Blog

Eight Ways to Make a Tax-deductible Gift to Your Favorite Charity

Eight Ways to Make a Tax-deductible Gift to Your Favorite Charity

By making a gift to the Ranch or your favorite charity, you can pay less in taxes, avoid capital gains tax, and direct your treasures to where you want them to go.…

Read More

Three Ways to Pass On Assets Outside of Your Will

Three Ways to Pass On Assets Outside of Your Will

While everyone should talk to an attorney about a formal plan, you can pass on some of your assets outside of a will. To make sure your loved ones are cared for after you are gone, you can...…

Read More

Looking for an Easy Way to Help Ranch Kids This Year

Looking for an Easy Way to Help Ranch Kids This Year

An IRA Rollover is a simple and easy way to provide hope and healing for the troubled, complicated, and amazing kids at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.…

Read More

Passing Down Your Family Values

Passing Down Your Family Values

In his book, “30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans,” Karl Pillemer interviewed more than 1,200 people, most ages 70 and up, and said most saw transmitting their values and core principles as their most important legacy. Our heirs prefer shared values over material items too.…

Read More

Bringing Light to Dark Places

Bringing Light to Dark Places

"We are present in order to create moments of illumination. Not enlightenment moments necessarily, though those may occur. Not constant "aha" moments since that is difficult to sustain. But illumination. Light. Clarity. We bring light to dark places and situations through our presence. We also bring Christ's presence which brings the ultimate Light.…

Read More

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

It's hard to think about dying. I do know I will eventually die—we all will. But knowing that doesn't make it easier to think about. If we are hesitant to even think about our death, it makes sense that we also put off the planning that goes along with it. I recently stumbled on a little book titled, "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning," by Margareta Magnuson. Margareta's words turned my thoughts towards the responsibilities I have to get my affairs in order so my death is easier on my loved on—at least regarding the distribution of my belongings and assets. Her words even helped me find a measure of delight in the process. Really.…

Read More

A Moment of Prayer

A Moment of Prayer

On September 25, the students on the Ranch's Dakota Memorial School campuses gathered around the flagpole for the annual See You At The Pole event. This is a gathering and encouragement of our nation's schools and leadership through prayer. The idea is that before school, all across our country, students and faculty meet around their flagpoles for a few moments of prayer.…

Read More

Taking Mentoring for a Ride

Taking Mentoring for a Ride

You might think putting at-risk youth and speedy mini-bikes together, then sending them riding on Ranch trails, is a dangerous combination. Yet that is exactly what we do at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch through NYPUM. NYPUM (National Youth Program Using Minibikes), a nationwide network of nearly 50 programs sponsored by the National Honda Motor Company, is an innovative way to engage at-risk youth. NYPUM positively affects kids' social, emotional, and psychological development.…

Read More

Saved From Cancer to Do God's Work

Saved From Cancer to Do God's Work

I hope our kids hear that small, quiet voice of the Lord directing them—just as I did nearly 30 years ago. God has a plan for each of them, and they are a valuable part of His grand design.…

Read More

Do Not Grow Weary of Well-Doing

Do Not Grow Weary of Well-Doing

That is what we are here to do..."To help at-risk kids and their families succeed in the name of Christ." And, when we see that mission fulfilled in even one child, we are energized for the next and the next. We continue the "well-doing," and we never grow weary of seeing the beauty of a child becoming their best self.…

Read More

Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation awarded $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to continue providing therapeutic residential and educational services to youth and families at its Fargo campus.…

Read More

Verendrye Electric Cooperative Grants $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Verendrye Electric Cooperative Grants $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Verendrye Electric Cooperative awarded $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Minot, to purchase recliners for one of the children’s cottages.…

Read More

Making the World a Better Place

Making the World a Better Place

When I visit with people who work at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch with me, I am always heartened to find that Ranchers know, regardless of their role, that they too can make a difference in the lives of the kids we serve. One person can make a tremendous impact on a child's life...but we never know which person and which moment might make the connection that changes everything. We are all in this together!…

Read More

New Therapist Joins Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

New Therapist Joins Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch recently hired Connie Rod, Licensed Addiction Counselor, as a therapist for children in residential treatment on its Minot campus.…

Read More

Lucas Mitzel, LMSW, joins Dakota Family Services

Lucas Mitzel, LMSW, joins Dakota Family Services

Dakota Family Services recently hired Lucas Mitzel to provide outpatient therapy in Fargo. Mitzel, a Licensed Master Social Worker, will provide behavioral health therapy for children, adolescents, and adults ages 5-30.…

Read More

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Hires New Therapist

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Hires New Therapist

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch recently hired Jesse Lamm as a therapist in its Fargo Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program.…

Read More

Ministering in Every Day Opportunities

Ministering in Every Day Opportunities

The other day I stopped by to visit a friend and supporter of the Ranch. He is a man of deep faith and inspires me to spend more time in prayer and more time giving thanks. He was in the middle of his devotion when I arrived and was kind enough to read to me from his devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest,” by Oswald Chambers. He read,…

Read More

Children Learn What They Live

Children Learn What They Live

When I was growing up, Dorothy Law Nolte's poem, Children Learn What They Live, was everywhere. It was first published in 1954 and exploded into popular culture where it stayed through the 1970s. When I was little, it was hanging on refrigerators, on posters in doctors' offices, in classrooms. The poem was even plastered on milk cartons and cereal boxes.…

Read More

The Sweet Season of Harvest

The Sweet Season of Harvest

The Ranch will soon be buzzing with the bottling of sweet alfalfa and clover honey. While we no longer own bees, and our kids don't gather the honey from the hives like they used to (our children in Minot are given the opportunity to help bottle it), honey continues to be a time-honored Ranch tradition. We invite churches and other organizations to hold Honey Sundays in the fall, and at the end of the year, send an 11-ounce bottle of honey to everyone who has given $10 or more throughout the year.…

Read More

Taking Time to "Be"

Taking Time to "Be"

We had a young lady at the Ranch who really touched my heart. Whenever she would see me, she would yell, "Joy," and then scurry up to wherever I was. She'd give me a side hug and beam from ear to ear. Over time, I made it my mission to teach her to shake hands firmly, with eye contact. She was an excellent learner!…

Read More

Back to School

Back to School

Dakota Memorial School (DMS), the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, started last week; and we have the highest beginning enrollment numbers we've ever had. The need for the specialized education program by DMS is in great demand, especially for middle school students.…

Read More

Patience in All Things

Patience in All Things

Christ is at the center of all our work at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. God is our hero. To stay grounded in our work, Chaplain Rick Jones sends out a Ranch daily devotional email. All of the devotions are potent, and every once in a while, one makes me stop in my tracks.…

Read More

A Dramatic Retelling of the Gospel

A Dramatic Retelling of the Gospel

Last week, Jonathan Swenson (traveling actor, speaker, vocalist, and ordained minister) performed the show "Witnesses," by Curt Cloninger, for kids and staff at all three Ranch campuses in Minot, Bismarck, and Fargo.…

Read More

Food For the Stomach and the Soul

Food For the Stomach and the Soul

Eating good. healthy food makes people feel better. I'm confident our kids experience a little bit of joy when they get to eat such good food. Staff who work with the kids get a pick-me-up from a meal like this, too.…

Read More

Providing Pathways to Success

Providing Pathways to Success

Being a teenager is tough. You're not a kid. You're not an adult. Much is expected of you, but you don't have a road map. Your body is changing. Your thoughts are changing. Nothing seems to stay in place.…

Read More