Those who have enjoyed reading the CEDARS Historical book might have noticed a mention of Ralph Reeder.
Ralph was one of the founding members of CEDARS. With a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska and experience working for several agricultural magazines, Ralph used his talents to write for CEDARS. Even when his career took him to Purdue University in Indiana, Ralph’s passion for bringing safety to children’ continued to keep him involved at CEDARS. He contributed his time and talents for over 35 years.
“[We] found that very small children need something more than barracks,” wrote, Ralph about his experience at CEDARS. “If you want to [be part of] a children’s home sponsorship, those are the kinds of things you learn. Then comes the shocker. Real boys and girls live there. In fact, they are its most important ingredient. You discover you have a lot of wonderful kids on your hands. Once you begin to watch them grow, eat meals with them, play games with them, take them to circuses—well, they’re not just a bunch of anonymous youngsters anymore. This is no longer just a sponsorship to be recorded in your book of good deeds. It’s a cause, a mission, something that reaches beyond your pocketbook to your heart.”
After his death, his writings and recollections were used to help celebrate CEDARS 50th anniversary in 1997, just a year after CEDARS bolstered its services for children by merging with Youth Service Systems, a nonprofit known for its services for teens.
We are grateful to Ralph and many others who, though they might live several states away, have continued to support the CEDARS mission of helping children and youth who have been abused, neglected or homeless find safety, stability and enduring family relationships.