Most Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch employees here during a "regular" workday, eat lunch on campus. Our food service staff members are pretty amazing regardless of which campus you are on, and the food is quite good. Considering the volume they make and that they make it appeal to kids and adults, I am impressed on a daily basis.
Last week, I saw on the menu board that we were having chili for lunch. It was kind of a rainy, blustery day, and chili sounded wonderful. When I reached the serving area, Tara, one of our food-service gurus, asked me if I wanted "regular chili, vegetarian chili, or chili with no beans."
My first thought was, "Why are we making this so hard? My kids had to eat what I fed them."
And then, as usual, I had a second thought, "And I always tried to make them things they liked. Especially if it had been a hard day."
For kids at the Ranch, most days are hard. Each child is working every day to face their traumas, learn new skills, learn to trust, to problem solve, to laugh. Our food service staff, in their own way, do their part to nurture the hearts of our kids, as well as their bodies. Why not have the chili you like for lunch – regular, vegetarian, no bean – if that makes you feel cared for and able to heal? Maybe, just maybe, that gives you enough comfort to take another step toward being your best self.
I like the regular chili. It makes me feel cared for, just like the kids.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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