When a child discharges from Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, we send them off into the world with the skills they need to succeed—and pray they do well. We always rejoice when one of our "kids" calls to tell us how the Ranch impacted their life.
Last week, I took a call from a woman I'll call Cindy* who wanted to transfer stock to our ministry. I gave her the instructions she needed and asked how she first became aware of the Ranch.
Cindy told me about her son Jeff*, who had been a Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch resident around 2001. He came to the Ranch after he started struggling in school and getting into trouble in the community.
She didn't get into his diagnosis, but I could tell from our conversation that Jeff is autistic. Jeff's time at the Ranch was a turning point in his life. It was while he was reading classical books, going on horseback rides and getting the therapy he needed that he saw how life could be. Cindy said he had ups and downs after leaving the Ranch, but the seeds that were planted at the Ranch were the foundation for the success he has today.
Jeff graduated from high school, got his driver's license, and now has an apartment of his own and two dogs. Cindy said when Jeff was 14, she never would have dreamed they would have such a close relationship.
In a soft, quiet voice Cindy told me Jeff received a Ranch scholarship for his care because they couldn't afford it. So when she received inheritance she felt called to send it to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. She wanted to give back to an organization that she believes helped save her son.
Like so many stories about our kids, Jeff's is a full circle story. A boy in need of specialized care and education that his family cannot afford finds the help he needs at the Ranch. Almost 20 years later, that same family sends in a donation so that another child in need can receive the care they need to find success.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support, they are greatly appreciated and are making an impact.
God's blessings to you all.
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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christian residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. We help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves.