Food For the Stomach and the Soul

Food For the Stomach and the Soul

Food For the Stomach and the Soul

My 7-year old daughter often hears me say I show love through the meals I make. Of course, she doesn't always receive it as I would hope—sometimes my finicky girl turns up her nose at my gourmet feasts.

Today as I walked into the cafeteria on our Fargo campus, I could feel the love!

Staff and residents alike were exclaiming about the beautiful spread that lay before us. Fresh fruit and veggies were arranged in a colorful array. Freshly-made salads like cucumber, taco, cranberry chicken pasta, Italian, fruit salad, and more filled a table. Beyond this, we could build our own Chef Salad and top it all off with homemade Ranch dressing...I call it "Ranch" ranch.

The smiles on the cook's faces as everyone filled their plates spoke volumes. They LOVE our kids and show their love through the food they make.

Our Bismarck cook, Denise, shared a note she received from one of the residents.

Dear Denise,

I appreciate you so very much. You make lunch and dinner so fun. You make good food and you interact with us which means a lot to me. You are great with all your stories and you are absolutely hilarious. Thank you for feeding not only our stomachs, but our souls.

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.

Ranch employees show their love to the kids in a variety of ways, based on the job they have. Last week, I visited with some of the grounds crew from our campuses. They talked about planting flowers, so our campuses feel more welcoming and home-like. They added that putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls can lift our kids' spirits.

Our teachers reach out to our kids in a way that helps children feel accepted. By creating individualized learning plans for each child, they bring out each student's potential and help them succeed. Direct care staff give ongoing support and love to our residents. Staff are present for our children through the good times and the difficult times, always there for support.

My contribution, and blessing, is to visit with people like you who make all this loving care possible. I am blessed to witness our children grow, heal, and become stronger and healthier than they ever imagined they could be. My job is to show you how your gifts of prayer and support make a difference.

God bless you for your kindness. Because of your generosity, a struggling child is learning the tools they need to overcome challenges and go beyond. Thank you for helping them become their best selves.

Together we are changing lives!

Janet Zinke
Senior Development Officer


Learn more about Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch at DakotaRanch.org.

You can also follow the Ranch on Facebook.

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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.

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