Out and About: Lend a helping hand this holiday season

Posted at 3:04 PM, Nov 16, 2023

HELENA — During the holiday season, most folks are used to receiving gifts from near and far, like candy during the spooky season. A time to gather together with our loved ones to celebrate what’s truly important. But what about those who may need an extra hand during the holidays? Well, MTN checked out a couple of options that you and your family can participate in to help make all the difference in someone’s life.

Over the holidays, most of us are at home with friends and family. But for some, dealing with health issues means they have to stay in the hospital while everyone else is celebrating.

Gifts with a Lift is put on by Montana DPHHS to benefit those at the Montana State Hospital. This program gives folks throughout the state an opportunity to donate gifts off a patient’s wish list. Jon Ebelt, Communications Director for Montana DPHHS, says that this program provides some joy even during dark times.

“It certainly puts a smile on their face. It’s a time that, you know, it's a happy time during the holiday season yet, you know, patients are away from home. So, it helps ensure that everybody receives a present during the holiday season,” says Ebelt.

Donations can be dropped off at participating locations or checks can be mailed in order to allow staff the opportunity to buy gifts for the patients.

The Salvation Army’s bell ringers are back starting on Wednesday, November 15th. People everywhere have the opportunity to sign up to actually be a bell ringer or simply donate when you’re on your way to the grocery shop.

It’s a simple way to make a huge difference in your local community. Money donated to The Salvation Army in Montana stays in your area.

Phil McGovern has been a bell ringer for about 6 years. He says he works alongside The Salvation Army because he sees the impacts immediately in his community.

“For me, it's immediate, like things happen immediate. The money we raise with the bell ringer money is here, stays in the community. The things that they do with the food pantry, it's immediate. It's not like wait for the need or, no, they help them right away,” says McGovern.

So, this holiday season, if you feel so inclined, check out one of these great options or something else local in your area, get out and about, and give your neighbors a helping hand.