North Dakota

Stewardship at the Ranch

Stewardship at the Ranch

Thank you for believing in the ministry of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. We help troubled children recover from the pain of their past and find ways to overcome their struggles. As 2018 draws to a close, many supporters of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch begin to look at their year-end giving. Folks have called and written in requesting our Federal Tax ID, IRS 990 forms and other questions about how we are set up.…

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The Present Moment

The Present Moment

"Take a deep breath and pause to experience the present moment.” When you read that, what do you think? What does that statement mean to you?…

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A Season of Hope

A Season of Hope

O Holy Night continues to be my favorite Christmas hymn. The song’s beautiful refrain echoes in my mind … O holy night the stars are brightly shining It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth…

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Much to be Thankful For

Much to be Thankful For

Good organizations require many components. Good leadership, a committed staff, a strong and compelling mission, and people like you who believe in the important work we do. Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is blessed to have all of these—and because of our combined efforts, hurting children find their way. I am so thankful.…

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The Power of Perspective

The Power of Perspective

One day last summer I was reading a book and came across a line that spoke with me. In her book, "The Tenth Island," Diana Marcum wrote, "It had been a tumultuous week, and it occurred to me that in all levels of crisis, it is a good idea to lie down outside and look up."…

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Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude

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.…

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Looking Forward to Thanksgiving and Advent

Looking Forward to Thanksgiving and Advent

While November brings reminders of cold and snow, I like to see it as an opportunity to look forward to Thanksgiving and Advent. Thanksgiving reminds us to focus our thoughts and lives on gratitude. Advent, and the Advent Wreath which symbolizes eternal life, reminds us we are all a part of the circle of life—a circle of life made possible by God.…

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The Gift of Time

The Gift of Time

“If only there were more hours in the day” is a phrase I have heard and used many times over the years. My mother often said it when I wanted to do just one last thing before bedtime. Now I catch myself saying the same thing to my six-year-old daughter.…

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National Speakers Will Share Messages of Mercy and Hope at October 27 Conference

National Speakers Will Share Messages of Mercy and Hope at October 27 Conference

Don’t miss two AMAZING and INSPIRING speakers at this Saturday’s Faith in Action Mercy Conference.…

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Replacing Stigma with Hope

Replacing Stigma with Hope

Last week was World Mental Health Awareness Week, a time to shine a light on mental illness and replace stigma with hope. At the Ranch, we spent the week sharing messages to fight stigma and to encourage people to get help. The discussion can't stop because Mental Health Awareness Week is over--so here are some things for you to think about.…

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Learning to Give

Learning to Give

Last Sunday, I spoke at a North Dakota church about Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. I was sitting outside the sanctuary with some Ranch brochures before the service and an 8-year-old girl, Mindy,* walked up to me and started asking questions.…

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From Hopelessness to HOPE

From Hopelessness to HOPE

Hopelessness, helplessness, loss … I felt each … like a pit in my stomach … as I walked through a state Museum of Mental Health on one of my recent trips. On one wall I saw a picture of a fearful child from years ago, clinging to the leg of an adult. The child was 10 years old. No one had ever stopped to give him a name. He was known only as “boy.” Abandoned and alone, this was called “treatment” in the 1920’s. My heart hurt as I looked at that museum wall. No child should ever have had to endure “care” such as this.…

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How do the IRS tax law changes affect you?

How do the IRS tax law changes affect you?

The IRS has changed some of its regulations regarding charitable contributions, which has donors and charities alike confused about what the new regulations will mean. I’ve been studying information coming out about the regulations and from I can see, the new tax laws will not have a significant impact on regular annual giving for most donors. The elimination of a personal exemption has raised concern, however the standard deduction for most tax brackets nearly doubled to offset the exemption. If you have enough itemized deductions to exceed the standard deduction, the charitable deduction is still available.…

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Children are back to school at the Ranch

Children are back to school at the Ranch

We excitedly celebrated the first day of school last week. As you know, Dakota Memorial School is its own school district with educational facilities on the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch’s Bismarck, Fargo, and Minot campuses. Our School Superintendent, Marcia Bartok, answers a few questions about Dakota Memorial School.…

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It Only Takes a Spark

It Only Takes a Spark

I love the energy of the new school year. But, I realized going back to school is not so exciting for everyone when I shared a lunch table with one of our kids (I will call him Allan) on the 4th day of school. He was talking about his school experience, which was filled with negativity. Allan told me school was a waste of time because people in his family don’t graduate. When I asked why he would say that, Allan said, “That’s just the way it is.”…

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The Gentle Art of Decluttering

The Gentle Art of Decluttering

I am thankful a leaky window flooded my basement earlier this summer. It forced me to go through boxes of “treasures” I’d carried with me over 20 years. I reminisced, laughed, and even cried as I pulled things piece by piece from the boxes. After a day of mostly throwing, I felt lighter somehow—like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.…

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Here, I can let my intelligence reign free!

Here, I can let my intelligence reign free!

I am thankful a leaky window flooded my basement earlier this summer. It forced me to go through boxes of “treasures” I’d carried with me over 20 years. I reminisced, laughed, and even cried as I pulled things piece by piece from the boxes. After a day of mostly throwing, I felt lighter somehow—like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.…

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Building a Family Tradition of Giving

Building a Family Tradition of Giving

Just as many of us pass down family recipes, we can pass down a tradition of philanthropy. For people in the “younger” generations of givers, giving has become a way of life. They were raised to be charitable, and are now passing those values down to their children.…

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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch awarded three-year CARF accreditation

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch awarded three-year CARF accreditation

The Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities International (CARF) announced that Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch has been accredited for a period of three years. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.…

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Love Like Peaches and Cream

Love Like Peaches and Cream

My husband came home with walleye after a successful evening on the lake last week. Because he was going out of town the next day, we gave it away to friends who love to eat fish, but can’t seem to catch any! When they returned the cooler, they didn’t think it seemed right to return it empty, so they included a fresh peach. A lonely peach in a blue, soft-sided, promotional cooler seems like a small thing, but it started an avalanche of memories—the first peach of the summer and memories of my dear grandmother.…

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LWML ND District Supports Spiritual Life Program at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

LWML ND District Supports Spiritual Life Program at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch received $5,000 from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, North Dakota District to support its Spiritual Life programming. The Spiritual Life Program is a key part of the Ranch’s work to provide hope and healing for troubled children and adolescents. Ranch employees encourage residents to participate in Chapel, Christian education, and Spiritual Life groups, as well as to meet individually with an on-campus Chaplain or Spiritual Life Specialist.…

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Graduation and Beyond

Graduation and Beyond

At graduation this week, one of our graduates said he never thought he would finish school—but then he came to Dakota Memorial School (DMS), the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. He stood in front of a roomful of people—all there to celebrate his accomplishments, and thanked the teachers and staff at the Ranch for helping him make it to this moment. As he gave his grandmother a hug, her eyes filled with tears. She knew as well as anyone how hard he’d worked to reach this moment.…

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BLT Day at the Ranch

BLT Day at the Ranch

Purchase spring plants, planters, vegetable plants, herbs, and more! Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will welcome guests of all ages at its 13th Annual BLT Day, Saturday, May 12, 2018, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, 6301 19th Ave. N.W., Minot. The money raised through this family-friendly event purchase supplies/equipment (seeds, bulbs, soil, hand tools, pots, teaching materials, etc.), greenhouse utilities, maintenance/repairs and staff costs directly related to greenhouse program development and instruction.…

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It truly is a small world

Last week, I traveled across Missouri to visit friends and churches who support the children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. They all have such love and compassion for these precious children—children they’ve never met. My first stop on Sunday morning was to Christ Memorial Lutheran Church in St. Louis. In his sermon, the pastor reminded us that every one of us is doing important work for God, no matter their title or job. I was inspired by his sermon and thought of our kids—I am so glad they have a chance to hear this message while they are at Ranch.…

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D.J.'s Story

D.J.'s Story

As Vice President of Communications for the Ranch, part of my job is to bring the stories of Ranch children to the donors who support our work. I don’t work directly with the kids at the Ranch, but I see them every day. They look and sound like typical kids. As I see and hear them smile, talk, laugh, and listen to music on their iPods, it’s easy to forget the reality of what these kids have been through. But then, occasionally, I have the incredible honor of having one of these children trust me with their story. Like D.J.…

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