On March 18, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division handed down an order on a case about a dispute over trademark rights for fantasy subjects including, among others, "a puzzle of an elf-life creature embracing the head of a unicorn on a beach." The plaintiffs requested an emergency hearing because of the irreparable harm it would cause to postpone the decision.
The court order was exceptionally direct and well written. To fast forward to the end, the order concluded with, "The world is facing a real emergency. Plaintiff is not. The motion to reconsider the scheduling order is denied."
The order does not say that this isn't a legitimate issue. It just says, "not now."
I share this because, during this pandemic, it is sometimes hard to sort through everything coming at us. Things that a week ago we would have addressed as problems are now, at worst, annoyances. A co-worker complained to me about not being able to go to their favorite restaurant and I was not as sympathetic as I would have been earlier in the month. Right now, if missing your favorite nosh is a cause of distress, I would say you are a very fortunate person.
Reluctantly, but with careful thought, we temporarily closed our nine thrift stores. The stores will remain closed until the pandemic subsides, which affects Ranchers who work in those locations, as would keeping them open and exposed. Ranch thrift stores underwrite up to a million dollars a year of services to our children. We don't know how we will recoup those funds. It is a huge deal in normal times. This isn't normal.
The scope and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic is large and real.
In this time of trying to separate the truly important from the normally important, I want you to know we are focused on one thing, "to help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ." Right now, helping these kids succeed means making decisions that keep them and our staff as safe as possible. It means delivering programming and education that creates a semblance of normalcy and predictability in a time when the world is neither. It means praying and laughing with our kids, and listening to their fears. It means accepting children from other facilities that have shut their doors. It means relying on Him, when we are not enough. He will give us the strength.
One of our staff said to me today, "If we do the possible, God will do the rest."
So, we go forward.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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