A private organization is preserving one woman’s legacy to create a better world for youth in Wolf Point through inspirational teachers and community members.
It’s a Hebrew phrase- Tikkun Olam- to repair the world.”
Morgan Elliot says her late mother, North Side School Teacher Jana Elliot, was inspired by that phrase after a trip to Israel. “And she just knew right away that’s what we need to do on the (Fort Peck) reservation.”
Elliott says her mother practiced what she preached- caring for her students with a selfless love.
When tragedy struck in 2016, hope and action were born out of the heartbreak.
“We really started as a family discussing what we wanted to do and to carry out her legacy,” Morgan said.
Jana’s passing sparked the creation of Tikkun Olam, a movement dedicated to repairing the world, starting in Wolf Point and continuing Jana’s mission of mercy.
“It's the small acts of kindness,” said Morgan. “It's taking your time at the end of the day to make sure that someone’s got a ride, someone’s got dinner.”
The organization focuses on community needs by bringing in teachers and youth professionals to the Wolf Point area, including an educator from Denver with a heart for outreach.
“I could work as a teacher still,” said Laura Curl. “But also have an aspect of doing ministry and being able to interact with the families again.”
She’s now running a daycare through Tikkun Olam after seeing a need for more child care. They’ve been operating in Wolf Point since August.
“We’re trying to help them out,” said Morgan. “Make sure that they’re getting 3 meals a day and they’ve got someone who’s trying to teach them to read and know their abc’s.”
The organization secures group housing for recruits so they’re able dig into community issues, planting seeds of change that blossom into ideas like weekend snack bags for students or sanitary kits for kids.
“They’re just living their life engaged with the people around them,” said Morgan. “And every day taking an opportunity to share that love.”
Tikkun Olam partners with the Fort Peck Tribe’s Youth Council to host turkey dinners and chili cookoffs while spreading their mission to help others in small gestures that make all the difference.
“We had one gentleman who came in and he didn’t even have shoes on in negative 20 degree weather,” she said. “So we were able to get him a pair of shoes, a couple of warm socks so that changed his day. Changed his week.”
She says it’s acts like these that carry on the legacy of her mother’s love for her students and the Wolf Point community.
I miss my mom every day,” said Morgan. “I wish she was here but in response to that if now I have 12 people in her place that are trying to carry the torch then that’s really special for us.”
The organization continues to look for ways to serve the area’s youth and is exploring foster care housing options in Wolf Point.