Giles Ranch Fire Rebuild 30K Acres

$38,750 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 232 people in 24 months
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Shawna Mcgray
on behalf of Jenny Betschart
 BUCKLIN, KS
On Monday, 3/6/17, a wildfire raged through 350,000 acres of Clark County in SW Kansas consuming cattle, horses, farmland, including several homes on the Giles Ranch.  Winds spread the flames so quickly there was little time to rescue family, pets and livestock.  My brother C.J. watched his home, that had been handed down through the family, destroyed in minutes as he desperately loaded horses in trailers to get them to safety.  
Devasting Fires

For over 70 years, the Giles Ranch has been owned & operated by Roger & Cathy Giles and their family.  Shane & Jenny (Giles) Betschart, Brett & Katie (Giles) Shaw, C.J. & Molly (Giles) Beckford all live on the ranch and Megan Giles lives & works in Ft. Worth, TX.  
The fire has taken Jenny’s, Katie’s and Molly’s homes and thousands of acres of crops, ranch land, and cattle, in addition to several horses and thousands of dollars in equipment and buildings.

Jenny, Shane, Peyton, Ethan & Gentry Betschart
Jenny & Shane have 3 children. Peyton & Ethan ride horses, bottle-feed orphaned calves and throw baseballs at anything that has glove or bat.  When they are not out on the field or on the court, the boys are working with their dad, Shane, on a neighboring ranch fixing fence lines and checking water.  Gentry, their little sister keeps them in-line and loves helping her mom take care of the ins and outs of the Giles ranch office.  Their home and all of their belongings burned to the ground Monday.

Katie, Brett, Addie & Hayden Shaw
Katie & Brett have the most adorable kiddos, Hayden & Addie.  Addie’s, golden locks, can always be found chasing around her best friend (and cousin) Gentry.  Hayden’s big blue eyes are just like his sweet momma’s and he loves riding around the ranch checking cattle with her.  Both him and his sister, can’t wait for their daddy, Brett, to get home each evening from his work on his family’s feedlot in town.  In desperation Monday, Katie helped to rescue many of the horses on the ranch, however lost her own home, that she and her family designed and built.

Molly, C.J. & Giles Beckford
Molly & C.J. (my lil’ brother) and my one-year-old nephew,Giles, are up at the crack of dawn, daily dedicated to the care of the Giles Ranch.  Frigid, February nights checking calves and sweltering summer heat repairing water tanks.  Giles is living up to the family name and spends his days between naps and feeding cattle.  C.J., Molly and Giles are all safe and sound, but the flames that swept across pastures destroyed family keepsakes, homemade baby blankets, and somewhere in the ashes is Molly’s wedding ring.
This incredible family encompasses all that is good in our world today.  Hard working, dedicated, devoted as they gather together each day for lunch and for fellowship (and business).  The damage is extensive and the rebuild will be expensive.  
* 3 Family Homes, clothing and home essentials
* Hundreds of miles of fence
* Barns & Outbuildings
* Farming Equiment
* Feed
* Livestock
are just a few of the things needed.
They are going to rebuild and help rebuild the farms and ranches of their neighbors, but it will not just take time it will take money so donate to this GoFundMe page any donations that you make will be appreciated.  The Giles ranch exemplifies God-honoring, good stewardship of the gifts they are entrusted.

To know more about this amazing family follow the links below.
The Giles Ranch (produced by Bayer)
The Giles Ranch Website
When the Girls Came Back

Monday was destructive 
But
Tuesday, they were back working, hauling water to refill water tanks for dehydrated livestock until the pumps can work again.  
Tuesday, assessing the damage and easing the suffering of animals beyond saving.
Tuesday, burying the dead and rescuing calves to bottle feed.
Tuesday, counting blessings and back to work.   

Monday destruction 
But
Today you are praying and donating for tomorrow.
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Today was a joyous day on the Giles Ranch. Ethan Betschart, Jenny's son, celebrated his 8th birthday surrounded by family from all over the country. Family that had been sending lots of love and prayers from a distance were able to make the trip and come down to lift spirits and hay bales!

It is the perfect day to end this amazing campaign. It has been such reviving experience to have the opportunity to see this family, this community and all of the friends and strangers who have come together to be a part of it. The funds you have put together will be shared among the 3 families to rebuild their own homes, subsidize living expenses and to rebuild their community. The damage caused by the fire truly has been overshadowed by the giving of so many. The Giles girls and the rest of their families can not contain the appreciation and thanksgiving to everyone.

C.J. and the other members of the Giles family know that the this will be long process, not only for them but for the hundreds of families throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas that have suffered great losses. If you would like to contribute to others affected or know anyone who would, the following links can provide those opportunities. Jenny serves on the board of the Ashland Community Foundation and is committed to making sure those families affected by the fires get the support they need.

Ashland Community Foundation
http://www.ashlandcf.com/

http://texashillcountry.com/texas-panhandle-wildfire-relief-donate/

Finally, I know not everyone who donated shares my beliefs but I hope you can share the hope in these final thoughts.

I am amazed daily by God's power and this whole experience has solidified any doubt that ever had crossed my mind that he has hand in all of our lives. Last week when I was hearing bits and pieces, I kept telling myself God does not cause this damage.... He uses it. After a week on the ranch I have seen how He has used each an every bit.

The fire swept through the ranch so quickly it was nearly devoured within an hour.....God saved every single person on the ranch.

The fire consumed 90% percent of the ranch....God saved a few wheat pastures, one of which Katie found refuge in while the flames spread around it.

The fire took 3 family homes....God saved the grandparent's home, a one bedroom guest house (that was original home on the ranch), a older ranch house (So that Betscharts and the Beckfords have been able to move back on the ranch, to handle daily ranch tasks)

The fire took several barns, workshops, trucks other pieces of equipment.....God saved a few barns including the one protecting my brother, C.J., and a ranch hand, Laura, as they beat down the flames that surrounded them.

The fire took hundreds of livestock and wildlife....God saved the bulls, several hundreds of the herd that were grazing on wheat pasture.

The fire that has costs estimating in the millions......God has provided financial support through donations, labor, and materials to rebuild.

"Every good and perfect give is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

I am ending the campaign with love, hope and appreciation.
Thank you so much for all you have done to show God's "good and perfect gifts".
Gifts of giving, working, sharing, praying and encouragement....together they will rebuild because all of you.
Molly, Jenny & Katie still smiling
Megan G w/ Vigil a volunteer from IN
Ashland is still Welcoming!!
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Howdy, y'all it's been a busy week.

By Tuesday, the dust has settled. The morning was a chilly 27 as we began to sift through the remains of C.J. and Molly's home. I constantly have to remind myself, this is a working ranch, like many of the ranches that suffered from this engulfing fire. There is no time to stop and dig through memories. C.J. and his family can't take the day off to go through donated items and determine what fits. They are working, to get back to work.
So throughout the week, there has been a steady crew of family digging through each of the homes setting aside items that were scorched but had a story. Their were moments of disappointment when discovering meaningful pieces had disappeared followed by tears joy when Molly's and C.J.'s wedding rings were uncovered from the debris.

The ranch is still working to get all the pumps up and running and they nearly secured what remains their heard. The surviving horses have been picked up and brought back out to the ranch and the bottle calves have been moved to yard that can take care of them. Jenny's and Molly's families have started to settle into their places and Katie's family may be moving back onto the ranch in the few weeks and into a R.V. Megan (the Giles' youngest sister) has been spray painting and trying out new pinterest ideas to help make them a little more comfortable.
Mrs. Giles and Aunt Trudy, have been watching kiddos and washing clothes nearly non-stop since last week. God's grace and love is in her heart and she is always so thankful all that are helping and the little blessings that constantly running around the house. Mr. Giles never seems to never stop...we wave as we pass on the dirt roads criss-crossing the ranch and he shared a hug and a big thank you when we passed in person today.

When I arrived earlier this week, I was shocked to see how widespread the devastation was across the land. However, throughout the week my heart has been opened to its underlying beauty. Truckloads of deliveries of hay, pipe, fencing material, heavy machinery showing up to help rebuild. Gathering at the make-shift office and Jenny's for lunch and snacks that have been graciously prepared by neighbors, family, and friends. Cowboys, fence builders, and ranch hands sitting down for a bite before heading back out for an afternoon of work. This land has brought people together, not only on the Giles Ranch but all over Clarke County, Kansas and Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.
But above all this land has brought appreciation. Every member of the Giles family offers a hug or a handshake of gratitude and thankfulness to everyone they encounter. The volunteers and those who have donated are thankful for the hard working family ranches, that put food on our tables. This land has made me thankful to God for protecting those that I love and for allowing me the opportunity to help them so that they can help others.

This campaign to help the Giles families has been such overwhelming experience. The Giles girls are not aware of how much has been raised but they are so humbled by amazing outreach from everyone. The response has been greater than I ever dreamed and I continue to get teary-eyed with each Thank You note I write. Tomorrow will be the 10th and final day of the campaign, I never imagined that so many would care and/or share their story. I will provide a facebook site that you follow along with their progress and the progress of the Ashland community as it continues to rebuild. I will also provide other site that you can continue to contribute too and know that your contribution will go to victims of the fire that are in need.
Tonight I want to post a couple of pictures of fun & hope from the Giles Ranch. Thank you so much for all the love and appreciation for this family and all of those who are struggling.
The coffee mug made it!
Boys + Ash = instant camo
A wheat pasture with newborn calves
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Howdy,

It has been one week, since that destructive day. Yet just as that beautiful article making the rounds on FB has stated "Out of the ashes, we rise". This morning we rose, but the ashes were rising...and blowing....and swirling. The winds this morning were fierce and without any vegetation to secure the soil, dust & ash coated the sky with a thick grey-yellow haze. The air quality was so poor, the mechanic asked us all not to travel on the ranch in fear that the tiny particulates would damage our vehicles.
So we stayed in town and helped out at the 4-H community center, separating out donated clothing, toiletries, bedding etc onto rows of tables, There was a steady flow of those dropping items off to those stopping in to pick things up. Neighborhood kids, spent the first day of spring break folding clothing and lining up row of shoes. I'm not sure how times I heard...."Do you think is a for a boy or a girl?" Even lil' Giles got in on the fun.
Those that came in only picked up what they needed. Young families, taking only a one or two packages of diapers, young ranch hands picking up a pair of jeans, chapstick and Visine, an elderly couple looking through a stack of long-sleeve shirts, making comments on how sweet everyone has been.
We spent the afternoon getting the one bedroom house that Molly's grandfather and great-grandfather purchased in the 40's. So last night Molly, C.J. and Giles got to sleep in a place of their own, just down the hill from Molly's parents.
Thank you so much for all that you have done to share their story. I don't want to dwell on the destruction, but we had to drive off the road in several places because the bridges are burned out. You can can see the exhaustion in the dusty faces as every member of the family, shares hugs and thank yous at every passing. Please continue to share their story, updates and for keeping them in your hearts.
*****
Sorry, for the delay I started to send this last night but we were wiped out. This morning we are headed out to C.J.'s house this morning. I will update you with pictures of what we find.
One of the grazing pastures.
Giles helping at the 4-H c. center.
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We made it to Kansas safely. I had read articles and seen photos. But, until you see the rolling fields blackened to the dirt and the smell of smoke and ash still lingering. We didn't see any signs of fire until we crossed the Kansas state line. I took some pictures from the road, but it was too dark by the time I got to Ashland to get pictures from the ranch.
We've been heard so many stories of people that saved houses with water hoses, families standing in green winter wheat fields watching the pastures around them go up in flames. Coupled with incredibly acts of generosity. Hay is being delivered from all over the country to aid all the ranchers in the Ashland, KS area. Fencing equipment donations and volunteers willing to work. Neighbors opening up their homes, rental homes, RV spots to help house the volunteers and familes. This incredible community has poured out love and fellowship all around.

We are headed out to the ranch tomorrow morning. My boys are looking forward to bottle feeding calves and playing with their cousins, they both loaded up baseball equipment, footballs, and basketballs. We are going to spend the day going through what remains of C.J. & Molly's house. They are not sure when & where they will begin to rebuild, as I have mentioned earlier this family's priorities after God, and their families safety, is securing the safety of their animals. So right now they are establishing fenced pastures, feed and water to all the surviving cattle. They have buried all the animals they have lost to date and are working to secure a safe place pasture to finish out the calving season.

Ironically, their firetruck was in the shop for maintenance, as they were preparing for a control burn, before the destruction last Monday. So it was not damaged in the fire. However, many of the saddles, and other equipment was lost when the horse barn went down.

Talking to C.J. tonight, I was amazed of the strength he has shown during this tragedy. He will tell you, that it is of the love of his wife and the rest of his family and community that is the strength. They have continued to express their awe and appreciation for all of the gifts they have been given and have discussed how they can use these blessings to help those around them who are in need as well. They have continued to work tirelessly to get things back to "workable" and only have stopped to celebrate Sunday Mass today. Please continue to share their story and updates and I will continue to post on their progress.
Driving into Ashland
Collapsed Barn outside Ashland
L side headed towards Ashland
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Read a Previous Update
Tanya Skelly Giard
24 months ago
1
1

Heartbreaking!!! My kids are 21, 18 and 16 and all of them have such wonderful memories of this home! I have pictures of Granddad and Grandma holding each of them as babies on the front porch of this home. This has got to be the hardest time for all of them. I can't wait to get there and hug them all. Thank you for the update.

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Sherry Friedley
24 months ago

I wanted to donate, but the page says no longer accepting donations

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Teri Wolff
24 months ago

Very well said, God will and has always supplied all of our needs. God bless to each and every one of you who helped physically and/or financially. I pray that the families faith will continue to grow realizing the power God has in our lives.

+ Read More
Shelly Dyer Strauss
24 months ago

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family!! We are longtime family friends with the Skelly's and wish you all nothing but the best!!

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$38,750 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 232 people in 24 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created March 8, 2017
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$50
Anonymous
24 months ago
DH
$100
David Howell
24 months ago

God bless this family!

$100
Anonymous
24 months ago
$100
Anonymous
24 months ago
JD
$100
Jen and Jared Duley
24 months ago

Just heard your podcast. We are so sorry for all you have lost. Praying for you and your community.

TS
$100
Tom & Shirley Skipper
24 months ago

Our prayers are with you!

SS
$100
Sonja Skelly
24 months ago
2
2

Sending you and your families so much sympathy for your losses. Love and strength to you all. -Sonja Skelly (Tanya Giard's sister)

Tanya Skelly Giard
24 months ago
1
1

Heartbreaking!!! My kids are 21, 18 and 16 and all of them have such wonderful memories of this home! I have pictures of Granddad and Grandma holding each of them as babies on the front porch of this home. This has got to be the hardest time for all of them. I can't wait to get there and hug them all. Thank you for the update.

+ Read More
Sherry Friedley
24 months ago

I wanted to donate, but the page says no longer accepting donations

+ Read More
Teri Wolff
24 months ago

Very well said, God will and has always supplied all of our needs. God bless to each and every one of you who helped physically and/or financially. I pray that the families faith will continue to grow realizing the power God has in our lives.

+ Read More
Shelly Dyer Strauss
24 months ago

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family!! We are longtime family friends with the Skelly's and wish you all nothing but the best!!

+ Read More
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