If you are looking for a worthwhile, trustworthy charity to donate to, consider the benefits of sponsoring or donating money to a ranch wife (me—and I’m flexible on either method).
Since ranch wives don’t get a paycheck, regular days off, or even a safety award for being injury free, accepting charitable donations would be a way to make their job pay. Profits gained from raising cows are usually spent first on what a rancher considers essential to the operation. Technically, ranch wives belong in that category, but around here, the money that’s left commonly gets used for kids’ shoes, bolts of cloth for sewing clothes, flour, sugar, coffee, beans, wagon wheels, etc.
Beef doesn’t get to supermarkets without the hard work of dedicated ranch wives (like me) who do the same ranch work that their husbands do in addition to the work involved in running a household and kids.
I have logical reasons why people should consider sponsoring a ranch wife (me). Anybody who handles food should be paid well. People get paid to do a lot worse, like pumping septic tanks or telemarketing. Let’s face it, ranch work is oftentimes a dirty and unpleasant job that’s not suited to just anyone, especially most women, but by sponsoring a ranch wife (me), donors can experience one of the hardest, dirtiest outside jobs while not having to actually get dirty or do the work. Donations would pay ranch wives for already doing that. And really, money is a great work incentive.
Not only would sponsoring a ranch wife be money that’s well-spent in our own country, thus stimulating the U.S. economy; sponsoring in turn would help produce a worthwhile product of the U.S.A. that’s necessary for this country—food.
Through ranch wife sponsorships, Americans who are far-removed from the production of their food can gain a whole new appreciation for their high-paying, indoor, Monday-Friday, nine to five jobs; their un-cowlicked cars (cows like to lick vehicles that taste salty), paid vacations and holidays, French manicured nails, and sleeping in—something unfamiliar to poor ranch wives (at least I am).
Minimal contributions would purchase necessary items used for a ranch wife’s job, like new overshoes (my work boots are still in good shape) or jeans to replace twice-patched or threadbare ones. Donations would also ensure continued, efficient productivity with health benefits of an hour long deep tissue massage for a ranch wife’s stiff, sore and aching body.
Larger donations would help fund either a much-needed mud room addition to replace the mud “area” located by the kitchen door, or practical equipment such as another horse so the ranch wife doesn’t have to walk or ride double. It could also afford a ranch work sabbatical for wearisome ranch wives (definitely me); known as a vacation to paid employees.
Substantial contributions would buy a ranch wife her (key word here) own four-wheel drive jeep, since her husband doesn’t see the justification in buying one. This would eliminate having to share a vehicle with her taller husband and constantly re-adjusting the seat, mirrors, and steering wheel before driving and boost morale.
Sponsor a ranch wife today (pick me!), and within the first month of receiving your contribution, you will get a letter with photos of her taking a ranch work sabbatical.
column originally published April 18-24, 2010