SCOBEY – On May 25, 1986, millions joined hands and took part in Hands Across America.
It was a fundraising spectacle. Each person paid $10 with the hopes of raising $50 million to lend a hand to the poor.
Fast forward to today. Three young girls, inspired by giving back to foster children, are taking matters into their own hands by organizing people to join hands from east to west in Scobey to raise money for foster families.
“We said how it would be cool for people to hold hands across the world, and then we were talking about how there would be ships all lined up across the ocean. So we thought that would be a little bit hard then, we narrowed it down to Montana” said Anna Williams, one of the three sisters.
The three sisters came up with the idea, “Hands across Scobey.” They wrote a letter to Ken Kragen, founder of “Hands Across America.” He responded, and, to their surprise, was excited about the concept.
“It’s been a continuous positive response from Ken. He’s encouraged, he’s brainstormed problems with us,” said mother Ruth Williams.
“We think it would be cool if kids got the idea to do that so they can do it with their communities,” said Grace Williams, another sister.
Ruth Williams, a wife and a mother of 5 including one foster child, is the reason the three Williams sisters are doing hands across Scobey in the first place- to give back to foster families.
“It’s just going to be for foster kids who need a place to stay,” Anna said, “and then we are going to divide it up and the other half will go to the kid’s activities at our fair.
“There is just an overwhelming number of kids who need a safe place to be… I am going to start getting teary-eyed because of that. And I don’t feel qualified to do it. You know, I have four kids and then it’s five and the extra one and homeschooling, it’s a lot but my case workers and stuff they are like, ‘trust me, you are doing a great job,’” Ruth Williams said.
The plan for Hands across Scobey? The children who participate will line up from east to west, at an arm’s length and say the pledge of allegiance, and maybe a game of telephone if there are enough people.
Grace says, “We just thought it would be cool if America is more united and everybody got along better.”
Hands across Scobey will be on June 1.
If you cannot attend but would still like to give back, the Williams family says you can make a check out to:
Tim or Ruth Williams
PO BOX 463
Scobey, MT 59263
MEMO LINE: Hands across Scobey
Reporting by Zoe Zandora for MTN News