HELENA – Two Montana organizations are spreading holiday cheer with special care packages they assembled Monday.
But they aren’t just any care packages.
The Department of Public Health and Human Services and Reach Higher Montana will send them to college student receiving Education and Training Vouchers, grants given to Montana’s foster youth who pursue post-secondary degrees.
“For any student going to college, it’s nice to know you’ve got somebody who supports your efforts to continue your education and your future goals,” said Kelly Cresswell, executive director of Reach Higher. “For some of these youth, they may have a pretty limited network of people in which to do that, so we’re just happy to support them.”
The care packages include a red scarf handmade in Montana, toiletries, snacks and other items college students will find useful.
But volunteers said sending these packages as a part of the nationwide “Red Scarf Project” is about much more.
Gabrielle Wheeler is a former ETV recipient who wants to be a social worker.
“My first year in college I got my care package at a really hard time for me,” said Wheeler. “And it was right in the holiday season, and it was really awesome to hear from them.”
Monday, the groups made almost 50 care packages for ETV students.
If you’d like to donate to the care package project, you can mail or bring them to Staci Blankenship at Child and Family Services, 301 S. Park Ave, PO Box 8005 Helena, MT 59604.
You can also send them to Rhonda Safford at Reach Higher Montana, 44 W 6thAve. Helena, MT 59601.