The IBEW is about so much more than getting the job done on the job site. Being a member of the brotherhood is also about bringing your time, talent, and skill back to your community. IBEW Local 1141 out of Oklahoma is a shining example of giving back to their community using their skills as union electricians.

Many brothers and sisters from Local 1141 have donated their expertise to Peppers Ranch, a one of a kind community 110 children and 13 families all dedicated to helping neglected and abused kids build a new life.

The goal of Peppers Ranch is to inspire children to reach their full potential, to try new things, and to boost their self esteem. To make this a possibility, Peppers Ranch organizes a number of different programs from the kids at the ranch, one of the most successful is the equine program.

Thanks to IBEW Local 1141, the equine program can positively impact the lives of these wonderful children year-round.

To learn more about Peppers Ranch, visit their website: click here

To download this video, click here.

Transcript – IBEW Local 1141 Makes a Difference at Peppers Ranch

Peppers Ranch is a one of a kind community that sits on over 300 beautiful acres. There are 13 homes filled with 110 childrenTonya Ratcliff and 13 families all dedicated to helping neglected and abused kids find a forever home.

Tonya Ratcliff – Executive Director, Peppers Ranch “What our goal is, is to really inspire kids to reach their full potential, to try things they never have, and increase their self esteem.”

And trying things they never have includes getting to know these sweet creatures. These horses have helped the children more than we will ever know. With such big success and breakthroughs in the children’s lives, it was unfortunate that the horse-riding program couldn’t be year-round.

Erica McClaughertyWelcome to another edition of hour power. I’m Erica McClaugherty. We are here at Peppers Ranch in Oklahoma. Peppers Ranch is committed to breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect by not only providing homes and counseling but providing activities like horse riding.

Being with these horses teaches things like respect, trust, work ethic; and the kids get to have a lot of fun. And his training facility has been made complete with the help of IBEW Local 1141.

Tonya Ratcliff – Executive Director, Peppers Ranch “Our horse riding program was really limited due to the elements. Sometimes it was way too hot to ride, sometimes it was raining and sometimes it was too cold to ride and sometimes you had snow sleet and other things that you were dealing with.

In came the decision to add a 200 sq. ft. riding center, brought to life for a year-round riding program. But, because Peppers Ranch is completely self funded, they needed help to make this dream become a reality. Business Manager Dewayne Wilcox didn’t think twice about having Local 1141 help out.Dewayne Wilcox

Dewayne Wilcox – Business Manager, IBEW Local 1141 “Peppers Ranch is special because it’s unique in the fact that it helps children who need help and provides families for children who need help that otherwise wouldn’t get that care

Tonya Ratcliff – Executive Director, Peppers Ranch “The IBEW has been an amazing gift to our community. There is NO way we would have been able to stay within budget for this 250 thousand dollar building if it wasn’t for the volunteers, the time, the money and the talent that was dedicated by this amazing group of people.”

Thirty-six volunteers from Local 1141 helped pull this off during several shifts. There are 32 high bay LED light fixtures, 8 power operated overhead doors, a concession area with outlets, two gender specific restroom facilities with lighting and exhaust fans in both of them.

Keith Bell – Journeyman Electrician, Local 1141 “I’ve put in at least four Saturdays and 40-50 hours and then today,
with as many people as we have here, we can wrap this thing up in about five hours. It’s been done right. The IBEW, we do big projects and we try to do things right. As far as this work we have done, it’s beautiful.”

Melissa Hintergardt, Jr.
Melissa Hintergardt, Jr. – Technician, Local 1141 
“Here at Peppers Ranch I started roughing in some of the pipe, helped lay out what we are going to do. I’m putting switches in today and hanging the lights.”

Amber Simmons – Equine Programs Director, Peppers Ranch “I think that animals, and particularly horses, can teach us to respect one another, to love one another, and to trust. The Peppers Ranch equine program is unique because Amber Simmons the children live on site. So not only are they getting horsemanship and horseback riding lessons they live here so they see the horses when they get off the school bus. They get to participate in the care and the feeding of the horses…it’s really a whole experience here at Peppers Ranch.”

I get to see the moments, I have lesson plans for every session that we do and they are fantastic but what is so amazing is the impromptu moments and that’s when I realize I’m just a facilitator. The kids and the horses are doing the real growth and real developing.”

Heather Barlow – Peppers Ranch Resident “It helps me escape any troubles that I am having during the day or during the week. It makes me feel free, gets my mind of everything. All of the trauma is just gone when I’m up and riding.”

Heather BarlowHeather has lived at Peppers Ranch for 3 years now.

Heather Barlow – Peppers Ranch Resident “Horses can sense everything. Everything you are feeling If they think you need a hug, they will give you a hug…He’s looking at me!”

Tonya Ratcliff – Executive Director, Peppers Ranch “We rely on people to bless our organization with time, money or talent to come out and help our kids. It’s a huge healing process for our kids that are hesitant to step out, have been hurt in relationship and the last thing they want to do is get close to someone who, in the end, might disappoint them. So volunteers are a huge part of their healing process. I know that our kids would not be able to heal and reach their full potential if it wasn’t for the volunteers that are willing to invest in their lives.”

Melissa Hintergardt, Jr. – Technician, Local 1141 “I used to volunteer a lot. I stopped volunteering and started going through this depression and funk. So I started volunteering again and I’m back to being me and being happy.

Dewayne Wilcox – Business Manager, Local 1141 “It’s important for us to give back to our community because we live here and we are a part of the community. It’s important for locals to get on board just to show that same reflection. In giving back to their communities they get to be the giver of the gift.” Luis Marrero

Luis Marrero – Journeyman Electrician, Local 1141 “It benefits kids and I’ve got time and I’d like to put it to good use. A little bit of time goes a long way for those kids.

Amber Simmons – Equine Programs Director, Peppers Ranch “There’s so many hands that go into making this possible, and when the IBEW became involved it was absolutely fantastic. This is above and beyond anything I could have imagined for the ranch.”

Tonya Ratcliff – Executive Director, Peppers Ranch “From everyone at Peppers Ranch, we want to say thank you to the IBEW for your hard work, dedication and skill to make our riding arena the perfect place for Oklahoma foster children to find hope, encouragement and a passion to heal.”

Dedication and skill are elements that the brotherhood brings to every job across North America. But sometimes, like here in Oklahoma with Local 1141, it goes way beyond that. It’s work that comes with a special reward: the satisfaction of knowing your efforts are making a big difference in someone else’s life.

Reporting for Hour Power, I’m Erica McClaughterty.


Erica McClaugherty

Erica McClaugherty joined the IBEW Hour Power team in 2015 and has been traveling around the United States and Canada ever since, bringing the stories of hard working IBEW brothers and sisters to life.

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