About a year ago, we launched "Operation Gratitude" at the Ranch--which reminds us to thank people for all the things they contribute to our lives, our kids, and our organization. Today, I'd like to talk a little about the things we are grateful for at the Ranch.
First, we are grateful to God. At the end of each meal at the Ranch, we say (sometimes in unison), “Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” One of our kids leads the prayer, and it’s a big deal to be chosen as prayer leader for the day!
This weekend we recognize those who put their lives on the line for our country., We are thankful for our veterans, so our kids in Bismarck made special cards for veterans in the community—reading them gave me goosebumps. Fortunately, we’ll reprint several of them in the next issue of Ranch Voice so you can see the talent and compassion of our kids for yourself. If you are a veteran—we thank you for your service every day of the year, but especially as we celebrate Veteran's Day.
We have so many other things for which to be grateful—life, love, faith, freedom, family, and food—but most of all, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve the precious children who come through our doors.
Last week, Dee* asked if anyone had anything she could do. Because we’ve been talking a lot about Operation Gratitude, I asked her to make a few thank you cards I could send to people who support Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.
She handmade a few cards and decorated them beautifully. In one she wrote, “Thank you for helping the many kids here, including myself. The Ranch is my safe place.”
Another said, “I have struggled for many years, in and out of treatment centers. But God has sent me here, because they can help me here. Thank you…. you have helped me…. thank you.”
Dee is still struggling, but she is taking steps in the right direction. She is working through the pain in her life and learning ways to manage her overwhelming emotions.
If you wonder if you are making an impact with your generosity to the Ranch, here is an example. It comes from another of Dee’s thank you notes. “I have learned mindfulness skills and social skills. Remember you are making a difference in our lives.”
We are grateful for each of you every day. Thank you for believing in our residents! We could not do this important ministry without your support and prayers.
God bless you and your family.
Senior Development Officer
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
*Name changed to protect the confidentiality and privacy of this precious young woman.
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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.