north dakota

Having a Snow Day

Having a Snow Day

As the great-granddaughter of North Dakota homesteaders, a winter blizzard is par for the course. I recall fond memories of snow days. Staying home from school and work with family, baking and cooking to add extra warmth to the house...unless the power goes out and you camp out in the living room. Oh, the fun!…

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Celebrating Love with a Thankful Heart

Celebrating Love with a Thankful Heart

"And now these three remain: Faith, Hope, and "Love." But the greatest of these is "Love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13 The month of February is a celebration of love, and at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, we go all out in our celebration of Valentine's Day. Our kids make heart-shaped crafts, eat heart-shaped cookies (and sometimes pancakes), write about love, and discuss the power of love and friendship in their classes and groups.…

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Together We Help So Many Kids

Together We Help So Many Kids

The supporters of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch are so gracious and well informed about our ministry. I have learned so much of our history from those I am blessed to visit with. Please know that we appreciate you very much.…

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Breaking Bread Together

Breaking Bread Together

Lunch is one of my favorite times at the Ranch. We are all gathered together--kids who have just joined us, kids about to discharge, teachers, counselors, fundraisers, direct care staff, and more. We gather together to break bread and talk about the topic on people's minds that day. Just like we do around the dinner table at home.…

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I trust you, Jesus

I trust you, Jesus

In her devotional book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young challenged readers on January 4th to make a new habit of responding to any difficult situation with the words, "I trust you, Jesus." ... Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is an amazing place. We help some of the most troubled, complicated and special children find a better way to live their lives. They heal from the pain in their past and learn skills to better navigate the ups and downs that come with being human. We can help them to also see that they too can know and say, "I trust you, Jesus."…

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Bringing Your Best

Bringing Your Best

At the Ranch, we help the most troubled, complicated and amazing children by providing best-in-class therapy and trauma-informed care where we look kids in the eye, walk with them and help them become their best selves in this world and in Christ. In short, we help these kids find and become who they really are.…

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Should old acquaintance be forgot and never cross your mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never cross your mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never cross your mind? This question is repeated at New Year's celebrations across the world as people ring in the New Year with the familiar song, "Auld Land Syne."…

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May Your Christmas Tree Fall Over

May Your Christmas Tree Fall Over

When Janet Zinke asked me to be the “guest writer” for this week’s edition of her sharing, my first thought was “What can I bring to a Christmas Greeting that hasn’t been said a hundred times?” And then I thought, “My wish for them is that their Christmas tree falls over!”…

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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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