I bought a really crazy red coat.
People donate wonderful things to the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores. The Thrift Stores have a two-pronged purpose. First and foremost, each year the thrift stores generate income for Ranch programs which provide hope and healing for troubled, complicated, and amazing kids. In addition to the main purpose of providing an income source for the psychiatric and educational services provided to at-risk kids, Ranch thrift stores make a huge impact on the communities they serve. The stores strive to be a positive, productive, and compassionate part of our community.
I am not a big shopper, but I do love to shop at our Thrift Stores.
I also love to shop our online store at shopdakotaranch.com. This “store” gives folks who don’t live in communities near our Thrift Stores a chance to help Ranch kids by purchasing some of the funkier, vintage items that may be of interest. It is a treasure trove of lovely and quirky.
Back to the coat. Before Christmas, there was a wild, deep red coat on the website. Fake fur, full-length, tags on. As my daughter said, it is a “statement piece.” Probably from the 60s or 70s and brand new. I didn’t buy it. I thought myself way too practical for that type of statement.
In late January, I went on the website, and darn if that coat wasn’t on sale! I don’t recall for sure, but I think it was $34 or $39. That seemed like a message to me. It had been waiting for me and now it was irresistible. I bought that crazy coat.
Now, first of all, when it arrived I was truly thrilled with the condition and quality. Brand new, great lining, very cuddly, lightweight but really warm. Still very quirky.
I wore it to an afternoon tea event I had been invited to. I think I counted 12 other people who, when seeing it, just had to try it on. One person offered to buy it from me.
So, having had that test run, I bravely wore it to work. Two of the teenage girls in care here at the Ranch spotted it right away when I walked in. (Granted, it is hard to miss.) “Joy, can I try it on.” “Joy, can I wear this all day to school?” “Joy, did people wear these for real ‘back then?’”
A week later I wore it again. Another child in our care stopped in to say “Hi.” “I knew you were on campus today because I saw your coat when you were walking in this morning!” She sat down and we visited about her successes and frustrations from the day before… all while she wore the coat.
You never know what will open the door to conversations and connections.
Sometimes it is a really crazy red coat.
Please keep our kids and staff in your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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