When The Town Pump Charitable Foundation announced it was sending $1 million directly to 100 Montana food banks, food pantries and shelters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, it was an enormous blessing but not surprising. “This is Montanans helping Montanans,” said Bill McGladdery, foundation director. And that's the foundation's philosophy all the time, not just in this great crisis.
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has given $450,000 for organizations, including food banks and others, that provide basic needs support to Montana communities, and matching grants that could increase the safety-net funds to $600,000. "The Foundation wants to help alleviate the strain on these organizations by giving them a cash infusion now, while at the same time helping them generate additional resources by leveraging our donation," said Mike Halligan, the foundation's executive director. Indeed, we are used to the Washington Foundation's life-changing giving here in Butte.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has donated $1 million to support Montana community action and health care access. The Community Collaborative Grant Fund is aiding organizations providing social services, access to care, food security and child and senior care. “We are all in this together and we are proud to stand with Montanans in this fight against COVID-19,” said Collette Hanson, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana.
NorthWestern Energy announced $300,000 for small-business energy bill credits, direct donations to United Way agencies across the state, and matching donations employees make to organizations that provide emergency assistance for those having trouble paying their residential energy bills. "NorthWestern Energy is here to help our communities, our neighbors, during this extremely difficult time," said Bob Rowe, NorthWestern Energy's president and CEO.
Notice a theme here? We do.
These community leaders' immediate, no-strings-attached generosity deserves our praise and gratitude.
We recognize that many Montanans are making sacrifices and selfless donations, large and small. Too many to call out individually. But this kind of leadership, from many of the major institutions that have such a great day-to-day impact on our lives, is remarkable, and it's one more reason why we are lucky to live in this great state.
With so many Montanans helping Montanans, we'll get through this.
This is the opinion of The Montana Standard editorial board.
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!