I write a lot.
I write reports and emails and presentations and columns. However, my favorite writing is personal notes on cards designed by our kids.
I don’t know if you have received one from me lately or ever. It’s hard to keep track of them all. But, I wanted to draw your attention to something slightly askew in the ones I have sent lately… just in case you got one and were wondering.
There is a boy on our Fargo Campus. He is taller than me, soft-spoken, has a massive amount of black hair, glasses, and a rare but earnest smile. He likes to keep busy. When there is a “lull in the action” by his standards, he will come to my office or stop me in the lunch line and ask if I have any projects he can help with. I always tell him that if the program staff says he has some time, I always have projects.
He takes his work very seriously, and I try to make sure he is set for success. Because of some of his challenges, a work session usually lasts about 20 minutes or so. Then, he is on to something else. But, for those 20 minutes, he is all in.
Back to my notes. When I write my notes, I use a sticky return label on the back of the envelope. Recently, this precious boy came to my office, and his project was to put labels on as many envelopes as he could in the time he had. He worked at my side desk and sometimes had a label on each finger. He did 144 in his time with me. (He probably would have done more, but he had lots of questions about the pictures in my office.) He was so proud of the stack. He had arranged them in 12 piles of 12. He gave me one of his quick grins. I thanked him, and he left with the staff.
I picked up the envelopes and looked. Each one of the labels is slightly askew. Each one of them makes me smile as I think of the kindness this child has learned and his willingness to help.
If you get one of my envelopes with the label just a little crooked, I hope it brings you a smile, too. Maybe take a second to say a prayer for his continued healing.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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