HELENA – Two Montana organizations were spreading holiday cheer Monday afternoon as they put special care packages together.
They were not just any care packages, however. The Department of Public Health and Human Services and Reach Higher Montana will send them to college students receiving “Education and Training Vouchers.”
The vouchers are grants given to Montana’s foster youth who pursue postsecondary 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.”
But volunteers said sending the packages as a part of the nationwide Red Scarf Project is about much more.
“My first year in college I got my care package at a really hard time for me,” said Gabrielle Wheeler, a former ETV recipient who wants to be a social worker. “And it was right in the holiday season, and it was really awesome to hear from them.”
The groups made almost 50 care packages for ETV students.
Donations to the care package project can be mailed or brought in person 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 6th Ave. Helena, MT 59601.
-Evelyn Schultz reporting for MTN News