “nonessential.” Imagine if we had that imposed on us today. Would we be so compliant? We’ve become so accustomed to our lifestyle of convenience; it’s hard to imagine limitations such as our grandparents or great grandparents willingly experienced.

While the recently donated 1941 Oldsmobile is a thing of beauty to behold, it also reminds us to appreciate the freedoms we have. We are thankful on many counts for this car donation.

[1] World War II Rationing, http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1674.html

[2] Dec. 1, 1942: Mandatory Gas Rationing, Lots of Whining, http://www.wired.com/2009/11/1201world-war-2-gasoline-rationing/