The Ranch will soon be buzzing with the bottling of sweet alfalfa and clover honey. While we no longer own bees, and our kids don't gather the honey from the hives like they used to (our children in Minot are given the opportunity to help bottle it), honey continues to be a time-honored Ranch tradition. We invite churches and other organizations to hold Honey Sundays in the fall, and at the end of the year, send an 11-ounce bottle of honey to everyone who has given $10 or more throughout the year.
I recently visited with a Ranch employee who bottles honey and delivers pallets of full honey boxes to the Foundation Office. I asked him a few questions, and I thought you might like to hear his answers.
Where does the honey come from? "We purchase the honey from a local beekeeper who places all of his honey bee hives within one our of Minot."
How long does it take to set up the bottling equipment? "It takes about a week to set up the bottling equipment. Our bottling equipment is old, and dates back to the 1970s when the honey program began."
What is the best part about bottling honey? "Seeing the finished product in the bottle."
What's the worst thing that's ever happened when bottling? "We accidentally dumped a barrel of honey on the floor. It is very hard to clean up."
How much honey will you bottle? "We bottle approximately 14,000 bottles a year, and it takes about a week."
What is the funniest story about the kids helping? "A resident put the bottles upside down on the belt."
Once honey gets to the Foundation Office, staff, residents, and volunteers put each bottle in its own box so it's ready to mail.
Honey has been the point of contact between donors and the Ranch for years, and many donors learned about the Ranch through honey. Years ago, we received one of our largest estate gifts ever. When we asked the family more about how their mother had chosen the Ranch, they said it was because she had received a bottle of honey during a Honey Sunday at her church. She was not a donor during her lifetime, but after learning about the Ranch, decided our kids could benefit from her estate. She was right!
Because of people like this, the Ranch continues to be a place of hope and healing; and will be for generations to come. Children today need the hope and healing we provide more than ever before.
You can make a difference in the lives of others AND leave a legacy that will be remembered long after your death. Please don't let time drift by.
Call now for a free copy of our "Planning Your Legacy" workbook. This workbook is a great place to keep track of your assets and financial manager contacts. If you choose to support a charity in your estate plans, this workbook explains some of the different options you can discuss with your financial planner or accountant. And, once you have it completed, the workbook is a great way to tell your loved ones about your intent, and to tell them about the charities you choose to support.
You and all Ranch donors are in our prayers. And we rejoice at every gift we receive. It really is amazing to have so many people across the country willing to support our ministry to children.
Thanks be to God, for you.
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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.