Letter: A call to serve others

J. Patrick Traynor, executive director of the Dakota Medical Foundation, writes about MacKenzie Scott's recent $10M donation.

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We are part of The Trust Project.

We at Dakota Medical Foundation are especially grateful this Thanksgiving.

You may have heard last week that DMF received a $10 million donation from well-known philanthropist MacKenzie Scott . This gift reflects the tireless efforts of the thousands of charities, donors and volunteers we’ve been blessed to work with over the years. As we’ve said many times, we do nothing by ourselves.

Scott is making the world a much better place than she found it and is using a definite strategy and sense of urgency to do so on a massive scale. The process she uses to identify recipients of her philanthropy is thorough, respectful and intentional.

It’s a tremendous honor being selected among so many worthy causes, but it’s also a tremendous responsibility. Like our generous benefactor, we feel called to improve the lives of as many people as possible, and we know this gift will help us do that in previously unrealized ways.

A gift of this size has caused us to do some serious reflection at the foundation, and there’s one thing we keep coming back to: It is only through looking outside ourselves that we find true significance and meaning in life.


We are called to serve. In fact, we believe that everyone is.

Each and every person is blessed with unique gifts and has the potential to create an immeasurably positive ripple in their own life and the lives of everyone around them.

Scott’s gift will be deployed to that end: inspiring not just one or two or 50 helpers but an entire region of them.

And to do that, we’ll need all the help we can get. We hope you’ll join us.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

J. Patrick Traynor is the executive director of the Dakota Medical Foundation.

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