A popular program that helps troubled teens needs help in a hurry. Arrowhead Ranch is nearly ready for its annual Round-Up auction. But car donations are way down with time running out.
Antonio is learning a lot about himself inside the Arrowhead Ranch auto shop on Friday. That's where he's working on vehicles for the September 16th auction in Coal Valley.
"Tighten it a little," he said.
Antonio, 17, came to the residential facility nine months ago. The mechanic work is providing the tools for a dramatic turnaround for the cars and himself.
"Before I got here, I didn't even like cars," he said. "I just liked driving them. When I got here, I learned that it was something that I was good at doing."
The Round-Up is Arrowhead Ranch's biggest fundraiser of the year. Folks come from far and wide to buy cars, trucks, boats, campers and other vehicles.
During a good year, the auction can raise up to $100,000. But scrap metal prices are high, and donations are down. Arrowhead Ranch needs help with time running out before the event.
"It raises so much money that keeps these new programs running and some of the old ones," said Development Director Brandon Terronez. "It just benefits Arrowhead more than I can say."
Arrowhead Ranch even offers free pick-up for donated vehicles. For more information, call (309) 799-7044, ext. 225, or check out http://www.arrowheadranchinc.com.
For young men like Antonio, the donations are more important than ever. The cars are helping to turn around lives and create opportunities.
Antonio's assignments provide the auction items. More than just a hands-on task, it's building a new attitude about life and achievement.
"I think it's a good idea because it gives the kids at Arrowhead a chance to fix things and try things they never did before," he concluded.
For Antonio and Arrowhead Ranch, it's all about fixing cars and finding a future.