Barren Heights Retreat

Building more compassionate communities by serving families who have children with disabilities.

Louisville, KY   |  barrenheights.org

Mission

Our Mission: To simply love and encourage families. We do this primarily by providing free weekend retreats and hosting community outreach events for families who have children with physical or developmental disabilities.

Our Vision: To create more compassionate communities through families serving families with the love of Christ and led by the Holy Spirit to further the Kingdom of God.

Our Core Values: We will honor and glorify God with our service. Our actions will be above reproach. We will do all things in love. We will be wise stewards of God's provisions. We will strive for excellence. We will bathe our mission in prayer. Our foundation is God's word.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Miss. Abbi Rose

Main address

11420 Watterson Court #800

Louisville, KY 40299 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

32-0121355

NTEE code info

Christian (X20)

Family Services (P40)

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Barren Heights

We have tremendous respect for parents and caretakers of children with disabilities - they are often physically taxed and emotionally drained in unique ways. We seek to encourage and rejuvenate these families through FREE weekend retreats and through community outreach events. All of our events are volunteer driven as we seek to be an organization that is primarily families serving families.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with disabilities

We simply want special needs families to have the opportunity to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate with a weekend getaway at a facility with their needs in mind. There are many camps and programs for children who have disabilities, but very few that serve the entire family, and that is what makes us special.

Our Family Retreats run Friday through Sunday from June through October with three volunteer host families serving the three guest families. This memorable experience includes scheduled group activities as well as plenty of free time. Favorite activities include boating, bonfires, Barn Church, archery, water balloon launch, tractor rides, splash pad, board games, puzzles, basketball, nine-square, ping-pong, tennis, frisbee golf, and more. We host 20 retreats each season and have served over 900 families since 2006. We have impacted over 4500 individuals from 13 different states.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
People with disabilities

Winter and Spring specialty retreats give men, women, and couples the chance to grow and be encouraged by others walking the same path.

Men's Retreats: This 4 day weekend adventure inspires and refreshes men as they discover how to live a renewed life with a God-given passion.

Marriage Retreats: This weekend getaway provides a nice blend of relaxation, rejuvenation, and romance, as couples learn about the integral relationship building blocks of Love and Respect.

Mother/Daughter Retreats: This weekend getaway provides a chance to cultivate one of the most important relationships within a family while providing mothers and daughters the tools and Godly wisdom needed to thrive through the teen years.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with disabilities

In the fall of 2015, we officially opened our Community Center located in Louisville, Kentucky. At Barren Heights we desire to create more compassionate communities through love and encouragement. The Community Center plays a vital role in that process as it provides a safe gathering place for families who have children with disabilities. It is a place where our men's and women's ministries are flourishing as we focus on creating deep relationships as well as a place of fun, fellowship, and rejuvenation for families.

Bible Studies: We host weekly bible studies for men, women, and couples at our Community Center that bring GROWTH, HOPE, and ENCOURAGEMENT to every participant.

Events: We host men's, women's, couples, and family events that include activities such as nutrition counseling, mom's night out paint parties, disability Christmas and Easter parties, ice cream socials, movie nights, and Barn Church. These events offer a safe place for volunteers and special needs families to connect with Jesus and with one another.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with disabilities

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Monthly Donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, People with disabilities

Related Program

Barren Heights

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

After setting a goal to diversify our funding we increased our number of monthly donors by over 600%.

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Parents, People with disabilities

Related Program

Community Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Community Center men's, women's, marriage, and family event participants. Does not account for many families attending multiple events.

Number of administrators and staff who plan and experience professional development activities together

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Barren Heights

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Professional development has become an important part of our staff culture as we continue to integrate Salesforce into every aspect of our organization.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

There is an old African proverb that says, ""If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together."" According to the 2010 Census, there are 54 million families affected by disability in the United States. Many of them feel alone in their fight against the overwhelming struggles of daily life. As one of the most overlooked groups of people, there are very few places where these families feel loved, accepted, welcomed, and safe. Barren Heights' vision is to create more compassionate communities through families serving families with the love of Christ and led by the Holy Spirit to further the Kingdom of God. Together, we strive to be the hands and feet of Christ for these families so they know they are never alone.

We accomplish this mainly by providing free weekend retreats, and community outreach events and ministry programs for families who have children with physical or developmental disabilities. While we are a faith based organization, we do not discriminate families on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. Our greatest desire can be summed up in Isaiah 41:18-20:

"I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it."

Our 2017 focus is Community and Infrastructure Development within the scope of the following:
1. We will continue to place emphasis on the activities that we do BEST.
-Love and encourage families through families
-Small group gatherings, blending those with and without special needs
-Occasional large group family fun social events

2. Given current political and financial landscape, we will work to pay off our leftover remaining Community Center building debt. We will focus on fine tuning and stabilizing verses expanding programs and facilities.

3. For sustainability, we will continue to integrate volunteer resources but place more dependence on staff and paid contractors.

4. We will work towards eliminating any dependence on the founding family by 2019. This will be accomplished through increasing fundraising efforts, improving utilization of Salesforce (cloud based CRM) and technology, and transitioning from founder-led to board-led.

Over the past several years, we have grown and diversified our staff to ensure the capacity, skills, and expertise required to achieve our goals. Our qualified leaders have many God-given talents and are passionate and driven in their quest to carry out the mission, vision, and strategies of Barren Heights. We seek out best practices within our industry to learn how other similar organizations are achieving their goals. We also rely on a strong network within our community to assist us in the specialized areas that are crucial to reaching our objectives. Support from our generous volunteer community goes a long way in helping us both maintain and evolve our programs to support families that have children with disabilities.

From the beginning, those involved at Barren Heights have worked hard to see their God-given vision realized. Following is a timeline of significant accomplishments:

2004: Ground is broken for the new Barren Heights Retreat Center in Scottsville, Kentucky.

2005: A formal board is established. We successfully concluded the first summer retreat season after 9 free family enrichment weekends.

2008: Many facility and process improvements made including operations manuals, paved walkways, enclosed picnic pavilion, and a beautiful, restful gazebo.

2010: Barren Heights was named as a finalist for the Community Impact Awards of Southern Kentucky and founder Toni Rose was honored with The Louisville Bell Award for outstanding volunteer service.

2013. We hired our first intern to assist with the expanding operational demands. We concluded our capital campaign by opening the “New Barn" at the Retreat Center to provide disability friendly Barn Church services, laundry facilities, housing for volunteer leader families, capabilities for winter retreats, storage, and a safe storm shelter.

2015: We opened the Community Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and moved the administration office from the founders' home to the new center. We hosted 20 family retreats for approximately 100 households and 500 individuals. We hired our second part-time employee to coordinate Community Center events. We developed seven operational committees with volunteer team leaders.

2016: We increased our team to 4 part-time staff members to assist with ministry operations, information technology, fundraising, and development. We updated our volunteer curriculum with detailed resource guide booklets. We implemented new Community Center programming. We updated our data management processes to web based programming. We developed a formal marketing and branding plan with professional imagery, material, and communications. We created a volunteer information survey to better foster volunteer opportunities and outreach. We hosted our 11th annual benefit dinner and auction with record attendance and record results.

2017: We hired on our First Marketing and Development Coordinator, increasing the paid staff to 5. We grew our monthly donors from 16 to 114 – a 660% increase! We welcomed over 500 people to the Community Center for various events. We hosted our 12th annual benefit dinner and silent auction with record attendance and record results.

2018 and Beyond: We want Barren Heights to continue to change lives long into the future. To do that, we are aggressively working towards becoming a self-sustaining, board driven organization. We are creating a comprehensive Volunteer training and development guide. We are making the switch to run everything including events, campaigns, fundraising, and retreats out of Salesforce. We are continuing to diversify our funding by pursuing grants and major gifts.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Barren Heights Retreat
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Barren Heights Retreat

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Andy Burdsall

Riverbend Financial

Term: 2017 - 2021

Andy Burdsall

Riverbend Financial

Chris Cunningham

Cunningham Door & Window

Kevin Porter

Healthcare First and Special needs Dad

Stuart Wilson

Louisville Gas & Electric

Karen Rogers

Community Volunteer and Special Needs Mom

Erica Brieschke

Community Volunteer

Mindy Terrell

Community Volunteer

Tim Hill

NeuroRestorative Care and Special Needs Dad

Lyndsey Bell

Choir Teacher

Fritz Busch

Actuary

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes