Letter from our Founder

My father was a self-made man. He grew up on the streets with an alcoholic mother and a dirt poor father who was unable to provide for his family. After bouncing around for most of his childhood, my father dropped out of school and joined the United States Air Force, marrying my mother at age 19, and fathering me a year later. At age 21, he left the Air Force a changed man; he earned a GED, became a farmer, began a career as a successful engineer, and raised a family of six children.

Everything of importance I have ever learned, I learned from my father. I watched him accept personal responsibility for his life and transform himself from the inside out. I watched him confront social injustice in our community, open our home to those in need, and stand up for the weak and powerless. I watched him pursue his dreams fearlessly; daring mighty things to build a future for his family.

My father’s influence in my life inspired me to start Dare Mighty Things in 1991. I believe deeply in the principles of personal transformation, social responsibility, and the moral imperative to attempt to change the world for the better wherever we can. For nearly twenty years, my colleagues and I have worked side by side with social entrepreneurs who share these commitments, helping them to build large-scale social programs that empower those falling through the cracks of our society. Today I can say with some pride that hundreds of thousands of high-risk children and families have been at the receiving end of the programs we have helped our clients develop and implement.

In the eyes of every high school dropout I see, every homeless child, or every parent struggling to provide for their children, I always see my father. I see the fear, confusion and pain. But, more importantly, I see the strength and desire to change. We exist to help make that happen.

David Van Patten