"The function of freedom is to free someone else."
A few weeks ago, I was listening to the eulogizing of poet Toni Morrison, who had just died at the age of 88. Among the many wise words she wrote during her lifetime, this quote stood out to me. It resonated with the purpose and mission and daily efforts of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. It may seem ironic that a residential center is focused on freedom, since coming here is not often at a child's personal request,...so let me try to explain my thinking.
People experience a loss of freedom in many ways. Children come to the Ranch trapped by their past traumas and unable to overcome their need to defend themselves. They come ensnared in the labels put on them...incorrigible, stupid, unteachable, unreachable. They come stuck in the pain of their mental illness...having given up hope for healing. Children come feeling destined to loneliness...unaware of Christ's love.
It is our job, at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, to help each child work toward freedom from these mindsets and obstacles. Some need treatment and therapy. Some need Trauma-Sensitive Learning Environments and Trauma-Focused care. Some need permission to forgive themselves and move past guilt. Some need the friendship and love of God, who will help them find their best selves.
Working toward freedom of mind, soul, and spirit is part of true healing. Here at the Ranch, that is our function, our mission..."To help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ."
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
P.S. One hundred percent of the funding for the Ranch's Spiritual Life Program must come from donors. Click here to make an online donation so we can continue to share the love of God our kids so desperately need.