Empty Stockings

Empty Stockings

Each year, The Billings Gazette asks charitable organizations around Billings and in Yellowstone County what they need to help people through the holidays.

We run those requests along with our Empty Stockings requests, which are specific to people in our community. 

Here's what agencies have asked for this holiday season.

To give, please contact the agency.

Big Sky Senior Services

Big Sky Senior Services serves over 250 clients and has established a Christmas Fund consisting of monies donated by community individuals and businesses at Christmas time.

This fund is used only when there are no other resources to access to assist clients served by Adult Protective Services and the programs of Big Sky Senior Services.

Over the past year we have used this fund to purchase emergency supplies for homeless clients, temporary housing, winter clothing, medication co-pays, food, and toiletries. 

The needs of clients this past year has greatly reduced this fund. We would appreciate donations to help us meet the upcoming needs for this next year.

Donations can be directed to Big Sky Senior Services, located at 937 Grand Ave. For more information, call 406-259-3111.

Child and Family Services

The Department of Public Health and Human Services, Child and Family Services Division, is a state agency designated by statue to provide for the protection of children who are abandoned, dependent, neglected or abused and is specifically charged with the duty to investigate reports of child abuse or neglect and to provide protective services where necessary.

The Department provides services to children by utilizing various community resources and the legal system.

The Department has several older youths, ages 13-18, living in group homes and residential treatment facilities to address their special needs.

Many of these youths don’t have healthy family in their lives and end up spending the Holidays in the facility. These youths would truly appreciate a means to shop for their own clothing or to have a fast food meal with their friends. Music is always a favorite activity with this age group as well.

To give, contact DPHHS, Child and Family Services Division. 2525 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 309. Billings, MT 59101. 406-657-3120.

Community Hope

Community Hope has been located in Laurel for almost 30 years providing services to individuals and families in need.

As the holiday season approaches, we find that we have lots of folks in need of an extra helping hand. They would love gift cards to be able to help to purchase groceries and gas. This would truly be a blessing for these folks.

Donations can be sent to Community Hope P.O. Box 524 Laurel, MT 59044, or dropped off at 204 Cedar Avenue during the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. With questions, call 406-628-7281.

Head Start

Explorers Academy~A Head Start Program promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of young children through the provision of education, health, nutrition, and family services.

Explorers Academy works with children and families who have the highest need in our community including low-income, disabled, foster and homeless children. The academy serves 404 children and their families in Yellowstone and Carbon Counties.

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In general the Explorers Academy could use:

  • Gift cards for fuel or groceries.
  • Snow boots size 9-13 (little kid).
  • Underwear size 3T-6.
  • Little kid socks.

To give, contact the Explorers Academy~A Head Start Program: 615 N. 19th St., Billings, MT 59101; (406)245-7233 x. 278.

Montana Rescue Mission 

Montana Rescue Mission aims to bring the joy of Christmas to the broken in our community. There is nothing more endearing than seeing a women tear up when she receives a gift on Christmas morning. Many times, it is the first gift she has received in years. Even more touching is to watch the excitement of her child’s face when they find out Santa visited the homeless shelter.

The MRM could use the following items to bring the joy of Christmas into the lives of men, women, and children:

  • Single-ride MET Transit bus passes.
  • Gas gift cards.
  • Costco gift cards.
  • VISA gift cards.
  • Walmart gift cards.
  • Home Depot gift cards.

Because the MRM never knows who will be staying in their house on Christmas, monetary gifts help to buy specific gifts for the men, women, and children the agency serve. The gift of time is also a beautiful and helpful way to serve.

To give, send donations to PO Box 3232, Billings, MT 59103. For more information, visit www.montanarescuemission.org or call 406-259-3800.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army provides emergency services to clients in crisis and case management to singles and families in need. The Salvation Army also provides 300-400 meals per night, 6 nights a week to the homeless and hungry of Billings.

Items that The Salvation Army needs for clients:

  • Gas gift cards
  • Albertsons gift cards
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • Coats for adults and children
  • Hats & gloves

Items needed for its homeless feeding program:

  • Ice maker
  • Bottled water

To give, please contact The Salvation Army located at 2100 Sixth Avenue North or call 281-7480.

The largest fundraiser of The Salvation Army every year is kettles. The Salvation army thanks all those who give in kettles around town.

Anyone interested in volunteering to ring can go to www.registertoring.com

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul has been in Billings for more than 45 years. We work on a very limited budget received from personal donations and the sales of the Thrift Store. The bulk of our funds are used to assist the residents of Yellowstone County however needed. We are not federally or state funded in any manner. St. Vincent de Paul provides assistance to Yellowstone County residents in the following manner:

  • Prevention of eviction.
  • Prevention of utility shut-off.
  • Bus passes or gas vouchers for work or doctor-related travel.
  • Social Security representative payees — largest in Montana.
  • Doctor and nurse services twice weekly.
  • Addiction and mental health counseling twice weekly.
  • Clothing or household items.
  • Baby basics program — cribs, baby clothes, diapers, etc.
  • Education Assistance Program at the Lincoln Center.
  • Project R.E.B.O.O.T — (refurbished computers for students in need).
  • Job Service assistance.
  • Food box delivery to the home bound.
  • Distributor for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program.

Conference members of the society visit people who are in need. During home visits, society members complete a needs assessment and provide emergency assistance. Once the need is determined through the home visit, they will come into the charity office and our resource worker will determine their eligibility through shared software used by most agencies in our county, and the mandatory documentation needed to verify eligibility.

To help, monetary donations are best. Material items such as new gloves, tube socks, hats and scarves that would be helpful as well. If donating money, please make your check out to St. Vincent de Paul Society and mail to 3005 First Avenue S, Billings MT 59191. Items can be delivered to that address as well.

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