LOWELL, Mich. -- At a time when tension seems to be running high between police and citizens in communities across the country, a local ranch is making sure police and first responders know they're appreciated.
The campers at Roanoke Ranch don't pay a dime to learn to ride and play on the farm. It's part of a program through Grand Rapids' United Methodist Community House teaching at-risk youth about the responsibility of caring for animals in a loving open environment.
While riding and ranch chores are always on the lesson plan, there was something extra planned for Tuesday. Lowell Police and Fire made a surprise visit to the ranch so the children could deliver their cards in person.
Ronda Libbett, a teacher at United Method Community House, says visits like this are important.
"You gotta show the kids that police officers are not bad people. They human beings just like we are. If you teach a kid early in life they won't do the kind of things that they do when they get older.”