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Archives for March 2015

Make a Difference in the Lives of Adolescents with Car Donations Milwaukee

Rawhide makes an incredible difference in the lives of adolescents. Rawhide’s car donations Milwaukee charity fundraiser makes it possible for many adolescents to receive educational and counseling services that literally change lives. If Rawhide’s summer camp, school and counseling programs were offered in my hometown, it could have made a world of difference for my second cousin. Unfortunately, there are no car donation charities near my hometown. Neither are there programs dedicated to helping adolescents without father figures. Unfortunately, there was no educational or counseling program available to help my second cousin.

Born in 1987, my second cousin Tommy was born to my 15 year old cousin Amy. His father was never part of the picture and was incarcerated for the majority of Tommy’s youth. Amy put her life back together after Tommy’s birth and graduated from both high school and college, earning a degree in Psychology by Tommy’s tenth birthday. By this time Tommy had two additional brothers but no father figure or role model to provide support and guidance in the formative years of his life.

By the time Tommy reached his teenage years he fought with his mother daily and often was violent. At 17 he was thrown out of the house and his grandmother took him in. Since Tommy had ADHD and learning disabilities, he struggled with homework and did not earn his GED until age 21. After that, he struggled to support himself. He worked for a while as a factory worker but hurt his back at an early age and had to discontinue employment. He has filed for disability but has since been rejected. Recently he spent several months in jail for drug possession. Since being released from prison he’s been committed to being drug free since he’s now a father. He sees his children on the weekends and cuts wood part-time in order to help his grandmother with the rent.

I can imagine how different Tommy’s future would be if he would have gone to a program like Rawhide’s. He would have earned a useful vocational skill, such as automotive repair or welding, in order to obtain full-time employment. Perhaps mentor and counseling programs would have prevented his stint in jail. I’ll never know what could have been. All I know is that I wish that there was a program like Rawhide’s in my hometown to help adolescents make the right choices for their lives.

Rawhide’s programs can only serve a limited number of adolescents. There are so many more teenagers out there who will never receive the opportunity to make the most out of their lives. Unfortunately, there is only so much money to fund programs such as these.

What can you do to help? Consider making a vehicle donation to Rawhide’s Milwaukee car donations charity. Rawhide’s donate a car to charity program is simple and easy, simply fill out the online form and schedule your free pick-up. Like other Milwaukee car donation charities, Rawhide accepts car donations of both working and non-working vehicles. Make a world of difference in the lives of youth and donate a car to Rawhide.

car donations Milwaukee

Tips on Finding the Best Donate Car Milwaukee Charity

Donating a car to a vehicle donation charity is a great way to give back to your community and make a difference in the lives of others. There are a lot of car donation charities to choose from right here in the Milwaukee area. Some, like Rawhide, use car donations to raise money for educational and recreational programs for youth. Other Milwaukee car donations charities help the homeless, people with physical disabilities, or people suffering from terminal illnesses. Before you donate your vehicle to charity, make sure that you do some research first to ensure that you are donating to the best donate car Milwaukee charity out there.

First of all, if you have a car to donate, make sure that you donate it to one of the Milwaukee car donation charities that is recognized by the IRS to be a charitable organization. You will only receive a tax deduction when you donate a car to a qualified organization, such as a 501©(3) organization. These organizations are recognized by the government to be legitimate charitable institutions, and include non-profit and religious organizations. Choose to donate your car to a 501©(3) organization in order to ensure that you will receive a tax deduction for your vehicle donation. If the charity you choose is a 501©(3) organization, you can also be rest assured that it is a legitimate charity dedicated to helping improve the lives of others. Rawhide is proud to be a 501©(3) non-profit organization.

Second, if you are planning on donating a vehicle to charity, make sure that you are eligible to receive a tax deduction for donating your vehicle. In order to qualify for a tax deduction for your car donation, you’ll need to itemize your deductions when you fill out your tax return. Your deduction cannot add up to more than 50% of your gross yearly income if you are donating to a public charity, like Rawhide Inc. For example, if you made $24,000 gross income in 2014, the maximum amount you can receive from your charitable donation in 2015 is $12,000. If you donate to a private foundation, your total deduction cannot equal more than 30% of your gross annual income. This means that if you still made a gross income of $24,000, the maximum amount of your tax deduction would be only $8,000. If you are planning on making multiple car donations in the same year or are going to donate a vehicle that is worth a considerable amount make sure that you donate a vehicle to a public charity rather than a private foundation in order to maximize the amount of your tax deduction.

Lastly, before you donate a car to charity, read the charity’s most recent reviews in order to ensure that the charity has a track record of making the process of donating a vehicle a pleasant experience. If the majority of reviewers had a less than positive experience, think twice before donating to that particular charity. You can go here to read Rawhide’s reviews.

donate car Milwaukee


Winter Adventure Camp Brings Out Best in Rawhide Guys

Remember, as a child, when you would get excited for the first snow of the year or you would spend all afternoon with friends riding your sled down snow-covered hills? Many of the Rawhide guys were not fortunate enough to experience that kind of fun. Rawhide’s Winter Adventure Camp is designed to change that.

Winter Adventure Camp – Fun by DesignRawhide Rock Wall Climbing

For one week in February, Rawhide guys take a break from school to experience winter fun – an event absent before Rawhide. Activities for our Winter Adventure Camp week include:

  1. Rock climbing
  2. Snow tubing
  3. Snowshoeing
  4. Floor hockey
  5. Snow volleyball
  6. Cross-country skiing
  7. Ice fishing

In addition to these winter activities, the guys also take part in a sled race, obstacle course, and snowball-throwing challenge. At the end of the week, they swap stories about their “clever” team strategies, helping one another, and the fun they shared.

Setting Ranch Records

Rock wall climbing helps develop character and can bring out the best in a guy. And this winter, they set new records.

  1. More climbs were recorded per guy than any previous year.
  2. More guys also completed the most difficult portion of the rock wall than ever before.
  3. A few guys even climbed the most difficult portion twice and attempted a third time!

House parents and youth care workers got involved as well. At least one houseparent or youth care worker from each house participated in the rock wall climb, setting another Winter Adventure Week record!

Building Character

While challenging the guys physically, the rock wall also challenged a few emotionally as well. An argument earlier in the day jeopardized Pete* and Dennis’s* opportunity to take part in climbing. After some discussion, the staff graciously allowed Pete and Dennis to participate. Determined to prove that the staff made the right decision, the two young men demonstrated good character by encouraging each other and offering helpful advice to the very person they had argued with earlier that day.

The guys continued to bond and help each other in other activities, too. Woodshop instructor, Jerry Trzebiatowski, led the skiing activities, and he noticed how willing they were to help each other. The more experienced skiers could have taken off down the trail, but instead, Jerry saw selflessness and mutual respect among the guys. “I saw guys of their own free will, hanging back and offering advice. They weren’t thinking about themselves.” They took the opportunity to make sacrifices, so others were able to understand and enjoy the activity.

Creating Fun Memories

Suffice it to say that the guys “had a blast” and created new, fun memories—from kissing the fish they caught during ice fishing to laughing about how many times they went flying off their snow tubes. They Rawhide Awards Winning Teamworked together, experienced new activities, and had fun. At the end of the week, camp organizers totaled awarded points to determine the winning team. All the houses earned points based on how well their group performed in the activities as well as their behavior throughout the week.

In what was a very tight competition, the Gillespie House was named the winning house in the 2015 Winter Adventure Week. During this announcement, the Starr Academy auditorium filled with chants of “Whose house? G-House!” They were awarded an oversized Olaf doll from the Disney movie Frozen.

Winter Adventure Camp brought out the best in the Rawhide guys as they embraced the fun times and supported each other when adversity came. This was the first time a lot of the guys had the chance to play and have fun in winter, providing them with one winter week that they will never forget.

Why the Frozen Tundra Beckoned Fred Flagg

Not many people would consider moving from the warmth of Texas to the bitter cold of Wisconsin in the middle of winter, but Fred Flagg is different. Fred recently joined us at Rawhide for a Youth Care Worker job. And he was drawn here by something more powerful than Wisconsin’s arctic blasts. Fred saw a chance to help troubled youth change their lives, an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Drawn to Rawhide

Friends helped Fred find Rawhide. Rawhide employees, James and Kristie Marsh, previously worked with Fred at the Air Land Emergency Resource Team (ALERT), a Christian disaster relief and emergency services training association. The Marshes found their way to Rawhide, and Fred followed shortly after.

Fred desired to work in a boarding school, and Rawhide’s faith-based mission caught his eye. He believes, “If you take God out of a boarding school, what else do you have to teach them? You just have to teach them they have power within themselves. Without God, there is no hope.” Fred feels that Rawhide’s mission gives the guys hope they wouldn’t find anywhere else. This allows Fred to show the guys a different way of life so they can make a powerful change.

Building New Relationships

Fred was relieved to see the group-oriented, family-style environment. This format helped him build relationships with the guys and made his transition to Rawhide much smoother. When Fred had a question, someone was there to help. “Everyone is so supportive. Working with the same staff day in and day out builds family-type relationships that become healthy models for the guys. They observe, see the confidence, and feel a sense of safety.”

Fred proved to be a fast learner. As the guys were getting to know Fred and the kind of youth care worker he would be, one of the guys tested him by shirking an assigned task. Fred confronted the guy and asked him if he was supposed to be completing the task. The guy responded, “Man, you learn too fast!” After that, the guys stopped trying to cut corners and started respecting Fred.

Overcoming Challenges

The job can get challenging when the guys question his authority. When this happens, Fred remains calm yet firm, and if needed, passes the issue along the chain of command. “If I ever am unsure about something I have to decide on the spot, I lean towards the side of safety and discuss it with the house father later. They support you, and back you up, and give you the authority you need to handle the situation.”

Great Staff Support

Fred feels supported from many areas of Rawhide—from house parents to teachers to therapists. “The staff deals with these guys all the time, so they provide input on each guy’s personality and how to work with them in each situation.” This constant communication and endless support have helped Fred overcome some challenges he faced.

Why Fred Chose a Rawhide Youth Care Worker Job

A youth care worker job can be stressful at times, but Fred feels the reward far outweighs any challenges that arise. Fred’s favorite part of the job is seeing the guys open up. He says he loves to hear them communicate their stresses, desires, and goals and share past experiences that help Fred understand their pasts.

Seeing the guys make a change for the better is what Fred loves most about being a youth care worker at Rawhide. “I think that’s one of the reasons I came here, to show the guys that there is a better way to live. Seeing them make a change… that’s one of the most rewarding things.”

Does this sound like you?

If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of troubled youth, explore the possibility of a Rawhide Youth Care Worker Job.

Over 30 Years of Trust — Rawhide Vehicle Donation Program

Non-profit organizations soliciting car donations is pretty commonplace today. However, the Rawhide vehicle donation program has been around for over 30 years—long before most of these organizations were formed. And for those 30+ years, donors have trusted Rawhide to deliver a maximum tax deduction and use proceeds to fund programs that make a genuinely positive impact on trouble youth.

The idea to accept donated cars sprang from a casual conversation between Rawhide founder, John Gillespie, and a friend. Their discussion about developing non-profit fundraising transitioned to car donations—something John had never considered. When John returned to the ranch, he began implementing the new idea on a small scale by soliciting car donations from local individuals. Rawhide staff initially used these cars for quickly getting to the other side of the ranch or taking trips into town for supplies.

The car donations increased over the years, and the Gillespies recognized this could be a significant source of funding for Rawhide programs. Eventually, the vehicle donation team started more formal marketing and advertising campaigns to raise awareness and bring in more cars. The community took notice, and the wheels on Rawhide’s Vehicle Donation Program started rolling. All of this helped Rawhide grow into the organization it is today, and because of your donations, we are able to help more youth.

Tax Laws Change

The vehicle program grew steadily, reaching its highest point in 2004 until the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 changed the way we handle vehicle donations. Prior to 2004, a donor could claim up to a $5,000 tax deduction on the vehicle based on the estimated worth from a reputable resource such as Kelly Blue Book. Since 2004, a donor can claim only up to a $500 tax deduction at the time of donation. To claim more, the donor must wait until the vehicle is sold and then can claim the amount for which the vehicle sells.

This new law complicated the donation process, and consequently, vehicle donations dropped the following year by a startling 55%. While this change did affect Rawhide, our diligent vehicle program team worked hard to adapt to the new process. They strengthened marketing efforts, broadened the spectrum, and found new ways to attract car donors and increase donation sales prices.

Maximum Efforts

Rawhide’s current vehicle donation process simplifies the donor’s steps and gets more for the donation to maximize the donor’s tax deduction. Donating to Rawhide has many benefits, including:

  1. Free and fast pick-up and transport, nationwide
    No matter where you are located, Rawhide will arrange to pick up your vehicle within 1 to 2 business days—at no cost to you!
  2. Maximum possible tax deduction by inspecting and evaluating the vehicle’s condition and value
    Your donated vehicle will be inspected and evaluated to determine its condition and the best course of action in order to get you the best tax deduction possible. On average, Rawhide vehicle donors receive a 48% higher tax deduction than other car donation programs.
  3. Funding for Rawhide’s mission to change lives of at-risk youth and families
    Car donation proceeds go directly to the programs serving Rawhide’s at-risk youth and families, so vehicle donors can make an impact in their communities.

Making an Impact

Vehicle donations make it possible for us to help more troubled youth. If this has inspired you to help give Rawhide’s at-risk youth a second chance, watch this video to learn about the process:

Rawhide Youth Care Worker – The Inside Scoop

“If I were to ever pick a job, this would be it.”

Those were the first words out of Jim Eckstein’s mouth when asked about his career as a Rawhide Youth Care Worker (YCW). He believes that working with youth is his calling and that Rawhide is where he is supposed to be. “It’s what I’m good at. It’s what I enjoy,” he added. Apparently so. He has served as a Senior Resident YCW at Rawhide for nearly four years and counting. He currently works with guys in our About Face Program.

One-of-a-Kind Opportunity

He first heard about Rawhide at a college career fair and loved the idea of spending time with at-risk youth, helping them grow in maturity and responsibility. Perks, such as free housing and meals, were just the icing on the cake for a recent college graduate, too!

Jim had worked with youth in the inner city as well as at a camp prior to Rawhide. And with Rawhide’s comprehensive training program for YCWs, he was not worried about this new chapter in his life. However, he acknowledges that he learned the most on the job, “I’ve become more skilled by trial and error. I’ve worked here so long; I know what works and what doesn’t work.”

House Parents for Mentors

In addition to training and on-the-job learning, he also has some great mentors. “I work with some incredible people—mainly Ed and Patti Dedmon.” The Dedmons are Rawhide house parents at the Smith Home going on 9 years now and have supervised Jim since he started. “Ed’s been like a father, a best friend, a mentor,” said Jim. All Rawhide YCWs have house parents as mentors. YCWs find this support reassuring, especially as new situations arise.

Structured Home Environment by Design

Life in the home follows a consistent schedule for the guys, YCWs, and house parents alike. In the Smith Home, Ed and Patti keep a consistent schedule day in and day out. Jim admits this can be monotonous at times, but he understands the significance. Many of our guys come from hectic homes that leave them uncertain about what to expect. Consistency and structure help them feel safe because they can anticipate what each day will bring.

Managing the Flow

Every job has challenges and the life of a YCW is no exception. They typically work seven days straight followed by three or four days off. During his seven days on, Jim’s schedule includes:

  1. Waking up at 7 am with the guys
  2. Eating breakfast with them
  3. Joining them for lunch
  4. Participating in the evening schedule from 3:30 pm until about 9:30 pm

Since the hours are spread out during the day, at times the days can seem quite long. Jim has learned how to counteract that by de-stressing during his morning and afternoon breaks as well as his days off. He recommends, “Learn how to unwind and get away when you need to get away.”

The Rewarding Part

Jim admits that it took him a while to learn the ins and outs of the position. It’s a slow process but well worth it. One of Jim’s favorite parts is teaching the guys new life skills. He’s been able to teach snowboarding, doing laundry, and respecting women. He believes in teaching guys things that will help them succeed in their lives after Rawhide.

It might be 10+ years down the road, but one day these guys will realize everything the YCWs did for them. This is how Jim sees it: “They DO need help; they DO need to feel safe; and they DO need God.” As a YCW, Jim lives out his passion every day by helping the guys grow and learn. “I’m really here for them. And when the challenging days come, and there are always challenging days, I just keep reminding myself that I’m here for them.”

Does this sound like you?

If you’re interested in learning about being a youth care worker for Rawhide, read more about it.

30 Children and Still Counting – Treatment Foster Care Parents

24 years and 30 foster children later, Dar and Joan Newell are still opening their home, hearts, and arms to Rawhide youth. As Rawhide treatment foster care parents, they provide a positive, supportive home environment and show each guy what unconditional love feels like.

Rawhide’s Treatment Foster Care Matching Process

Before the Rawhide Treatment Foster Care Program places any youth, the treatment team makes every effort to ensure the placement is a good fit for both sides. Each new placement begins with the following process:

  1. Rawhide sends a guy’s background information to potential foster parents for review.
  2. The foster parents determine if they think the youth will succeed in their family.
  3. If they decide to move forward, they visit the ranch and meet with the young man.
  4. If the first meeting goes well, the guy spends a weekend with the couple in their home, as a trial run.
  5. Lastly, our treatment team meets with both sides to discuss perspectives of the weekend visit. This part is essential because both the young man and the foster parents must feel right about the match.

The Newells appreciate that Rawhide gives the youth an opportunity to see their home before making a decision. That way, they aren’t placed blindly into a living situation. This pre-placement process is just one reason Dar and Joan have chosen to be Rawhide foster parents. Rawhide stands out to the Newells in other ways, too.

Why They Chose Rawhide

Prior to Rawhide, the Newells had been foster parents for a few other organizations. However, they prefer working with Rawhide Treatment Foster Care Program for a number of reasons.

  1. Thorough placement process
  2. Ongoing support 24/7
  3. Delivery on promises
  4. Success of treatment programs
  5. Faith-based organization

Joan explains, “We can’t say enough about the support of Rawhide, being there for us 24/7 every day of the year. No matter when it is, they are always there to support us. Holiday or not.” She tells her friends who work for county foster programs, “Rawhide Ranch is where you want to be.” She explains that Rawhide stands by their foster parents and follows through on promises. Dar agrees that Rawhide’s support has helped during difficult times with their youth.

Joan also admires Rawhide’s residential treatment programs. Many of the guys entering into Rawhide’s treatment foster care have completed either the About Face Program or Standard Residential Program. Joan states that she can tell when a guy has been through a Rawhide residential program prior to joining their family unit. The guys are accustomed to living in a structured environment, gentlemanly, well-mannered, and respectful.

Another reason the Newells chose Rawhide over other foster care programs is the faith-based mission. Dar and Joan desire to make a spiritual impact on the young men that come through their home. Dar and Joan really want to see these guys turn their lives around.

The Ups and the Downs

Joan admits one of the hardest parts of being a foster parent is when a young man chooses not to change. She wants them to understand and believe that they can have a better life. The Newells know that every youth needs to learn his own way and that sometimes a guy needs to hit rock bottom before he wants to climb out of a pit.

Dar loves the turning point—when he finally sees his foster child changing and growing. “It’s a blessing to see a young man desire to move forward.” Although, he admits that it’s a process and that sometimes a guy has a hard time shaking bad habits. There are ups and downs, but they work through them together. The Newells love being able to make a positive impact on these guys and show them they are loved even when they make mistakes.

Dar adds, “Through good times and bad, being a foster parent is worth it. When the guy understands the importance of turning his life around and even when he doesn’t—it is worth it. Whether he sees how much you love him right away or he doesn’t until years down the road, it is worth it.”

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about becoming Rawhide Treatment Foster Care parents, please call us at 1-888-745-7445.

Rawhide Director of Education Lives His Passion

Imagine having a job that doesn’t feel like “work.” Some of us only dream of such luck. Others set the goal and achieve it. Of course it helps when you feel called to a profession. Rawhide Director of Education, Dan Birr, feels that way. After working in schools for 35 years, he still loves coming to work every day! Today, Dan oversees the students, teachers, and educational facilities at Rawhide’s Starr Academy.

Dan’s Path to Rawhide

Dan began his career in 1979 teaching science and math in Denver, CO. Two years later, he transitioned to teaching physical education, plus coaching the school’s football and basketball teams. After moving back to Wisconsin in the early 1990s, Dan decided to go back to school for a Master’s degree in school administration. He graduated from UW-Whitewater in 1994 and has been a principal or vice principal ever since and continues to coach.

During his time as a school administrator in northeastern Wisconsin, Dan met Rawhide employees who encouraged him to pursue opportunities with Rawhide. As a result, Dan and his wife became Rawhide Treatment Foster Care parents in 2003.

Later that same year, a teaching position opened up at Starr Academy. Dan applied because he was sold on Rawhide and the mission. A few months after he started teaching here, the Director of Education position opened up. Dan transferred into that role and has been changing lives and excelling as Rawhide’s Director of Education for the last 12 years.

His Purpose at Starr Academy

As Starr Academy’s Director of Education, Dan serves as the school’s principal and administrator. His purpose is two-fold:

  1. To ensure quality education
  2. To help the guys like learning again

“My main purpose is to help the school meet the guys’ needs and to also encourage and help the teachers offer the highest quality education to the guys.” He achieves this by providing:

  1. A safe environment for the teachers to teach and the students to learn
  2. The necessary resources for the teachers to give the guys a great education

Additionally, Dan aims to change the students’ attitude toward school. He searches for passionate teachers excited to challenge and help the Rawhide guys—teachers who:

  1. Understand the need to make modifications in their lessons to help all guys understand the material
  2. Develop strong relationships with the guys, so they look forward to coming to school each day
  3. Challenge the guys to go above and beyond, encouraging them to learn more than they thought they could

What Drives Dan

Dan loves coming to work each day because of the guys. “My favorite part—and it’s always been my favorite part—is working with the students.” Dan was afraid he’d lose touch with students when he earned his Master’s degree in school administration. In order to stay in touch, he continued coaching, walked the hallways between classes, and helped where needed.

Dan is quick to add that in addition to his love for helping the guys, he appreciates the teachers and administration staff. They work together well and treat one another like family. As a team, they do everything they can to inspire and equip the students to lead healthy, responsible lives. They share a common goal for the guys to leave Rawhide positively changed for the better. They do everything in their power to make sure they succeed.

The Life of a Rawhide Car Donation

You’re watching TV and a Rawhide commercial about wanting all cars—the good, the bad, and the ugly—catches your eye. You glance out the window at your aging car taking up space in your driveway and think, “I’ve wanted to get rid of that eyesore for months now!” So you decide to donate it to help make a difference in the lives of troubled young men. You consider calling us at 1-800-Rawhide or visiting our website to start the donation process, and you’re curious about how it all works.

  1. What happens when I donate my car?
  2. What does Rawhide do with my car?
  3. How does my car donation help the lives of troubled youth?

Your questions can be answered in these five steps!

Step One: Get the Ball Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

Running or not, your Rawhide car donation benefits troubled youth in your community. Once you call us, you have two options for off-loading the car. You can choose to:

  1. Take it to a designated drop off location or
  2. Arrange a pick up at your home or mechanic’s garage

No matter which option you choose, you pay absolutely nothing! If you choose to leave it at a drop off location, we will email you information regarding the locations in your community. If you choose to have us pick it up, we will call to make arrangements with you.

Before you donate your car, make sure to remove all of your personal belongings from it. Remember to check the CD player! For more tips, view the car donation check list.

Step Two: We’ll Pick It Up

By now, you’ve either dropped off your car or given us permission to pick it up. Next, we need your vehicle identification number (VIN) to verify we are picking up the correct vehicle. Once we confirm your VIN, we’ll send out a hauler to pick up your car within one to two business days. Pretty quick, huh?

We will also pick up the signed title as well as any other paperwork we may need.

Step Three: Looking Under the Hood

All donated cars receive a thorough 100-point inspection, which provides accurate details on running condition and interior/exterior condition. This allows:

  1. Us to learn everything about your vehicle
  2. Donors to maximize tax deductions
  3. Buyers to make well-informed purchasing decisions

Sometimes we perform minor repairs on vehicles brought back to the ranch. Whether we decide to repair the car or sell it “as is,” we clean the vehicle. Cleaning or “detailing” the vehicles provides valuable job training experience for the Rawhide guys. One misconception is that we use donated cars to teach our guys the art of auto mechanics. While they may assist in minor tasks, like changing a battery, they do not repair the cars. Cars are mainly used to raise money to fund programs that help our guys.

Step Four: Auction Time!

Once we process all the paperwork and verify all the information, it’s go time! Your vehicle is sold at one of two venues:

  1. Online at our eBay store
  2. At a wholesale, dealer-only live auction

We decide which venue is best based on the type of vehicle. Classic and collector cars find their way to our eBay store, while more common cars make their way to wholesale, dealer-only auctions located throughout the region.

Step Five: After the Sale—It’s all about the Guys

After the bidding stops and the lights are turned off, so to speak, what then? First, you get a receipt to claim a tax deduction. Then, earnings from the sale go towards funding our programs for troubled youth.

In the words of Bart Starr: “I can’t think of a better legacy to leave our children than contributing to Rawhide and giving youth and families a brighter future.”

If you would like to partner with us, please donate to Rawhide and leave a legacy. In a few simple steps, you can help give troubled youth and families a second chance for a brighter future.

Rawhide’s Starr Academy Inspires Troubled Youth

Our mission is a bit like the above quote as we strive to equip troubled youth to lead healthy, responsible lives. Moving from darkness to light requires education like the quote says, and we established our on-site school, Staff Academy, to help accomplish the goal. And we are proud to share that Starr Academy is accredited by the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation  (WRISA).

Why a School at Rawhide?

Before we had a school on the ranch, our guys attended a local public high school. We saw a need however, to bring in teachers who knew how to work with troubled youth and provide individualized instruction to help our guys succeed. So we started our high school on the ranch in 1980, which evolved into Starr Academy today. Rawhide teachers have experience working with at-risk youth and are more familiar with our students’ specific needs, treatment issues, and backgrounds. Furthermore, having a school on grounds simplifies communication between teachers, house parents, case managers, and therapists.

Unique Classroom Structure

While most schools group students by grade level, Starr Academy groups students by Rawhide programs.

  1. Guys in our Standard Residential Program live in the ABC, Aylward, and Gillespie Boys Homes and stay together during the day, moving from class to class as a group.
  2. Transitional Living Program  students live in our Cornerstone Group Home. They attend one of two schools depending on their learning levels and behavior tendencies. Some guys attend a local public high school, while others go to Starr Academy.
  3. Students in our HomePlus Alternative Education Program are grouped with guys from our Transitional Living Program at Starr Academy and then go to their homes in the community each night.
  4. Finally, guys in our About Face Service Corps live in the Smith and Carriage Homes. They rotate every 2 weeks between school at Starr Academy and job service projects in the community.

This grouping method works better from a disciplinary standpoint because the guys in each home are accustomed to being around one another. Familiarity and consistency make for better-behaved young men. However, the teachers are then faced with a challenge. How do they adapt their lessons for a classroom full of students with varied learning and reading levels?

All-Starr Teachers are Flexible and Adaptable

Our teachers remarkably modify their teaching materials to reach every student in their classroom, with ages ranging from 13-17 years old. Overcoming these obstacles makes the Starr Academy staff truly special. They have a passion for the guys and work hard to demonstrate how much they care about each young man and his academic progress. The guys notice, too. Young men often arrive at Rawhide with a negative attitude towards school. But after learning from our conscientious teachers, most of the guys start enjoying school and appreciate the opportunity to learn.

Year-Round Classes Offer Routine

Starr Academy is in session all year, with short breaks in the summer and around Christmas. Year-round school provides consistency for the guys and the opportunity to gain extra course credits. The teachers see it as a year-round ministry to teach and care for the guys. They adjust lesson plans to take advantage of warm-weather months for holding classes outside. For example, they do a pond study in science class and take physical education outside during the summer.

Weekly Class Schedule

Monday – Thursday

  1. Math
  2. Science
  3. English
  4. Social Studies


  1. Physical Education
  2. Wood Shop
  3. Art
  4. Golf (summer elective)
  5. Str8up
  6. Life Skills Class
  7. Activity Award Time

Str8Up is a time of fellowship with a special guest speaker. Speakers include Rawhide alumni, staff, and other notable individuals, like:

  1. Dick Bennett, legendary basketball coach
  2. Craig Culver, founder of the successful Culver’s Restaurant

Life Skills classes teach important skills regarding health, employment, finances, and mental toughness. For example, an upcoming class by Life Promotions will teach how to prevent and resist bullying.

Activity Award Time is granted to guys who have done well during the week. It rewards good behavior and motivates guys to continue improving. They can spend this time in the gym, weight room, or student center. Since this is an earned privilege, students who had disciplinary issues during the week attend a study hall during this time instead.

Starr Academy’s History and Recent Accreditation

Starr Academy, as we know it, has stood on the ranch for almost 20 years, but Rawhide’s school has been around longer than that. Let’s take a look at some key dates:

  • 1965 – John & Jan Gillespie founded Rawhide with Bart & Cherry Starr
  • 1965-1980 – Rawhide guys attended a local public high school
  • 1980 – Rawhide launched its own school and held classes in the old maintenance building
  • 1991 – Rawhide dedicated the school to Bart & Cherry Starr, renaming it Starr Academy
  • 1996 – The current Starr Academy building was constructed
  • 2005 – The school building was expanded to include the auditorium, student center, and 5 new classrooms

In recent history, Starr Academy was officially accredited with the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Association. After 3 years of preparation and paperwork and a site visit in October 2013, the school received official accreditation in September 2014. Accreditation is beneficial in the following situations:

  1. When Rawhide alumni apply to college
  2. When Starr Academy applies for grants
  3. When parents apply for tuition assistance to send their son to Starr Academy

Starr Academy has helped our guys turn their lives around. Over the years, our students have become better educated and more inspired through their education at Starr Academy. We are so thankful for our wonderful teachers and staff who have developed our school into the outstanding program it is today.

Vehicle Donation Green Bay Charities Use Donation Centers

Sometimes, when people are considering the benefits associated with vehicle donation Green Bay communities can benefit from, they wonder why charities would use this method of donation in the first place. Some people believe that when a charity uses vehicle donations as a form of contribution, this is somehow a negative thing.

Generally, they worry themselves with the thought that the donation processing center may somehow eat up the majority of the profits, leading to little gain from the donation. The truth is, charities that use donate a vehicle centers often have many different experiences, and there are many good reasons why a non-profit organization may choose to utilize car donation options.

Vehicle Donation Green Bay Process

When it comes to vehicle donation Green Bay, the process can be somewhat complex. The charity in question will need to obtain a car dealer license to ensure that vehicle donations are properly handled. The advantage of organizations actually getting their dealer’s license is mostly in the fact that the charity will not have to title any given cars in their own name. Because of this, the organization does not have to pay excess sales tax on the donation that they have been given.

Another complicated aspect of car donation is that all states typically come with their own requirements for handling the title of a vehicle and what has to be done with registered license plates. Usually, if a charity chooses to use a donation center, that center will understand the requirements for the state they are in. This means that when individuals in Green Bay donate a vehicle, the charity that benefits from the contribution will be able to stay within the guidelines of the law.

Charities want to ensure that the process of donating a car is smooth and simple for everyone involved, but there is often a level of expertise required to make this happen.

Using a Donation Center

One of the primary reasons that charities may use a donation center or service for their donated automobiles, is that it offers them an opportunity to get better prices for the vehicles that they obtain. Because of the large volume of vehicles that car donation centers regularly get, they can typically negotiate better prices, which allows more benefit for the charity itself. This price boost can be taken advantage of regardless of whether the car is sold thru an auction, given to a used-car dealer, or simply taken to the junk yard.

Car donation centers can also help charities to negotiate better prices when it comes to the costs incurred in auctioning and towing a donated vehicle. Large scale economies provide benefits to both the donor and the charity, as the amount the donor can claim for a tax deduction is often determined by the price at which the car was sold.

Regardless of whether a charity uses a donation center or not, car donations are a worthwhile way to contribute to society. If you have an old vehicle to get rid of, and want to help out an organization in need, you may want to donate your car today.