Empty Stockings

2011-11-27T00:00:00Z 2011-12-05T11:36:47Z Empty Stockings Helena Independent Record
November 27, 2011 12:00 am

The IR’s Empty Stockings feature is printed every year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It presents the wish and need lists of Helena area nonprofit organizations that assist families, individuals and the pets they love in various ways throughout the year. It is heartwarming to see, year after year, your outpouring of love, time, gifts, donations and contributions to help these organizations and agencies help our neighbors in need. Even as we still feel the effects of the recession, a pair of mittens, a basket of food and items such as pencils or a playground ball can make a difference.

On behalf of the IR and the organizations who have sent us their lists, thank you — the individuals, families, groups, businesses, clubs — everyone in our community, for your warm-hearted response to past Empty Stockings requests. Happy holidays!


P. O. Box 7436

Helena, MT 59604




The Angel Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation helping Helena School District children with necessary school items including school clothes, shoes, winter coats, school supplies, backpacks, field-trip fees, project materials and other school expenses to families needing assistance. The Angel Fund also awards Montana postsecondary scholarships to qualified high school seniors based on financial need, academic success and a commitment to give back to their community at each high school to assist in expenses their freshman year. 

A scholarship recipient wrote, “The last few years have been pretty difficult, but this scholarship was the start of things looking up! So from the bottom of my heart I thank you and hope to make you proud.” 

This fall, The Angel Fund began its 22nd school year making a difference in a child’s life. The Angel Fund has helped over 750 children since school began this fall! 

A note from a single mother, “As a mother of three kids in school, it has been an enormous help having qualified for this program . . . I have been truly blessed by Angel Fund.” 

The generous people of Helena churches and businesses graciously provided school supplies through “Stuff the Bus” this past August and the Angel Fund continues to help students with clothing and shoes throughout the school year. We hope you will consider helping a child in need this holiday season. Our philosophy, “pay it forward” — a concept of giving to others to make the world a better place — instills community and kindness. The children we help today will help others in the future. Together, Angel Fund is changing the world one child at a time! 

Thank you Helena for your continued support and giving spirit! (Monetary donations are preferred because of the varied sizes and specific clothing needed). Merry Christmas! Marcia K. Wall, Founder


Rocky Mountain Development Council

P.O. Box 1717

200 Miller

Helena, MT 59624



The Kids’ Mental Health Advocacy program provides support, education and services to youth with a mental health diagnosis and their families using a High Fidelity Wraparound approach to wellness. KMHA provides education courses and hosts monthly support group dinner meetings for parents and a monthly meeting for high-school teenagers who need support. The youth have developed a speaking panel that presents individual stories of youth living with mental illness in the hope that their efforts reduce the stigma and fear that a mental health diagnosis often brings.

The following items would be of assistance to our program and the families who are facing the costs and complexity of assisting a child with a mental health diagnosis:

• Gas cards help the youth travel to speak and educate others across the state about mental illness.

• Christmas wrapping paper, tape, gift boxes and bows will make our fundraising wrapping booth.

• Cash gifts can help the youth continue their anti-stigma message, help families pay for needed medication or services for their child and help our program reach out to families through education and advocacy.

Donations can be mailed to the post office box above or may be dropped off at the receptionist’s office at Rocky Mountain Development Council in the Neighborhood Center, 200 South Cruse, Helena, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please identify them to go to the Kids’ Mental Health Advocacy program. We always appreciate knowing your name and address too, so we can send thanks individually. The front desk will have receipts for your charitable donation for your tax records if you would like one.


500 S. Lamborn St.



Operating for over 100 years, Intermountain is one of Montana’s oldest child welfare agencies. We provide mental health and educational services to effectively meet the diverse needs of children and families facing emotional challenges. Our primary services include: residential treatment, community services and professional training. Throughout our long and rich history, Intermountain’s reputation has been built on our focused effort to help children and families. 

Your participation in Empty Stockings supports our mission: Healing through healthy relationships. Items may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Our children’s “wish list” includes:

• Puzzles, decks of cards, Legos, Lincoln Logs, action figures, dress-up dolls;

• Gift certificates for tickets to plays, movies, ice skating, roller skating or swimming;

• Socks, pajamas and winter coats;

• Twin mattresses;

• Cash donations are also appreciated so children can choose their own clothing and toys.


1905 Henderson 

Helena, MT 59601


The Salvation Army has been serving the Helena community since 1888. We are a place of worship and also offer social services to those who are less fortunate or have hit a streak of circumstances beyond their control. 

Our wish list consists of the following: 

• We would like a 6-by-10-foot enclosed cargo trailer for the purpose of picking up pantry food, toys and other donations year round.

• We could use new bedding for twin and queen-sized beds for our transitional housing units.

• It would be nice to have new sleeping bags and new tents that fit two to three men to give to the homeless, along with new long johns in various sizes.

• New hats and gloves in adult sizes would help out also.

• We need volunteer bell ringers to work for an hour, an eight-hour shift or a week. 

Please drop off items at the Salvation Army, 1905 Henderson. Any questions, call 442-8244 and ask for Lt. Rob.


P.O. Box 939

Helena, MT 59624



Brian Johnson, executive director

Family Promise is a network of churches working together to provide shelter and food to families with children who are homeless in the Helena area.

• $20 gas cards

• 22-gallon storage totes with lids for guest family belongings

• HP 564 tri-color and black printer ink for printing job applications

• High-quality resume paper

• Plastic accordion files

• Used vehicles in good condition for guest families

• 14-passenger van for agency to transport guests


P.O. Box 6896

Helena, MT 59604



Beth Foster, Coordinator

Toys for Tots is a nonprofit organization developed in 1947 by the Los Angeles Marine Corps Reserve. Toys for Tots volunteers have been collecting and distributing NEW, UNWRAPPED TOYS to Helena-area children, ages 0-15, since 1978. The Marine Corps is counting on the Helena area, once again, to fill the need. For the 33rd year in Helena, Toys for Tots collection barrels and “Train Campaign Cars” have been placed at strategic locations throughout the city. There are over 80 toy drop-off and Train Campaign donation sites, including Murdoch’s, Valley Hub, Grub Stake, Shopko, U.S. Marine Recruiters Office, Capital Sports, Montana Book and Toy Co., Carmen’s Crafts/Boulder, Shellie’s Café, Boeing Helena, Walmart and Hunter’s Pointe, to name a few.

We also take monetary donations and are pleased to announce that we spent 96 percent of all donations on toys right here in Helena! We do not pay our volunteers or purchase gas and food.

Please visit the Helena Toys for Tots Web site, http://helena-mt.toysfortots.org, to get a full listing of all donation sites in Helena, East Helena and Boulder.

Toys for Tots distribution will be Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Salvation Army Gymnasium located at 1905 Henderson.

Please contact The Salvation Army, 442-8244 to register for toys. We welcome anyone who may need supplemental toy assistance for their children ages 0-15.

“Every Child Deserves a Little Christmas!”


2475 Broadway

Helena, MT 59601




Our national debate on health care involves billions and trillions of dollars. But every day, in our community, it only takes a modest amount to make a real difference.

• A gift of $25 can provide gas for a cancer patient living in Townsend to get to two sessions of life-saving treatments at St. Peter’s cancer treatment center.

• A gift of $50 will give a rape victim, whose clothing is kept for evidence, clean new underwear, sweat pants, shirt and sneakers to go home in, preserving a little human dignity after a horrific event.

• $75 can provide needed antibiotics to keep a surgical patient on the road to recovery, and out of hospital.

The foundation subsidizes care such as hospice, lifeline units and cardio-pulmonary rehab, so that anyone needing this care receives it, regardless of insurance or finances.

St. Peter’s Foundation funds major projects and new technology that benefit everyone in our region. Your gifts, and those of others, helped us build a new $1.9 million center for cancer care, funded entirely with donations. A higher level of cancer care, for more than 300 of us who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. And thousands of survivors we continue to care for. Care that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

St. Peter’s Foundation receives more than 200 direct requests a year from patients and families in medical crisis. In almost all cases the answer is, “Yes, we can help.” This is only possible because of your generous gifts.

Beyond the numbers ... a few lives touched by gifts to St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation

Terry (not her real name) is a young woman who was recently in our hospital. She works, but her job does not come with health care benefits. Terry was being discharged after an unplanned surgery and needed about $200 of medication to prevent infection and help her heal.

She had not been working for the week before her surgery. She didn’t know when she would be able to return to work. She had no money for the medications that the doctor had prescribed. St. Peter’s Foundation paid for her medications. Today, Terry is healthy and back at work.

Samantha (not her real name) is struggling with severe anorexia. She is a young, single woman working hard to remain independent. She needs a feeding tube placed and needs tube-feeding supplies and equipment. She is currently not eating and this is vital for short-term nutrition until the work she is doing allows her to eat again.

St. Peter’s Foundation paid for supplies and nutrition. A lifeline for a patient struggling for survival and health.

Tom (not his real name) has a genetic kidney disease. He has to receive dialysis treatments three times a week, four hours each treatment to stay alive. He has no family nearby and no car. Dial-a-Ride tokens, funded by St. Peter’s Foundation, provide him transportation to his three weekly dialysis treatments.

This fall, Tom had a possible kidney donor match. But he had to get to Spokane, Wash., for the “work up” and testing to determine if this transplant would work. St. Peter’s Foundation paid for his travel expenses to Spokane and the chance at a new life — untethered from ongoing dialysis treatments.


P.O. Box 287

Helena, MT 59624



The Pad For Paws Foundation’s motto is “Keeping Pets and Their People Together”.

Our foundation helps the most vulnerable citizens — seniors, people with service animals, physically and mentally challenged, veterans — those who are having a hard time in this economy, and cannot afford to feed both themselves and their pets.

For most pet owners, their dog or cat is more than a pet. These domestic animals are faithful companions who provide friendship, joy and sometimes even a reason for living. Many of these pets are the only family our clients have — like the beloved cat owned by the 90-years-young woman we visit. Or pets that are our clients’ best friends — like the little deaf girl and her service dog who are inseparable.

In today’s economy, too many disadvantaged are having to make difficult decisions: Should they feed themselves or their pets? How will they pay to take their pet to the veterinarian to ease his suffering? Our foundation tries to alleviate those decisions by providing pet food and supplies and emergency veterinarian care.

With our donation of pet food, our clients don’t have to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their beloved family pets. Without our assistance, hundreds more pets would be turned in to the Humane Society because owners would not be able to feed them. Pet owners who love their animals should not have to lose them just because they’ve hit a rough time in their lives.

Since 2008 our Paws Pantry program has donated over 100,000 pounds of dog and cat food to Helena Food Share, God’s Love and many needy individuals and families around Helena.

A cash donation goes a long way — each $20 donation purchases enough food to feed one cat for one full month, or one dog for two weeks. Our foundation also has drop boxes at the following locations: Petco, Helena Food Share and The Man Store in East Helena, where you can leave donations of bagged or canned pet food.

This holiday season celebrate the love that our pets generously give us all year.

Our organization is 100 percent volunteer-based and we have no paid employees. All donations are tax deductible as allowable by law. Please visit us at www.padforpaws.org to make a donation or to find out how you can help spread the holiday spirit to pets in need.

Pad for Paws testimonials

Sentiments written on an early Christmas card received from a client: “Thank you for the many times that you have gone out of your way to help Buster. God bless you and I don’t use that term lightly. You are truly making a difference. Thank you.”

A real pet owner Pad For Paws helped: Tee had just set up his camp along the Missouri River when he heard water splashing and looked up to see something strange. A man and woman were standing a few feet offshore in the river trying to hold a burlap sack under water. Tee raced toward the couple, yelling at the top of his lungs. Seeing Tee running toward them, the couple immediately released the sack and ran up the hillside.

Tee made the split-second decision to grab the sack that was sinking under the water and slipping away. Inside he felt a small, cold body struggling. He could hear little squeaks and cries so he knew it was a small animal of some kind.

Quickly ripping open the bag, Tee found a tiny chocolate lab puppy lying still and limp in his arms. He removed the little guy and gently put him inside his shirt to warm him. After some agonizing minutes, the puppy started moving and becoming alert. The rest of the day and night Tee and the puppy were inseparable.

From this terrifying beginning has grown a life-long bond between Tee and little “Burt.” When Tee called Pad For Paws for some veterinary assistance in caring for Burt, we felt honored to help in any way we could. Fortunately, after his vet exam and puppy shots, Burt was declared a healthy puppy and appears to have suffered no ill effects at the hands of the man and woman who tried to end his young life.

On that fateful day, both Tee and Burt found a lifelong friend, and Pad For Paws was happy to assist!


347 N. Last Chance Gulch

Helena, Montana 59601

CTI has a number of employment and training programs that assist individuals and families in our community. Annually, over 200 youth and young adults pass through CTI as they seek assistance in finding a job, going to college or completing high school. Many youth are living on their own, some are single parents, while others are struggling to make ends meet. These struggles include finding a safe place to sleep, getting to and from work, keeping their vehicle running and paying their bills.

Youth Build Helena is a new program targeting youth 16 to 24. Youth focus on completing their GED or diploma, learning construction skills and volunteering for projects that benefit our community. Youth Build students are building an affordable home that will be sold next spring. CTI’s youth most often need gas, bus passes, phone cards, vehicle repairs, warm clothes, gloves and hats. Youth, living on their own for the first time, need basic household items such as pots, pans, dishes, kitchen items, towels, blankets and bedding.


1930 9th Ave.

Helena, MT 59601



The Lewis and Clark County Home and Community Based Services program makes a variety of services available to qualifying individuals so that they can live fully integrated lives within their own communities. Services are many and varied, allowing consumers to choose those that are most appropriate to meet their needs. Individuals must be Medicaid-eligible to qualify for the program.

Lewis and Clark County Case Management currently serves 110 clients in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson and Broadwater counties.

Your donation of the following items would be greatly appreciated:

• Pet owners would appreciate a Petco gift card or gift certificate to Pet Town to keep their companion animals in food and supplies.

• Many individuals could use Walmart or grocery cards, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year to help them make ends meet.

• Gas cards would come in handy for individuals planning to go out of town for the holidays or to simply allow them to do errands around town.

• A young mother with a disability has two boys ages 3 and 4. She would like a gift card to Walmart to be able to purchase Christmas gifts for them.


133 Reeder’s Alley

Helena, MT 59601


CASA is serving four siblings whom have been placed in two different kinship homes. Both families have limited income and are barely able to meet the children’s basic needs. All four boys could use winter hats, mittens, clothes and boots. The children also like board games, art, Legos, football, books and puzzles. Please see below for sizes:

• Boy, 11 years old: Size 12 for clothes and size 6 for boots; likes Xbox games

• Boy, 9 years old: Size 10-12 for clothes and size 5 for boots; likes Xbox games

• Boy, 7 years old: Size 7 pants and 7/8 for shirts and size 2 for boots; likes Spider-Man and Wii games

• Boy, 4 years old: Size 5 or 6 toddler for clothes and size 1 for boots; likes Batman and learning games

We would like to thank the Helena community for participating in Empty Stockings in previous years. Your donations make it possible for families in need to celebrate during the holidays.

CASA-Advocates for Kids provides trained volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in Lewis and Clark, Broadwater and Meagher counties, subject to district court jurisdiction. CASA provides any and all activities necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of children in dependent neglect cases. Currently Helena CASA is serving over 125 children represented by 60 volunteers. For more information, please go to our website at www.helenacasa.org or email pam-casa@qwestoffice.net.


A program of Rocky Mountain 

Development Council

Emily McVey, program director

P.O. Box 1717

Helena, MT 59624



Montana Youth Homes provided care to 98 youth in 2010. In 2011, Montana Youth Homes expanded its programs and so far this year has assisted more than 120 youth and 15 families. Youth who receive services in the Montana Youth Homes programs live in our group homes, our community or in safe foster placements all over the tri-county area. Our kids have experienced histories of abuse, neglect, trauma and involvement with law enforcement. They suffer from mental illness and chemical dependency issues and more. For many, these factors keep them from living at home. We want all our kids to be with family for the holidays but when that is not possible, we do everything we can to make this the best Christmas they will ever have. Thank you so much for helping our kids experience a Christmas they will never forget. 

The Montana Youth Homes programs are Jan Shaw Therapeutic Youth Home for girls; Margaret Stuart Youth Home for boys and girls; Holdover, Homeless and Runaway Program; Youth on Track to Adulthood; Transitional Living Program; Supported Independent Living Services; and High Fidelity Wraparound Services for families helping a child recover from mental illness.

Mandi is an “all-American girl.” Mandi has been in the foster care system since she was a baby. Now she is 15 and staying at Montana Youth Homes for the fifth time. This time we get to keep her for a while and that is sad and wonderful at the same time. Every week we get to watch Mandi don her school colors and participate in extracurricular activities just like all of the other sophomores at her school. We enjoy watching Mandi enjoy her teen years and succeed in school. Someday Mandi will be one our greatest successes — we can see it already. For Christmas, Mandi has asked for:

• Jeans, size 8-10

• Shirts, pink, purple, black, gold (size M-L)

• Hoodie sweatshirts (size M-L)

• PJs and slippers

• Body wash and perfume — floral or fruity smells

• Makeup set, necklace, earrings

• Mechanical pencils, art supplies, sketch pads, notebooks

• Water bottle, travel coffee mug

• Lava lamp

• Twin bedding

• Gift card to Ross or Walmart

Tim, 17, is one of those kids you can’t just help but like. He comes to us with a long history of chemical dependency issues but within a week of moving in he started to work with a counselor and has been clean for over two months. Tim said all he ever really wanted was enough food to eat every day and a ride to school. Now that those basic needs are being taken care of, Tim is thriving. He is about ready to take his GED test and within three months he will be entering an independent living program. Tim is asking for:

• Hoodies (Nike, Adidas, DC brand XL)

• Jeans (Men’s 36x32)

• Boxers (Men’s L)

• Basketball shoes (Men’s 11)

• Winter hat and gloves

• Slippers

• Cologne

• Backpack

• Boy posters

• Razors and shave gel

• Gift card to Target or Ross

Many of our young people and their families and our group homes could also use:

• Books: 8th to 10th grade reading level for boys or girls

• Plastic totes — 18 gallon or bigger

• Bed pillows

• Bedding of all sizes

• Baking pans

• Pot and pan sets

• Boxing gloves

• Hair ties/clips

• Sleds

• Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant

• Cleaning supplies

• Craft and sewing supplies

Donations may be dropped off at the receptionist’s office at Rocky Mountain Development Council in the Neighborhood Center, 200 South Cruse, Helena, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or mailed to the post office box above. Please identify them to go to the Montana Youth Homes program. We always appreciate knowing your name and address too, so we can send thanks individually. The front desk will have receipts with Rocky’s tax-free information if you would like one. Thank you!


648 Jackson St.

P.O. Box 1717

Helena, MT 59624-1717

457-7352 or 447-1680


The aging population is often forgotten during the holidays, but never at RMDC’s Area IV Agency on Aging. Area IV works with individuals and families 60-plus and those younger than 60 with disabilities. We offer nonbiased, consumer-driven services such as: health insurance counseling, case management, ombudsman visits to long-term care facilities and general information, assistance and referrals for other available programs and services. At this season, you can help us help the following folks:

• Area IV staff has had the privilege of working with individuals like a lovely 65-year-old young lady who suffers from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease); she loves chocolate, including chocolate Ensure, from which she gets most of her daily nourishment.

• A 95-year-old, who has been assisted by our case management team, loves to walk and feed the birds and could really benefit from some slippers with tread (size 9-10) in addition to extra bird seed.

• A burly, but very kind, 87-year-old young man, who once worked as a miner, misses putting his hands in the dirt and would take great pleasure in having an “at home” mining kit.

• Our regal young ladies of 76 and 80 would really enjoy a pleasant dinner out at a sit-down restaurant, but with their limited incomes, they are unable to indulge this small pleasure. A gift card/certificate to a restaurant such as Applebee’s, Macaroni Grill, Chili’s, Jorgenson’s, Overland, Jade Garden or the like would offer a refreshing change in their daily routine.

Gifts that would be enjoyed and appreciated by many are:

• Birdseed for birds, cat food and litter for cats and dog food for small dogs. Often, pets are the only connection people have to their previous independence; their pets help them feel needed and appreciated.

• Gift cards to pharmacies or grocery stores with a pharmacy (Safeway, Albertsons, Shopko, Walmart, K-mart, Target). Individuals who are sick and in need of many medications often deprive themselves of other basic needs, such as food, in order to purchase their prescriptions.

• Warm fleece blankets and cozy cotton pajamas (larger sizes). In the cold winter months, our clients value extra comfort and warmth.

• “TV ears” and book magnifiers are much needed items for many of our clients who often find themselves home-bound due to limited mobility.

• Gift cards to for craft stores (Michaels, Ben Franklin, JoAnn fabrics). Being able to stay active and busy as long as possible and maintain interests and hobbies during changes of life are vital to healthy living.

• Other items that are valued by our clientele are: Boost and Ensure protein drinks (all flavors), Aveeno lotion for aging dry skin, romance movies, western novels, playing cards and sugar-free candy.

Unwrapped items may be dropped off at the Senior Services Resource Center at 648 Jackson St. (next to Capital Laundry) in Helena. Please let the receptionist know that the items are specified for Area IV Agency on Aging, Empty Stockings. Items need to be received by Friday, Dec. 9, to be delivered during the week of Dec. 12 to ensure they are received and enjoyed by Christmas.

If you would like additional information about the programs or gifts, or if you would like someone to pick up your donation, you can contact us at 457-7352 or 1-800-551-3191. We always appreciate knowing your name and address, too, so that we can say a personal “Thank you.”

Thank you, Helena, for your kind and abundant generosity each year, your charitable giving does not go unnoticed and often makes our clients whole year!


P.O. Box 1717

Helena, MT 59624

200 S. Cruse Ave. 457-7308

Janet Coughlin

Rocky Mountain Development Council Head Start serves 236 children, ages 3 and 4, and their families, in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson and Broadwater counties. These families live on very limited incomes (for instance, a family of three lives on less that $18,530 per year). All year long RMDC Head Start is grateful for the care and generosity shown by the community to families in need. Most especially at Christmas, our families treasure your donations. Here are some options:

1. Donations of clothing for the children during inclement weather and/or toileting accidents that happen in the day of a preschooler are greatly appreciated. Specifically we can use boys’ and girls’:

• snow boots in sizes 10, 11 and 12 and socks in the same shoe sizes;

• sweatpants and underwear for girls and boys in sizes, 4, 5 and 6;

• small mittens to fit children aged 3, 4 and 5.

2. Families are grateful for the donation of gas cards that help them when ends don’t meet and they need to drop their children off at school, go to work or a make a medical appointment.

3. A few families expressed specific needs:

• Single dad with three young boys would appreciate shampoo, Q-Tips, baby wipes, Kleenex, toilet paper, deodorant, razors, nail clippers, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

• Single mom with 5- and 9-year-old would appreciate books and/or other educational supplies for spending time with her children.

4. Finally, Head Start maintains two special funds where your cash donations can help the program:

• One to purchase early childhood literacy materials, specifically this year the program needs small and medium wicker baskets to support implementing nature in our classrooms;

• The other for emergency assistance to families throughout the year, specifically assistance with car repairs.

For information, contact Janet Coughlin, RMDC Head Start, PO Box 1717, Helena, MT 59624; 457-7308. Donations may be dropped off at the Head Start or general receptionist’s office at Rocky Mountain Development Council in the Neighborhood Center, 200 South Cruse, Helena, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or mailed to the post office box above. Please identify them to go to the Head Start program. We always appreciate knowing your name and address, too, so we can send thanks individually. The front desk will have receipts with Rocky’s tax free information if you would like one. Thank you!

(Editor's note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the number of children Head Start serves.)


Rocky Mountain Development Council

200 S. Cruse Ave.

P.O. Box 1717

Helena, MT 59624

Shawna Donaldson



Rocky Mountain Development Council’s Home Delivered Meals Program provides a healthy well-balanced noontime meal, year-round, Monday-Friday to 150 homebound seniors in the Helena area. Many times, for these individuals with serious illnesses or physical disability, home-delivered meals make the difference between being able to stay in their own homes and having no choice but to move to an assisted living or nursing home facility. Clients also look forward to the home-delivered meal driver’s cheerful greeting and interest.

Senior clients pay a recommended donation of $3.50 per meal; those under 60 with disabilities pay $6.50. So, a senior gift certificate of $35 would help a client receive two weeks of meals. General monetary donations are also critical to keep program’s food costs reasonable for all clients.

For something special, our clients enjoy tray favors with their meals. Trinkets, flowers, home-crafted party favors and notes are particularly appreciated at holidays. In fact, clients value ANY “something extra” on their dinner tray that helps them feel that the community cares.

Donations may be dropped off at the receptionist’s office at Rocky Mountain Development Council in the Neighborhood Center, 200 S. Cruse, Helena, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or mailed to the post office box above. Please identify them to go to the Home Delivered Meals Program. We always appreciate knowing your name and address, too, so we can send thanks individually. The front desk will have receipts with Rocky’s tax free information if you would like one. Thank you!


Rocky Mountain Development Council

648 North Jackson Street

P.O. Box 1717

Helena, MT 59624

Jane McFarlane


Community Handy Man Service Fund Low Income Energy Assistance/Weatherization

Please consider cash gifts of any size to help pay local trades-people who are willing to help those needing assistance at a discounted rate and to purchase materials for home repair projects that our agency funds cannot purchase. 

First, our weatherization assistance program cannot reach everyone who needs help in our communities. Many who need help weatherizing their homes are older or disabled, and not in a position to carry out simple repair work themselves. 

Second, weatherization assistance is limited to specific projects. Clients could realize additional small improvements in home energy efficiency if they had access to the right materials and to some limited assistance from reputable handymen. We’re fortunate that good trades-people in our communities are willing to work for reduced rates to meet this need. This fund helps pay those costs for people for whom such assistance is beyond their means.

Mary Shamley Utility Deposit Fund

Please consider giving a tax-deductible gift of light and heat this holiday season. The Mary Shamley Utility Deposit Fund helps those who cannot afford to pay the initial deposit required to secure heat and electricity. While the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) helps to pay heating costs for eligible households, it does not pay for utility deposits. The Mary Shamley Utility Deposit Fund bridges this gap, enabling many potential clients to take advantage of LIEAP program benefits. Generous donors made it possible for us to help 15 households during the past year. For example:

• A single mother just starting out was able to move into her own apartment with help with her utility deposit from the Mary Shamley Fund.

• A homeless man was able to find affordable housing at Helena Housing Authority. Before he could move in, he was required to have a utility account but needed help from the Mary Shamley Fund to pay the deposit.

The Mary Shamley Utility Deposit Fund is entirely dependent on private contributions. Thank you for your generosity!

Donations may be dropped off at the receptionist’s office, Rocky Mountain Development Council in the Neighborhood Center, 200 S. Cruse, Helena, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or mailed to the post office box above. Please identify them to go to the Mary Shamley Fund or to the LIEAP Community Handy Man Service Fund. We always appreciate knowing your name and address, too, so we can send thanks individually. The front desk will have receipts with Rocky’s tax free information if you would like one.


2755 Colonial Drive

P.O. Box 5539 

Helena MT 59604 


Anastasia Burton

444-7500 or aburton@shodair.org 

Shodair has been caring for Montana’s children since 1896. Today, its medical specialists continue that legacy of caring, providing critical specialized psychiatric treatment for children suffering from mental illness and other conditions that impact their health and well-being, such as abuse and neglect. Shodair is the only facility of its kind in the state, offering both acute and residential treatment in one location, and pairing more full-time board certified psychiatric physicians with troubled children than any facility in the state. Shodair’s medical genetics program is nationally renowned and provides comprehensive services that include genetic testing, counseling, cancer risk assessments and outreach clinics for people of all ages throughout the state. Additionally, Shodair is Montana’s only Children’s Miracle Network hospital. 

Wish list from the patients at Shodair Children’s Hospital:

(No need to wrap — we’ll wrap the items here at the hospital. Please, no sharp items or breakable ceramic items like ornaments or figurines, or items like Easy Bake Ovens.) 

• Art supplies 

• Puzzles and board games 

• Trading cards like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh! 

• Legos, Lincoln Logs, K-nex and other building toys 

• Beanie Babies, My Little Pony toys 

• Nerf balls, footballs, soccer balls, basketballs 

• Books for ages 5-17. (Suggestions include animal books, origami books, “How to Draw” books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, the Twilight series and Harry Potter books) 

• Action figures and Transformers 

• Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars 

• Hand-held games like Connect Four, 20 Questions, Bingo 

• DVDs (G and PG movies, nature and science movies) 

• Hats and gloves for boys and girls, ages 5-17 

• Slippers and socks for boys and girls, ages 5-17 

• T-shirts and hoodie sweatshirts for boys and girls, ages 5-17 

• Personal care items 

• Gift cards so nurses could shop specifically for each child.


Rocky Mountain Development Council

P.O. Box 1717

200 South Cruse

Helena, MT 59601

Ruthie Hill



The Senior Companion Program has offered the services of Senior Companions to hundreds of Helena area adults since 1980. Senior Companions are adults age 55 or older who offer companionship and assistance to adults who need some help maintaining their independence. Our volunteers provide friendship and services such as transportation to the grocery store or doctor, help reading, paying bills, writing notes and help with small things around the house. In return for their service, most Senior Companions receive a small stipend, which they use to pay their own bills. The holiday season is always tough for our Senior Companions who live on a limited income and sometimes cannot afford the basic necessities, let alone gifts for their loved ones. The following gifts would help fill some truly empty Senior Companion stockings:

• Vehicle muffler work needed (2003 Ford Mustang) on a Senior Companion’s vehicle. Need to weld the hanging muffler back on. Need to keep auto running well so she can continue to serve her clients with their transportation needs.

• A Senior Companion could use a hearing aid for the left ear. She could only afford one for the right ear. We want to keep her listening as she provides so many hours of listening to her clients.

• A Senior Companion could use bird seed, especially sunflower seeds, to feed her outdoor feathered friends this winter. This brings her joy as she brings so many elder clients joy by her service to this program.

• A Senior Companion could use a new winter coat to keep her warm as she is warming the hearts of her clients. Her size is ladies XL or a gift card so she could pick one out for herself.

Other ideas to help keep our Senior Companions out serving our elderly include:

• Gift cards to pet stores to help keep Senior Companion friends fed this winter.

• Gift cards or money for gas, food, household, clothing, postage — the essentials to keep our companions healthy and active in the program.

Thank you for considering assistance to our Senior Companion volunteers. Items can be dropped off at the Neighborhood Center receptionist (200 S. Cruse), marked for the Senior Companion program. Please leave us your name, as well. We love to share our thanks.


Rocky Mountain Development Council

P.O. Box 1717

200 South Cruse

Helena, MT 59601

Wendy Plymale


Rocky Mountain Development Council joins several other organizations in Helena working to address homelessness in our community. The “face” of homelessness continues to surprise all of us: those for whom medical bills have torpedoed a slim budget; those recovering from mental illness; those for whom employment disappeared months ago. Rocky Mountain Development Council’s Homelessness Prevention program helps individuals and families who are currently homeless or very precariously housed for many different reasons. As Montana settles into winter, there are a handful of practical items that go a long way toward helping folks who are living out of their car, a camper or a tent. 

• Sleeping bags are a primary need; new or used is fine. However, in order to be safe in this climate, there are three considerations: they must provide warmth to 20 degrees below 0, they must have a working zipper and they must have a synthetic fill. Down fill is too difficult to dry once it gets wet. If the bags are clean when we get them, it will save us the time and expense of having them cleaned before giving them away.

• Framed backpacks are in demand; an exterior frame is best. These do not need to be new, just in good working order. A perfect giveaway for the ex-backcountry hiker.

• Tents in good condition, hunting tents no longer in use are best for Montana’s harsh conditions.

• Good quality outdoor boots, men’s sizes 10-12, women’s 7-9. Again, these don’t need to be new, but they do need to have lots of wear left in them. Boots you would be comfortable wearing in the Montana outdoors in December will be just right. 

• Men and women’s wool gloves, socks and hats are a welcome gift. New or almost new will get the job done when it gets below zero.

• Gas cards are priceless. The key to getting into housing is employment. Many of the individuals we work with have a car, but find it hard to job hunt when the gas tank is on empty and there literally isn’t money to buy gas.

• Funds for security deposits are precious. Many people don’t need help once they actually make it into housing; they just need help getting there.

Thank you for your compassion to individuals and families facing the crisis of homelessness. The various organizations who work with homelessness recognize that indoor shelter during winter is a necessity. Realistically, that is not always possible, and at those times hardy gear is a must. Please drop off labeled items to assist those who are homeless at the reception office in Rocky Mountain Development Council’s Neighborhood Center, 200 S. Cruse, Helena, MT 59601. Or contact Wendy Plymale, Rocky Mountain Development Council, at 441-3967, for information or inquiries about how best to fill an Empty Stocking request. We hope you will leave your name with a donation so that we can extend our thanks. Thank you.


Rocky Mountain Development Council

P.O. Box 1717

631 N. Last Chance Gulch

Helena, MT 59624-1717

Elaine Bruce

ebruce@rmdc.net or 457-7326

Helena’s Our Place Drop-In Center is a supportive, caring and safe place for individuals who have experienced mental illness and/or co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Our Place is peer-directed and promotes recovery and wellness through positive interactions and relaxing social activities within a friendly, peer-directed, community-based environment. More than 70 individuals visit Our Place each day we are open. Because we work hard to respect each client’s privacy and confidentiality, the names we’ve used are pseudonyms.

Zeke: Yak Traks — to fit size 11 ½ men’s. Zeke is always the first to help out others.

Fuzzy: Gift card from Famous Footwear. Always has a smile for anyone having a bad day.

Piano Man: Energy bars. Piano Man brings joy to others with the gift of beautiful music he plays on the piano.

Mario: Men’s pants size 33x32 and winter gloves size 12 or a gift card at Hastings. Any item would be nice.

Mary: Winter coat size XXL. Mary is always trying to help others.

Joseph: Winter coat size XL. He is a good husband and a hard worker.

Dana: Athletic shoes size 12. This wonderful lady has a joke or a smile and has a good eye for art.

Jasper: Men’s size 13 athletic shoes. He is kind to others and loves a good joke.

Tori: Winter and gloves. She is a great advocate for people and has done a lot of volunteer work.

Bouncer: Men’s size 11 Nike athletic shoes. He is well-liked by friends and is first to help those in need.

Moe: Long johns bottoms 32x36 with a top size large. Moe is working on life skills to improve his and others’ lives.

Becky: Walmart gift card. Becky is an awesome volunteer and works hard to advocate for others in need of help.

Donna: A gift card to Walmart or Target. She is always happy to help and volunteers her time to help others.

Darris: Wants a comb and brush set. He has a beautiful song in his heart and can really sing, too.

Monty: Would like Straight Talk minutes. He has a good smile and a great heart.

Our Place Drop-In Center would also appreciate other items for adult men and woman that can be distributed to many who need:

• Hats, gloves, calendars, personal items (shampoo, lotion, lip balm, deodorant, soap, etc.), gift cards, arts and craft supplies, yarn and knitting supplies. Our Place would also like to have any Wii games (nonviolent content, etc.) Thank you very much.

Items may be dropped off with the receptionist for Rocky Mountain Development Council in the Neighborhood Center or mailed to the post office box above. Please identify them to go to the Our Place Drop-In Center Empty Stocking list and designate if they are for a specific person on the list. You may call 441-3962 for additional information about the programs or gifts, or if you would like one of us to come and pick up your donation. We always appreciate knowing your name and address too, so we can send “thanks” individually. The front desk will have receipts with Rocky’s tax free information if you wish one.

Thank you for your generosity!


900 N. Jackson

Helena, MT 59601


The Center for Mental Health provides many different services for members of our community. One of these services is specifically targeted at children and their families. Services include outpatient therapy, youth case management, therapeutic family care, transitional mental health therapy through the Safe Schools Healthy Students grant, CSCT and participation in the PRTF Waiver program. Currently, there are a number of families who are struggling to make ends meet and are finding the upcoming holidays to be an especially difficult time. Any assistance you could provide in donating to the following families would be a blessing. Please contact Michelle Cuddy, Child and Family Program Supervisor, with questions at 443-7151. Donations can be dropped off at the Center for Mental Health. Please specify the family number to whom the gift is designated and put it to the attention of Michelle Cuddy. Thank you so much for your incredible generosity and giving hearts at this time of year. The Center for Mental Health and all of our consumers thank you whole-heartedly.

Family No. 1 (names changed to ensure confidentiality): This family consists of mom, Suzie, and a teenage child, Johnny. Suzie and Johnny have struggled with years of homelessness, abuse, joblessness and school difficulties. Both battle depression and up-and-down mood swings and are working hard to get their life on track. In light of this, the family has recently found a nice living environment and mom has been able to work again. Johnny goes to school, but struggles with difficulties properly expressing his emotions. Suzie and Johnny would benefit greatly from gas cards to get to their appointments and a twin bed for Johnny to sleep soundly. In addition Johnny could use a winter coat, size men’s 3X, winter hiking boots, size men’s 14, and a gift certificate to a cycling shop in order to fix his bike. Suzie could benefit from several pairs of cargo jeans, women’s size 18. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Family No. 2 (names changed to ensure confidentiality): This family consists of mom, Barb, and her three children, David, Jennifer and Hannah. The family has been through a lot together. They all have struggled with the aftereffects of years of abuse, unstable living environments and school difficulties. Hannah lives with developmental disabilities; Barb battles physical disabilities and depression, while they all struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. They have moved around the country a lot in recent years, but are finally trying to make a home here. Barb wants nothing more than to provide a safe, loving home for her family. Barb and her family would benefit greatly from gas cards to get to and from appointments, as they live quite a distance from town. In addition, the girls need winter boots, women’s size 10 for Barb and Hannah, and women’s size 8 for Jennifer. The whole family needs socks (men’s size 9 for David) and winter hats and gloves (a woman’s large for Barb and Hannah, women’s medium for Jennifer, and men’s medium for David). The children also have some items on their wish lists. David would love a camera or portable DVD player. Jennifer loves music CDs like “High School Musical” and Miley Cyrus. Hannah would love art supplies for coloring or learning books with math and spelling. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Family No. 3 (names changed to ensure confidentiality): This family consists of mom, Joan, and two teenage children, Peter and Jill. This family has dealt with years of separation from one another. They have recently been reunited and are trying to learn how to deal with the ups and downs of compromise, setting boundaries and learning how to love again. Joan is disabled and unable to work due to constant depression; Peter suffers from depression and difficulties expressing what he is feeling; Jill struggles with anger and depression. Joan is in need of women’s shirts, size 18 or 1x. Peter could use snow boots — size 6, warm pajamas — size 14 or large and jeans or camouflage pants — size 14 husky. Jill needs a warm winter coat for the upcoming cold months, size junior large. Overall the household could use large storage containers, plastic shelving units and gift certificates to a craft store or the pet store as the family channels their struggles through art and caring for their young kitten. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Family No. 4 (names changed to ensure confidentiality): This family consists of mom, dad and two teenage boys. Depression plagues this home along with constant anxiety and has for many years. The family does the best they can in making the best of their mental illness, but unfortunately cannot work and do not have transportation. Making ends meet is a daily challenge for this family. The family would greatly benefit from bus passes to help them get to necessary medical appointments. Dad, John, is in great need of a winter coat, size men’s XL, and men’s underwear, size large briefs. Mom, Sandy, would love some baking pans — muffin tin, cookie sheet, and square cake pan — to help provide food for her family. The children, Andrew and Sean, could use one pair of ski gloves, boys medium, and one package of underwear, size men’s small briefs. On the children’s wish list is a nutcracker-making kit, a Pokemon tin with mini Pokemon cards, and the movie “Lion King” in DVD. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Family No. 5 (names changed to ensure confidentiality): This family consists of mom, dad, and a teenage boy. Mom and dad, Linda and Charles, struggle with mental-health related issues due to traumatic injuries in their past. Their son, Joseph, struggles with depression and anxiety issues related to what mom and dad go through and difficulties in his school environment. The family is unable to work, does not have transportation, and is constant need of assistance. Linda has several needs and wants, which include dish towels and rags, wash cloths for the bathroom, and a berry-flavored air freshener spray. Charles is in current need of ankle socks, size 10, and underwear, boxers size 36-inch waist. Joseph needs new clothes, but would like a gift certificate to be able to choose these. He is a music fan as well, so gift certificates to a music store would be a nice addition. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.


901 North Harris St.

Helena MT 59601



Florence Crittenton is Montana’s only licensed therapeutic residential maternity home. Crittenton provides support and therapies to young mothers, their children and their families. With a comprehensive array of services including therapeutic residential care, outpatient therapy, community groups, trainings and assessments, Florence Crittenton is a leader in providing maternity and early childhood services.

This year we have 12 girls and their babies living at the home. Our biggest need this holiday season is gift cards. This is why: our home has very limited physical space and we have girls, babies and children of all shapes, sizes and tastes. Gift cards allow us to purchase items on a need basis with respect to our clients. They allow us to buy bedding, baby gliders, diapers, cribs, towels, shampoo, clocks, toasters, baby clothing, bottles, etc., on a need basis, so we aren’t storing these items. Gift cards allow us to purchase over-the-counter medications that don’t go past their expiration date. Gift cards are amazing!

Our teen moms would love to have gift cards from: Target, Walmart, CVS/Pharmacy, Ross, Macy’s, Cinemark, Shopko, Hastings and JC Penney.

You can now shop online for the girls and babies: Go to Walmart.com and click on “Wish Lists,” enter the first and last name as Florence Crittenton and select Montana. You can see our registry and find lots of affordable gifts.

In lieu of gift cards, the home has urgent need for these items:

• Brand new dish sets

• Drinking glasses

• Commercial grade stainless steel pots and pans

• Flatware

• Small heavy-duty kitchen appliances (four-slice toasters, microwaves, hand mixers, food processors, blenders, ice cream maker, etc.)

• Glass casserole baking dishes

• Baby bottle brushes

• Vacuums (cash donations for a commercial grade vacuum very appreciated!)

• New lawnmower

• Cotton crib sheets

• Twin-size mattress pads

• Baby sleep sacks (in lieu of blankets in their cribs)

• Twin bed sets or bed-in-a bag (comforter, sheets and pillow cases)

• Shower curtains

• Car Vac — handheld, battery operated

• Winter coats for teen girls, sizes small, medium and large

• Disposable cameras (our moms want to take pictures of their babies)

• Picture frames

• Full length mirrors

• New toys and books for babies and toddlers

• Gift cards to gas stations, hair salons and grocery stores

If you would like a more detailed list visit our website at www.florencecrittenton.org or contact Kathleen Fuhrmann, development coordinator, 442-6950 ext 204.

Christmas toys

My daughter and I will be celebrating our second Christmas at Florence Crittenton Home.

The staff at Crittenton have become part of our family. Last year we were so surprised by the generosity of everyone in this community. You really make our Christmas special! Seeing my little girl’s face light up on Christmas morning and see all the presents under the tree is the best feeling in the world for a single mom. Thank you to everyone reading this, please know it is very touching to know you care!

Florence Crittenton Home helps

Florence Crittenton Home helped me when I didn’t think anyone could. I stayed at Crittenton for nearly two years — my junior and senior years. They supported me through my pregnancy and I gave birth to my beautiful son. I went from being a scared pregnant teen to a confident young woman. I learned so much. Things like how to be a loving and attentive parent and how to create healthy relationships in my life. I opened a savings account, learned how to balance a checkbook and started thinking about my future. I finished high school (miracle!), because Crittenton has an amazing daycare, where I knew my son would be safe, and they encouraged me so much. I met some very special women at Crittenton who will inspire me forever. I am grateful to them for supporting me through some really tough times. Currently, I am working towards getting my EMT license. I feel strong and confident and I love being a mom. Thanks Florence Crittenton!


1430 Sanders St.

Helena, MT 59601


Deb Bakke, interim executive director



The Friendship Center provides safe shelter and a broad range of support services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and their families. In 2010, the 

center served 861 survivors of these crimes, including more than 270 children. In addition, last year the center answered 1,179 crisis calls, and provided 6,586 nights of safe shelter. All services are free and confidential.

Often victims of abuse flee their homes and come to The Friendship Center with literally nothing but the clothes they are wearing.

Samantha came to the shelter with bruises on her face and throat, two shy girls clinging to her legs, and nine months pregnant. She was due any day, and her husband had attacked her and forced all them out of their house, not allowing her to take anything but a few clothes for her daughters. She was penniless with no diapers for her youngest child, or food to feed her family, and virtually nothing for the infant she was due to give birth to any day. The Friendship Center was able to provide warm clothes for Samantha and her 2- and 4-year-old daughters, as well as help her prepare for the birth of her baby by supplying blankets, infant clothing, formula, bottles, pacifiers, a car seat and toys. The center helped her arrange transportation to the hospital to give birth, and after a few days of recovery, The Friendship Center was able to purchase bus tickets for the family of four to return to Samantha’s family in another state.

The center does everything it can to help clients be safe, strong and independent, but it depends on community support to help provide many of the day-to-day necessities that families need. Empty Stockings helps make it possible for The Friendship Center to provide basic survival items for individuals and families that have nowhere else to turn for help.

Here are some things that are most needed at this time:

• We are in need of donations of nonperishable food to stock our food pantry. The onsite food pantry is necessary for times when Food Share is not open to the public such as evenings, weekends and holidays.

• Many of the women living in our shelter are job hunting, have numerous appointments, and their children attend school and are receiving other crucial services in the community. These mothers could use help buying gas. Gift cards for fuel would be very much appreciated.

• The center always needs toilet tissue, Kleenex, paper towels, laundry baskets, laundry soap and dryer sheets, feminine hygiene products, baby diapers and wipes, baby formula, dish soap, trash bags of all sizes and cleaning supplies. These are all items that can’t be purchased with public assistance money.

• When our families move out of shelter they are setting up a household and need everything. Some of the things they most commonly need are: unused pots and pans, dishes, small appliances, bath towels, bed linens, mops and brooms, toilet plungers, trash cans, dressers, beds, lamps and small tools.

• Due to their financial circumstances, our families have very few opportunities to have fun together: the center could use plastic sleds for outings with kids in shelter, movie passes and gift certificates for local fast-food or pizza restaurants.

The Friendship Center staff and the families we serve are all deeply grateful for your generosity and kindness! For more information about The Friendship Center and how you can make a difference in the lives of families suffering the impact of domestic and sexual abuse, please visit our website at www.thefriendshipcenter.org.


Coordinated by NAMI-MT

Gifts With A Lift

c/o Beth Eastman

300 Garnet Way

Montana State Hospital

Warm Springs, MT 59756

This year marks the 59th year of the Gifts With A Lift program for the residents of Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs. For the past 21 years the program has been coordinated by NAMI-MT (Montana’s Voice on Mental Illness). There are approximately 200 residents at the hospital who rely on the generosity of others for Christmas gifts. Ideas for gift suggestions include, but are not limited to the following:

• Pocket games/books

• CDs/CD players

• Socks

• T-shirts/sweatshirts

• Cards

• Personal care items

• Hats/gloves

• Magazines

• Fanny packs

• Phone cards

• Jackets

• Craft kits

• Batteries

• Cosmetics

• Scarves

• Slippers

If you are interested in adopting a resident or if someone you know or a service organization is interested this also works well, too. Please call Beth Eastman at 406-693-7145.

Do not wrap your gifts. Donations of wrapping paper and gift boxes are welcome. If you include your name and address in the package, a return receipt will acknowledge the arrival of your gifts.

The program also accepts cash donations to purchase additional Christmas gift items. Make checks payable to: Gifts with a Lift and mail to NAMI-MT , P.O Box 1021, Helena, MT 59624.

Please have your gifts ready by Dec. 20.

Drop locations in Helena are also at: NAMI-MT, 616 Helena Ave., Suite 218; Center for Mental Health, 900 N. Jackson; AMDD, 555 Fuller; Our Place, 631 N. Last Chance Gulch; and Board of Visitors, 1412 ½ 8th Ave. 


Willis Cruse 

Transitional Facility

1002 N. Benton Ave. 

Helena, MT 59601



The Willis Cruse Transitional Facility is a 12-bed recovery home for veteran men. Veterans receive room and board in exchange for service to the community. In addition they receive assistance in accessing a variety of rehabilitation help including diagnosis of mental illness by qualified mental health professionals, addiction recovery services and general medical attention. As part of their recovery program, veterans are provided with continuing education opportunities, employment training services and applied work experience through compensation work therapy. There is a standing zero-tolerance policy for drugs, gambling and alcohol.  Since its inception, there have been 201 veterans who have successfully completed the recovery  program and moved on to lead healthy fulfilling and productive lives.

• Cargo Pants 40X32 

• Beanies 

• Jeans 40X32, 34X32 

• Hoodie zip-up XL 

• Giftcards (Walmart, Target, Visa, Gas, Hastings, Cinemark etc.) 

• 42-inch belt 

• Pants 40X30 

• Wallets 

• T-Shirts L, XL 

• Socks sizes 10-13 

• Flip-flops 9 ½, wide 

• Tennis shoes 9 ½, wide 

• Backpack 

• Shorts 40X30 

• Slippers 10-13 sizes 

• Electric razors 

• Sweatshirts M, L, XL 

• Flash drives 

• Lounge pants M, XL, 2XL 

• Batteries AA, AAA 

• Bib-overalls 30X30 

• Flannel shirts 15 ½ neck L 

• Undershirts (white) L 

• Bread pans 

• Kitchen knives 

• Non-stick skillets 

• Kitchen utensils (non-stick safe) 

• Watches 

• Food processors 

• Winter gloves 

• Boots 10 ½, regular 

• Thermal tops and bottoms M, L 

• Manicure sets 

• Long-sleeve T-shirts L, XL 


P.O. Box 518

501 N. Park Ave.

Helena, MT 59624

442-8774 ext. 101

Kellie McBride

For the past year, the YWCA has been full with a waiting list. Today we have 33 rooms filled with 33 women and their daughters — and we have seven women on our waiting list. The YWCA provides safe transitional housing and supportive services for homeless women. We help women move from homelessness into permanent housing they can sustain through case management, referral to community services, life skills classes and other supportive services.

This holiday season we have 33 women living with us ranging in age from 21 to 71. Living with them are three daughters ages 6, 8 and 15. 

The YWCA’s wish list this holiday season includes:

For the Women and Girls:

• Bathrobes and slippers

• Key chain lanyards 

• Flip-flops for the shower

• Shower caddies

• YakTrax cleats for snow and ice

• Gloves, hats, scarves, and socks

• Towels and wash cloths, blankets and throws

• Full-sized toiletries (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.)

• Cookbooks

• Alarm clocks

• Gift cards (Walmart, Target, grocery stores, hair salons…)

• Journals

• Pocket calendars

• Greeting cards, stationery and stamps

• Pens, pencils, highlighters

• Notebooks

• Flash drives

• Bus tokens and taxi vouchers

• Laundry detergent, quarters and laundry baskets

For the YWCA to benefit all:

• Household cleaning supplies, dish soap, paper towels, toilet paper

• Canned and other nonperishable food items

• Baking ingredients: flour, sugar, spices

• Crafting items:  yarn, beads, thread, fabric, etc.

• Board games

• Coffee

• Printer paper


400 N. Park Ave.

Helena, MT 59601

Melisa Kaiser Synness



Healthy Mothers uses your holiday gifts to purchase cribs that are delivered to families where the baby is in jeopardy for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and shaken baby syndrome. Through our Safe Sleep for Baby program we provide a crib, mattress, sheets and snuggly sleeper outfits. Families are chosen by their county public health nurse and the cribs are delivered as part of home-visiting education to reduce SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Safe Sleep means babies sleeps on their backs with no fluffy bedding, toys or pillows in the crib. Safe sleep means no co-sleeping — babies belong in a crib. This program helps support our most vulnerable Montana citizens, infants and children, to provide them a safe, even start.

One hundred percent of your gift of $100 (or portion thereof) will go to purchase a new crib for a baby this holiday season.

All programs at HMHB are based on best practices of child development. Studies show that for each dollar invested in home-visiting programs there is an economic benefit up to $6 dollars. That is an impressive rate of return! Please join us in delivering Safe Sleep for all babies in our community.


Marie Logan

30 W. 6th Ave.

Helena, MT 59601


Big Brothers Big Sisters is not your typical organization. We help children realize their potential and build their futures. We nurture children and strengthen communities. We believe that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. BBBS is the only best practice prevention program in Montana proven to impact a broad spectrum of risk factors (including delinquency; alcohol, tobacco and drug use; teen pregnancy; and school dropout) while helping children reach their highest potential.  

Please consider a donation to fund critical mentoring programs in the Helena and Boulder area. You may make a donation online by visiting our website at www.bbbs-helena.org. In addition to funding, our mentoring programs need:

• Volunteers to spend one to two hours per week with one of the children on our waiting list

• Board games for our school mentoring programs

• Arts and crafts for our monthly match activities

• Office supplies — paper, pens, post it notes, tape, etc.

• White board for meetings

• Office desk chairs

• Laptop computer for volunteer recruitment presentations 

We’d like to thank the Helena community for your support this past year. Thanks to your donations of time and money Big Brothers Big Sisters will make 325 Big and Little matches by year end. Thank you!


3067 N. Montana Ave.

Helena, MT 59604


Good Samaritan Ministries, motivated by Catholic social teaching, works in our community to advance family life, human dignity and the common good. We provide services to meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and families of all faiths, especially those most in need.

Please assist Good Samaritan Ministries with our annual Christmas Sharing by donating toys and/or gifts for children ages 0-15 with special emphasis on family togetherness such as board games, and older children gifts and stocking stuffers. Good Samaritan Ministries will be collaborating with the Cathedral of St. Helena Parish to provide Christmas for 200 families in the Helena community. 

In addition, the Good Samaritan Ministries helps many moms and dads each year in need of diapers especially sizes 4 and 5T. 

All donations can be dropped off at Good Samaritan Thrift Store, attention Julee or Kelli.

The assistance ministry provides for the following when needed: rental and utility assistance, urgent medical travel, limited prescriptions, household furnishings, clothing or food assistance from our small food bank as well as other day to day needs when possible. 

Please remember Good Samaritan Ministries throughout the year as we will continue to need your support to meet our mission of serving individuals who come upon rough times. 

Volunteers are always needed in the store between the hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please remember to donate your unused or unwanted items for the Thrift Store or for our recycling program. 

On behalf of the board of directors, staff and recipients of Good Samaritan Ministries, we thank the community of Helena who support our mission.

If you would like to become part of our Good Samaritan team please call the store at 442-0780.

Copyright 2016 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps:

    1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

    2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

    3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

    4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

    5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editor@helenair.com. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

    6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

    7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

    8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

    9. Don't write a novel. If your comment is longer than the article you're commenting on, you might want to cut it down a bit. Lengthy comments will likely be removed.
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