NEAR VAUGHN — Phil and Jordan Schroeder have favorites in their pumpkin patch northwest of Vaughn, and in late September, the general public can pick out theirs during the 9th "Jordan’s Pumpkins for a Cause” fundraiser.
“We are always very thankful for all of the people in the local area, the surrounding Great Falls area that support Jordan and his disability,” said Phil Schroeder, Jordan’s dad. “This is an opportunity for us, his mom and dad, and the community to give back to the community for all they do for Jordan.”
Every year, Phil and his wife Jean and son Jordan, open their farm for a fall afternoon so people can pick pumpkins, enjoy hayrides and family fun and donate to a worthy cause. This year’s recipient is Family Promise of Great Falls.
“We talk in the office a lot about God things and how things just kind of fall out when they need to,” said Family Promise Executive Director Greg Grosenick. “We were definitely not expecting this.”
Grosenick says a Family Promise board member told him what an enjoyable time her family had at last year’s event and urged the organization to pursue the opportunity.
“I just got to sit down and have a wonderful conversation with them and really found that we were that we really thought along the same lines,” said Grosenick.
“One of the things that set Family Promise apart was they provide assistance and a home for families and that's fairly unique and Great Falls,” said Phil Schroeder.
So far this year, Family Promise has helped nearly fifty families with almost a hundred children with services such as shelter, eviction prevention, meals, and case management.
Grosenick says shelter capacity is the organization’s greatest need in fulfilling their mission of ending childhood homelessness one family at a time.
”If you think back to high school and how difficult that was to go through just in life. You know, during that time of your life. Imagine trying to do that when you don't know where you're going to sleep that night,” said Grosenick.
Grosenick says the financial boost the organization gets from the fundraiser will help. He says with a growing need for affordable housing, the issue is as important as ever.
“Every time that you go downtown and if you see somebody down there maybe that you think is homeless, you're going to see probably what you think is me with my beard and my fatigue jacket and everything like that. But you don't realize that there are one or two or maybe three kiddos for that person that are in a van somewhere or a tent or sleeping on three different couches or anything along those lines,” said Grosenick.
Jordan’s Pumpkins for a Cause runs from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday September 30th at the farm on 87 Meridian Lane. New this year is a handicapped accessible hayride wagon.
Phil says the crop looks good thanks to some hot weather and is hoping for a delayed frost.
He says he’s looking forward to another successful event which wouldn’t be possible without Jordan.
“We're a good team. And Jordan is definitely part of this project from planting to weeding to watering,” said Phil Schroeder.