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I Don’t Want to Grow Up

I Don’t Want to Grow Up

You don’t have to be an adult very long before you realize it stinks. There are mortgage payments and social norms and leaky pipes and dress slacks. The list of constraining, fun-squashing, grown-up things is endless. As a dad, it’s hard not to be a little jealous of my kids. They’re free of all that […]

I Can Explain...

I Can Explain…

Early this morning, I opened my eyes and saw 7-year-old Jack’s eyes looking right at me, just inches from my face. “Mom,” he whispered. “I need to tell you something.” “What is it, Jack?” I groaned sleepily. “The Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night,” he said. “My tooth is still there under the pillow and […]

Behavioral Health in North Dakota

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center In January of this year, the North Dakota Legislature hired Schulte Consulting to examine North Dakota’s behavioral health system. Concurrently, a North Dakota Behavioral Health stakeholder’s group was convened to make sure everyone was at the table. Representing the nonprofit sector, The Village is honored to […]

Pint-sized Demolition Crew

Pint-sized Demolition Crew

Tweet Brands like Gerber and Pampers like to show you pictures of sleeping babies taken with soft filters so they look all sweet and cuddly. Have you seen those Carter’s children’s clothing promo photos with all of those happy, contented, clean children? Well, that’s all a whole lot of hooey aimed at selling stuff. The […]

Wish I was Making This Up

Wish I was Making This Up

My favorite humor writer, Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, is famous for the line “I am not making this up.” He uses it when writing about things that are so absurd any sane person would assume he’s taking creative liberties with his description when, in fact, the description happens to be ridiculous AND true. I […]

Keeping an Eye Upstream

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center Four villagers working along a river bank see children floating by and out of sight. The first villager works frantically to pull out as many as he can. The second villager decides the best approach is to teach the children to swim. The third villager rallies […]

The Lizard Who Ate Orlando

The Lizard Who Ate Orlando

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your work is get away from it. A week’s vacation did the trick; even though I’m up to my neck in laundry and an overflowing email inbox, I’m refreshed and happy to be back at my computer. I was reminded of a trip we took a few […]

A Decade of Fatherly Wisdom

A Decade of Fatherly Wisdom

Marriage was a big life change. But I think fatherhood was even bigger. For the first time, I (along with my wife) was totally responsible for every aspect of the well-being of someone who wasn’t me. I’ve been a dad for almost 10 years now. Fatherhood has changed me, and I’ve learned a lot. For […]

Notes From the Children’s Summit

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center We recently held a Village Children’s Summit in an effort to review the services we provide to children and families, and to ensure we remain on the cutting-edge of current family treatment methods. We gathered all Village staff who either work directly with families, or provide […]

Three Decades of Opportunity

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center From time to time the question of my tenure at The Village comes up, particularly since I passed the 30-year mark in August 2013. It’s a good question, as I suppose it’s not common to find someone who stays with an organization that long. As I […]

Mentoring Works

The Village’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program stretches back over 40 years and is a program of which I am immensely proud. A few months ago, I received a report on a large scale evaluation assessing the impact of mentoring—which provides further evidence that Big Brothers Big Sisters is changing the lives of kids in […]

Confessions of a Quitter

Confessions of a Quitter

Over the years, my mother let me quit a few things. After several failed attempts at sewing lessons, she accepted that the one and only thing I ever produced was a bath towel wrap with a piece of Velcro sloppily stitched to it. And after a lot of whiny persuasion, she also let me quit […]

Ellie’s Story

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center I’m passing on the true and accurate story about a young girl who, for reasons of confidentiality, we’ll call Ellie. Please take a moment to read about Ellie’s incredible journey through challenges that are difficult for most of us to comprehend. Ellie is a beautiful, talented, […]

Recognition and Thanks

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. A day set aside by a grateful nation to pay homage to the millions who defended our country, its freedom, its way of life, and who have done their part at ensuring the next generation […]

Vamps With School Spirit

Vamps With School Spirit

They fly through the air at night, they have superhuman strength and agility, they put the bite on you time after time, and they can completely take over your life. Vampires? I wish! I’m talking about cheerleaders. My 16-year-old daughter Wendy is on the junior varsity squad at Good Times Regional High School. She is […]

I Can’t Wait to Get Homework!

I Can’t Wait to Get Homework!

It was my son’s favorite question, and he was asked it frequently by kind friends, neighbors, and grocery store clerks: “So, are you excited about being in kindergarten?” “Yeah! I can’t wait to get homework!” was his standard reply. And why not? At 5, “getting homework”—reading a poem to his parents, drawing a picture of […]

Be the Best Dad You Can Be

There is probably nothing quite so gratifying for a dad as to watch your children grow up and do well—to become productive citizens contributing good values to their families, neighborhoods, and communities. It’s especially delightful to watch them become parents themselves. Two of our three kids are at that stage of raising little people of […]

Looking for Safety in All the Wrong Places

Looking for Safety in All the Wrong Places

We’re all aware of the avalanche of debate that has evolved since the multiple murders in Newtown, which followed the shooting in Aurora, which followed the shooting in Tucson, which followed… In a typical display of brilliance, Congress used the culmination of these events, and particularly the heinous nature of the Connecticut murders, to call […]

Elections Have Consequences

Let me start with a story. The day after the election, I visited with a business person who explained to me that a significant donation to support the work of The Village would not be forthcoming as planned. It was explained that the individual was withholding any and all potential charitable contributions until getting a […]

Decreasing Addiction’s Toll

People are plagued with addictions of all kinds. On some level or another, we are all affected by our own, a family member’s, a co-worker’s, or a friend’s addiction. I am no exception. My dad had a wonderful career in progress and was devoted to his work, his family, and in every respect, the betterment […]