I have chosen to “pay it forward” to a special young woman. She is a vibrant, talented 28 year old. Like many folks we know, she has 2 jobs. Since neither position is full time, she has limited health care benefits and limited medical leave available to her.
In 2018, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, requiring surgery and extensive treatment. She has continued on with her life and work bravely – her amazing smile makes it seem okay. She has steadfastly told us she’s going to be fine and we needn’t worry.
Recently she received news that her cancer has recurred and her treatment plan will be complex. Though her life has become more difficult lately, her spirit is unwavering.
I’m grateful to be able to help her a little on her journey. Thank you for the opportunity.
The foundation that I chose to give my donation to was Working Dogs for Conservation. This amazing nonprofit organization does so many wonderful things for communities around our country, as well as overseas. They provide second chances to dogs that most people would deem hopeless or out of control. The dogs are then trained as detection dogs, in which they protect endangered species, prevent poaching and preserve at-risk environments. If the dog is unable to perform then W.D.F.C will find them a new loving home, which is how I found my best friend Titan!
It is important what this foundation does on so many levels. Not only does it save the lives of so many dogs, but they help protect the lives of many other creatures as well as preserving our beautiful lands. I am so thankful for the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for providing me the chance to donate to such an incredible cause.
If anyone is curious about this organization, interested in adopting, or knows of a dog that could help I encourage you to check out their website.
I donate my card to the Ramsey Keller Memorial. This foundation pays for infant funerals up to a year old.
Giving it to a 33 year old mother of 2 who is battling with cancer.
Jase Leister was born in January 2018 and was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Apert Syndrome. It occurs once in every 80,000-100,000 births, ten in a million! Apert Syndrome causes a multitude of different issues but the main ones are premature fusion of the skull, fusion of the hands and feet, and underdeveloped midfacial bones (causing breathing and eating difficulties). In Jase it has also caused several heart abnormalities. He faces many, many complicated and risky surgeries in his future and has already had 5 in his short life, including 2 open heart surgeries, two nasal surgeries, and one cranial reconstruction. Despite all his obstacles and hardships Jase is a happy, bright baby boy who enjoys life and strives to overcome anything in his way.
Jase’s family travels far and often to major children’s hospitals to get him the care he needs as local care doesn’t have the capabilities to perform the lifesaving surgeries he requires. The Leister’s love for their sweet boy and his sisters (Ellie 4yrs old, Scarlett 2 yrs old) is endless but money unfortunately is not. They appreciate any and all help. Your love, prayers, and support get them through some of their hardest times and they are forever grateful! Follow Jase’s journey and all of the ups and downs on Facebook.
I donated my card to the Heritage Museum in Libby, MT to be used to help raise funds for a matching grant from the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, for the restoration of the J. Neils Lumber Company logging locomotive #4 that the museum is restoring to operational condition. The ‘Four Spot’ is a significant piece of history for north-west Montana, hauling logs from the forest to the mill in the Libby area from 1909 to 1946; timber that was milled and used to build and develop the north-west United States during two World Wars. In addition to being a historical and engineering artifact, it is also important for new generations of Montanans to experience the mechanical wonder that is a “Shay” locomotive, and inspire these youth to help volunteer during the restoration and operation of the locomotive, and put them on a path to a career in metal working, welding, or machining.
I donated $150 to an organization here in Spokane called Love 11. After losing their son in an accident Memorial Day weekend 2016, Micah Love’s parents started the Love 11 organization because of their son’s love for year-round sports. They award grants and scholarship commitments to youth sports organizations, schools and local programs in our community. They offer a chance for low-income and underprivileged kids, schools and neighborhoods to play sports regardless of social, cultural, or economic background.I donated $350 to American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest, which is near and dear to my heart. My niece, Marleigh, was diagnosed with AML leukemia in 2012 and after 14 months, after just turning 5 years old, passed away. ACCOIN provided support from diagnosis and still do today. For families who are given the childhood cancer diagnosis, their lives are instantly changed and are sent into a whirlwind of hospital stays, tests, procedures, medications, etc. The families often go from a 2 income household to 1 (or 1 to 0) and finances take a hit. ACCOIN helps the families by giving them a new patient stay bag at diagnosis, including basic toiletries, toys and activities for the kids, gas and grocery cards. They offer emergency financial assistance for household bills, support with finances during holidays, they also host family support nights, day camp, support lunches, etc. They also provide emotional support for survivors, siblings, and bereaved parents. I could never repay ACCOIN for how they have helped my family and I am happy to donate to them!
I gave my card to JR Vezain, a Montana rodeo bareback rider was paralyzed in September 2018. JR is expecting a new baby, due May 2019.
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects in the United States. This has made our family more aware of how many little ones Mended Little Hearts supports in our community, many whom we know personally.
Thank you Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for this program and your generosity!
Dave Silk, recipient story
Since 2007, WQW has provided over 705 Fishing Experiences to combat veterans and spouses/caregivers from across the nation.
Jewell was taken to Missoula’s St. Patrick Hospital for immediate care, and then life flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for ongoing medical treatment.
Jewell sustained multiple injuries in the accident – a brain injury with swelling and bleeding, a fractured vertebrae, skull fracture, broken eye socket, nose and jaw, fractures to her clavicle, pelvis and foot. Despite all of these conditions, she has proven to be too tough to give up, making progress every day.
Beyond medical expenses, there will be months of therapy and doctors’ visits in her road to final recovery.
This donation will be used to help cover some of the medical and travel expenses Doug and his family have incurred fighting this disease.
Thank you so much Dennis and Phyllis for your generous donation. This is a class act foundation and an even more amazing company to work for.
Again, Thank you for all you do.
Good Luck on your season girls!!
They had many ideas but were ruling them out as multiples tests were being performed on her. The longer they went, the more stumped they were becoming. Her symptoms were fitting a few ideas but they were not fitting 100% so the doctors didn’t want to give an definitive diagnosis unless all the symptoms fit. Lindsay was not able to open her eyes or be able to feed herself. They had to insert a catheter and a feeding tube to keep her stabilized.
After about 2 weeks she started to get better, slowly but surely. She was able to start to try and feed herself. She spent a little over 2 weeks in the hospital. During the time Lindsay was in the hospital her mother, Ashley, was staying with her constantly while her husband Gerry took care of their toddler daughter, Laney, as well as them both running a cattle ranch. To say they had a lot on their plate was an understatement.
Modern Machinery Rochester Branch, after finding out what was going on, began to take donations to give to the family such as clothes, coloring books and pencils and anything that would help the little girl feel better as well as the family. Multiple people also donated PTO since Ashley was close to running out and we knew she was not going to be at work for a little longer. She works in parts. We also brought together cash donations. We came together as a family to help Ashley and her family because here in Rochester, we are all a family and we come together to help each other in time of need.
Lindsey is a budding artist and absolutely loves coloring and drawing. Her artwork can be seen all over the branch in select offices. She is Modern’s Picasso. She is often at the branch drawing and coloring beautiful pictures and has been doing so since she was very young so to say she has grown up here is a very accurate statement. Many people in the branch have known her since birth and have watched her blossom into a beautiful and thoughtful little girl. To say her falling ill effected us is a vast understatement. I feel as if she is my own and I’m sure many would agree.
Lindsay got well enough to where she was able to go home. She has been home for about 2 weeks and is getting stronger and better every day. She is already back at school. Doctors still couldn’t pin point exactly what was causing her illness other than diagnosing her with lesions of the skin and mucosal membranes. All I know is she is the bravest and strongest little girl I know and it was my honor to donate my giving card to her and her family.
Many thanks to Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for giving me the ability to help my friend in need!
I had not yet met Kasey but recently started following his “Friends of Kasey Morley” site on Facebook. Kasey’s mom describes his journey on this site and when I was chosen to get a giving card I immediately wanted to pick this family. I contacted Kasey’s mom and went to the family’s resident. I got to meet an amazing young boy. He was so talkative, friendly and full of hugs. You cant help but to fall in love with him! I also met his mom, dad and his brother Kaleb who were all very thankful.
Thank you Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for giving me the joy of “Paying It Forward”. It was a very “feel good” moment!
Thank You for this opportunity to pay it forward.
This brought back memories of the role models in my life that I looked up to. Not having children of our own, I hope to be one of those role models to my nieces and nephews, and I hope this gift can help someone else become a strong role model.
From their Facebook page: “The concept is simple. We want to promote the importance of fatherhood, and young growing minds to have strong adult male mentors to look up to. We want to encourage father’s, uncle’s, stepfather’s, teacher’s and big brother’s, to step up and be positive strong role models. They are always looking up.
To encourage the importance of respect, and making good decisions. To protect and make them feel safe. A person they can come to in times of need. To give a young woman confidence and strength in herself, and a young man a lesson in how to honor and respect their mother, and their sister and their future wives and girlfriends.”
“The mission of the Casting Shadows Foundation will be to provide guided, free of charge, fly fishing trips to young people (boys or girls) along with their father, stepfather, big brother, or some other male mentor. Just a day on one of Montana’s beautiful rivers fly fishing, or learning to fly fish, spending time, talking, building and strengthening relationships.
Some of our trips will be just a reward to an absolutely outstanding father, or mentor, and chance to strengthen that relationship. Some will be for young people desperately seeking a mentor, or father figure in in their lives.”
And finally a note from Gary on their foundation page:
I received a message a few weeks ago from a Facebook friend Gregg Cooney. He so graciously wanted to donate a $500 “pay it forward” gift card he received from his work at Rail Link. He noted how Casting Shadows brought up all of the fond hours he spent fishing with his dad, grandad, and uncle growing up. I’ve never met Gregg in person but appreciate his kind cyber friend heart.
So with this, I got ahold of my friend Taylor that owns the Missoulian Angler. He is such a kind and generous young guy himself. Already a strong supporter of what we are doing here. I know from having fished and floated with him what an awesome role model he has in his father. And now a new baby to pass those traits on to.
Anyway for the $500 Taylor was able to get us into 6 quality rod and reel combos worth nearly twice that. They carry a lifetime warranty. Just really good quality rods and reels.
We are planning six float trips this summer and thanks to the generosity of Gregg, and Taylor, and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation (and Rail Link). Every single child that takes a trip with us this summer will take with them this beautiful brand new rod and reel set up. Ready to go.
Hopefully at least a few will use this opportunity as a steppingstone to take on the wonderful pastime of fly fishing and who knows maybe someday pass that down to their children fondly recalling where it all began.
That is really what we want to be about.
Every year, Summit Aviation in Bozeman, Montana, hosts four young cancer survivors for a week-long Cancer Survivor Flight Camp. The campers, who are all young adult survivors of childhood cancer participating in Eagle Mount Bozeman’s Big Sky Kids program, will get to live their dream of taking flight! Throughout the course of the week, these individuals aren’t just passengers along for the ride as each participant learns the basics of aviation, how to manipulate aircraft controls, goes on a cross-country flight over Yellowstone National Park, and even has the opportunity to perform his or her own take offs and landings! The daily itinerary includes breakfast briefings and themed lunches, one-on-one instruction with some of Summit’s premier Certified Flight Instructors, ground school courses, behind-the-scenes airport tours, local and scenic tours, and over 10 hours of flight time in Summit’s state-of-the-art Diamond aircraft. The camp is completely donation funded and every cent received goes straight towards helping to cover the costs of food, fuel, and other Camp necessities. For these individuals, who have braved the challenges of diagnosis and treatment, the Flight Camp is a chance to escape limitations and experience the freedom of flight!
In January of 2019 the Bitterroot Winter Special Olympics hosted 141 athletes representing 16 schools and other organizations, with over 200 coaches and support people and 200 plus volunteers. Cross country skiing, downhill skiing and snowshoes races were the events provided at Lost Trail Powder Mountain over a two day period. A banquet and dance is also hosted by the Olympic organizers at the Bitterroot River Inn.
Bitterroot Winter Special Olympics raises the majority of its funding by hosting the annual Hacker Golf Tournament at the Hamilton Golf Club in September each year. Donations from local businesses and individuals help provide the funds needed to keep this popular event going every January.
The Bitterroot Winter Special Olympics is truly a grassroots organization promoting competition, friendship and joy between athletes, coaches and volunteers alike.
My mother in-law, Marla Hennequin, has been a volunteer on the steering committee for 33 years.
In June of 2018, it was discovered that Thomas had a massive brain tumor. He was flown from Billings, MT to Denver CO where he underwent a 12 hour surgery. The tumor was so large that the doctors were only able to remove half of it. They planned for Thomas to recover for a couple of weeks and then remove the remaining tumor. Unfortunately, Thomas became very ill with pneumonia and the surgery was postponed. Since then, Thomas has battled many infections, including an infection in his brain and his blood. He is also resistant or allergic to many of the anti-biotics, which has made recovery painful and difficult. Most recently he is recovering from a massive bed sore, which was infected to the bone.
Thomas’ mom, Michelle, was able to spend the first 3 months with him in Denver while his dad, Danny stayed back in Joliet with William. In September Michelle’s leave from work was up and she had to return to Montana. Danny recently had back surgery but as soon as he was cleared by his doctors he went to be with Thomas in Denver.
At this time, the family is waiting for Thomas to recover enough to make the trip to a rehabilitation center closer to their home in Montana, where they hope he will become well enough to remove the rest of the tumor.
In May of 2015, William suffered from the same tumor, at the time the doctors did not believe it to be genetic so they chose not to test Thomas. William spent about 3 months in Denver recovering from his surgery to remove the tumor. William’s tumor was about half the size that Thomas’ was. William has a few lingering problems but for the most part, he has recovered well.
I split $500 between 3 families who have had major medical bills. Each family is frugal with their money and is always ready to give a hand to others. It was great to see the look of surprise and thankfulness for the gift cards each family received!!
Thank you Dennis & Phyllis for all the ways you give to your community!
Thank you to the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for allowing us to be able to Pay It Forward within our communities.
When I was notified that I’ve won this award I knew I was going to donated to St. Jude, but after finding out the situation that my Aunt was living, without a thought I gave the card to her.
Thank you again for helping me help others.
Combat warriors and their spouses attend workshop retreats at no cost to them, excluding travel. Donations allows All Secure Foundation to create more programs for more combat families to help fight the war on Post Traumatic Stress on the home front.
Family Promise came to mind while reflecting on my late mother who was very active at and a supporter of, St. Anthony parish and Missoula Catholic Schools. Family Promise was a cause dear to her heart, having raised 7 children with my father she was aware of the struggles parents face, trying to provide for their family and raise them to be good people with a strong Christian background. My parents were amazing! I truly believe that strong parents are the backbone of a good family and ultimately a good human. Family Promise offers other parents a “leg up” so they can be good parents and providers as well. “Family Promise of Missoula is a network of 28 congregations and businesses who practice hospitality and work together to provide shelter, meals and support to Missoula families to help them rebuild their lives.”
The Humane Society of Western Montana is a cause dear to my heart because I love dogs and I understand the importance of adopting furry friends into our families, whether dog, cat or other and I’ve felt, first hand, the positive impact these selfless, loving creatures can have on us, their humans. A quote I read recently is so true; “We don’t save these animals, they save us.”
Thanks to the Foundation for sharing these funds with the Washington Companies employees and allowing us to experience the remarkable feeling of giving on a larger scale than we are normally able to. What a great experience! Thank you!
The second family I made a meal for lost her husband to cancer. I took the meal to her and her family last night and plan on making another meal for her and her family this weekend.
This year’s submission story is a hard one for me to write. Several months ago, there was a man who was involved in a grade crossing incident on MRL, and he unfortunately passed away as a result of his injuries. This man attended my parent’s church and was well-known to my family. He was the primary provider for his family, and he left his wife with no means of income with which to provide for herself and their three children. I am all too aware of how tragic this situation is, both for our engineers on the train and for the family that unexpectedly lost their dad and husband, and I wanted to help in some way. My Pay it Forward card was the perfect way for me to help out a hurting family. I worked with my parent’s church to pass the card forward and the family was so thankful for the extra help in a very difficult time.
Their mission and why they exist: To introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture. They exist to give bereaved families the gift of heirloom portraits to bring healing and comfort as well as provide ongoing support.
More than once I’ve experienced family friends, co-workers, or children of friends having to experience the upcoming birth of a child that was born stillborn, or they know in advance that their infant will not survive after birth.
On January 1, 2018, my Niece went into premature labor 6 weeks early. When arriving at the hospital, she was advised by the doctors that there was no heartbeat of her child. Immediately my family went into shock and did not know how to deal with their emotions or grief while waiting for Noble to arrive into this world without taking a breath. Even though this was happening in Alaska and I live in Washington State, I immediately went on line and contacted the “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” organization.
A professional photographer was in the hospital room within an hour of being contacted by NILMDTS. The death of an infant is something no parent should ever have to experience. Tender photographs document a child’s eternal connection with his parents. Receiving images of their baby gives them comfort of a priceless gift where they can honor and remember a tiny life that is forever loved and cherished.
If you or someone you know are in need of their services I encourage you to please go to their website to retrieve general information on where to find a volunteer photographer, learn of services they provide for the families and obtain information on helping the bereaved on what you can say or what services you can do for the families. Hopefully your family or friends never go through the motions of experiencing an infants’ death, but by familiarizing yourself with the organization and what they do, you may be able to provide valuable information and resources to a family during their bereavement. Please visit nowilaymedowntosleep.org. By familiarizing yourself with the organization you may make a difference in a family’s life.
My wife Sarah and I wrote a letter to the anonymous family who would receive the giving card explaining why it was important for us to help and also gave a brief overview of the Pay it Forward Giving Program. I received a call from the doctor letting me know that the family receiving the card had been contacted and let them know that they were receiving the money. According to the doctor, the recipient was so thankful to receive the card that she began to cry. The recipients explained that they were going to use the money toward their procedure in June. We are wishing them the best of luck and hope that the giving card allows them to breathe a little easier.
“Camp Mak-A-Dream provides a medically supervised, cost-free Montana experience, in an intimate community setting for children, young adults and families affected by cancer. A week at camp offers these kids and young adults the chance to be “normal”, to conquer challenges, gain independence and self-esteem, make new friends and face their fears alongside others who understand what it’s like to have cancer.
As a 501(c)3, non-profit organization, all funding for Camp Mak-A-Dream is raised through private donations, gifts, grants and fundraising events such as this RATPOD ride. Funds raised at this event will directly benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream and its programs.
Camp Mak-A-Dream is located in Gold Creek, Montana, on 87 beautiful acres surrounded by the Flint and Pintler Mountains. The Children’s Oncology Camp Foundation was founded in 1991 and since opening in 1995, Camp Mak-A-Dream has served thousands of individuals. For more information, please visit: www.campdream.org.”
He was a strong and gentle giant born April 27, 1924 in New York. He went on to be in the US Army, fighting for his country in WWII. After the service, he came to Montana where he met his wife and had four beautiful children. He was a logger, then moved into owning his own long haul trucking company running coast to coast. He and his children were very outdoorsy and loved to sports. His life was cut short at 40 years old, such a young age, playing racket ball at the Elks Club. He died December 11, 1964, doing what he loved to do.
Ever since the headstone was damaged at his gravesite, our family wonder how we were going to replace it. Thanks to Pay It Forward my grandfather will have a proper headstone again.
I would like to thank the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for allowing me to give my card to a family that can really use the extra funds. My thoughts go out to the Crichfield family for a full and speedy recovery of their son.
Josh Allen, recipient story
On behalf of Missoula Church of the Nazarene, I would like to thank you for advocating for us in the pay it forward program with Montana Rail.
We challenged our congregation to bring in diapers to care for some younger families both inside and outside of our church. The church responded generously and we were able to help 4 families. We used the gift card we received from you to give 3 families $100 gift cards and made a $200 gift card donation to Mountain Home, an organization for young mothers that our church partners with.
Thank you for helping us to spread God’s love in a tangible way to our community!
Pastor Josh Allen and the congregation of Missoula Church of the Nazarene
Stafford Animal Shelter is a no-kill, open-door shelter that accepts all pets in need regardless of age, species, breed or medical condition. We have no length of stay restrictions so animals are welcome with us until they find their forever homes. We accept every pet in need: abandoned or homeless, unwanted litters from unspayed and uneutered animals, and those confiscated by control officers for cruelty. The only nonprofit animal care facility in Park County, we serve the people and pets of the greater Southwestern Montana community including Gallatin, Sweet Grass, Stillwater, Meagher, Fergus counties and beyond. As the only Shelter in the region that accepts all lost or unwanted pets; not just dogs and cats, we have a “Zoo” where we can care for a wide range of pets from exotics to rodents to birds to small mammals. We also serve as the care facility for animals running at large, cruelty cases, and emergencies by city and county animal control officers. Of all the animals we take in approximately half are reclaimed and half are adopted. Every adoptable cat, dog, kitten and puppy are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and microchipped prior to adoption.
I have personally matched this donation.
Thank you to the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for giving me the opportunity to pay it forward.
They also are able to, through Little Bitterroot, attend the Special Olympics. Under funded and on a budget, its hard for them to afford to take all of their members to the Olympics.
I feel Honored having been given this opportunity to be apart of the Pay It Forward Program. I contacted Little Bitterroot Services management, and worked with them on figuring out what some of their needs were. We decided to have Light Weight Hooded coats made, with their team name embroidered in to the left breast of the coats, for the Special Olympics. As the coats that they have are old and in need of being updated. We had 24 coats made in many different sizes. the total cost for these coats came to $667.00. I used all of the Pay It Forward money on this. I paid the difference with money from my own pocket. As well as a $700.00 Donation, to be used towards gas, transportation, food and any other expenses incurred for their Special Olympics trip.
Once again, thank you for the opportunity to be apart of such a great company and a great program.
On Sunday, February 10th, Linda suffered a stroke and was taken to St. Patrick hospital where she was quickly treated with tPA, a powerful clot-busting medication used to dissolve the clot and restore blood flow. The drug must be given within a few hours after the onset of symptoms, or the risk of causing unwanted bleeding may outweigh the benefit. The earlier tPA is administered within that time period, the better the chances of a favorable outcome. We are so grateful that she was treated extremely early after her symptoms began and she is expected to make a full recovery. After three days in the ICU and one night on the neurology floor, she was able to come with the aid of in-home health care. Her prognosis is better at home than in a nursing home. When she can manage the stairs to her home, she will continue with out-patient rehab. Friends have generously joined with Linda’s children and given their time to check on her, take her to hospital appointments and just keep her spirits up so she’s not feeling alone. She is currently trying to regain movement in her left arm, leg and her speech.
Linda’s medical challenges started in October when she began to experience critical stage hypertension that couldn’t be controlled by medications. Her primary care physician ordered a test of her renal arteries to see if a blockage could be the cause. They suspected a right renal artery stenosis, but in the course of testing, they also discovered a small mass on her pancreas and ongoing MRI’s will be required to determine if the mass grows. We’ll cross that road when we come to it. Her first pancreas MRI is on February 28th.
Surgery was performed on her renal artery and a heart catheter was also done at the Heart Institute. The results of the renal artery was a 90% blockage and the diagnosis of Fibromuscular Dysplasia which is the abnormal development or growth of cells in the walls of the body’s arteries. As a result of this growth, areas of the arteries can thicken, narrow and even enlarge, making it difficult for blood to flow through them. FMD most often affects the renal arteries, which supply the kidneys with blood, and carotid arteries, which bring blood to the brain. Less commonly, FMD develops in the arteries of the abdomen or the arteries of the arms and legs. In nearly one-third of people with FMD, more than one artery is affected. So we don’t know what the future holds with this. The disease is very rare, affecting 1-3% of the population. It is not curable or treatable with medication. Linda will always require frequent testing in her arteries.
Although the cardiologist said her heart looked great after the surgery, at her post surgery check-up, she was told they had discovered a Miocardial Bridge, a segment of her heart’s main arteries tunnels into the heart muscle and back out again instead of resting on the surface of the heart. The bridge refers to the band of heart muscle, the myocardium. that stretches over that section of the artery. In Linda’s case, it’s her left anterior descending artery. You may know this one by the “widow-maker” in heart attacks. A myocardial bridge shows up in fewer than 5% of people who undergo a cardiac catheterization. Most people with this condition, which is generally present from birth, don’t have any symptoms. But the segment of the blood vessel that dips into the heart muscle may be squeezed when the heart contracts, especially if the heart muscle is thickened. In rare cases, this causes symptoms similar to those of a heart attack, including chest pain, tightness or pressure in the chest, pain in the left arm or jaw, or shortness of breath. Those symptoms have been present for Linda since a “heart attack” in 2006, however, the cause was not known until now.
As you can see, there’s a long, winding, confusing medical road to navigate. Linda is self employed and has medical insurance with a high deductible and out of pocket costs. Unfortunately, the road behind her for the last 6 months exceeded 2018 and 2019 out of pocket costs. As you can imagine, her medical costs so far run in the tens of thousands, and we are extremely thankful for insurance. But not working, paying higher employees costs for the business and out of pocket expenses are crippling on top of everything else she is dealing with.
We are hoping to be able to raise funds to help with those out of pocket expenses for her medical care. We deeply appreciate the generous support Linda has received and extremely dislike asking for monetary help, but sometimes we have to stop being proud and just ask. Anything you can give is greatly appreciated and we know it will help Linda concentrate on her recovery and not on the bills that are piling up. If you can’t give (completely and totally understandable!!), please keep Linda in your prayers as she continues her recovery.
With love and gratitude,
The Baumann/Pfaff Family
Crystal Baines, recipient story
Zach gifting me that card meant that for the first time in two years I was able to pay my utility bill current and put the remaining portion towards my power bill, which kept us from getting shut off (he did not know that at the time). For us, it was a miracle that was desperately needed.
I am so grateful for this program and for Zach taking part in it and working to pay forward the blessings.
With many thanks and much gratitude,
Sincerely, Mike Blom
I thought this video would be good to share with you. Its our story in our own words.
Currently Jasper’s biggest needs are clothes that fit, toys that will assist in his physical therapy and formula. While Jasper was on the LVAD Berlin heart he suffered two major strokes. These strokes caused major damage to the right side of his brain. He currently has weakness on the left side of his body and is unable to swallow on his own. Jasper has a surgically placed feeding button which allows his body to receive formula and medicine directly to his stomach. He is doing wonderful at keeping his feeds down. So wonderful that he has grown out of 18 months clothes and now fits in 24 month clothes! This is huge for us! Many heart transplant patients have failure to thrive and struggle to grow. Our Jasper is once again amazing everyone as he continues to grow and learn at a fast pace.
Words cannot express our gratitude for the wonderful gift that Montana Resources has given us. From the bottom of our hearts Thank You for this wonderful gift!
Britney, Teddy and Jasper Dorscher
Mark Nordby was an incredible person, unfortunately Mark lost his battle with ALS earlier this year. I have not worked directly with Mark for over 25 years as I moved to a different department. However, we were still old friends any time our paths crossed. Mark had a celebration of life last weekend and as a part of the celebration the family organized a fundraiser as well. The fundraiser was twofold, any proceeds were going to be split between The Evergreen Chapter of the ALS Foundation, which is an organization whose mission statement is: To discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest. Proceeds were also going to be used to assist with Mark’s hospital expenses.
This is a great program that brings hope to both the giver and the receiver.
My name is Brooke Buckingham. Oliver is my son, and I would like to share his story! I’ll start at the very beginning … please bear with me, as I can be long-winded at times.
My husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby, Aizen, while we were dating in January of 2018. We were terrified, but also excited at the prospect of being parents. We had already been discussing wedding plans and planning our future together in general. We found out we were only about 4-6 weeks pregnant, so pretty early. We decided that if we were going to be having a baby together, we needed to be married. So, he proposed, and we decided to get married in Bozeman, MT only 9 weeks later. I picked out my wedding dress and had it sent for alterations, sent out invitations, and made plans for our wedding and honeymoon.
Shortly after that, I found out I was losing the baby. I tried to allow my body to miscarry my child without extensive measures being taken because I hoped, by some miracle, maybe I would be able to keep him. I was in pretty serious denial that I was losing him. We were about 8-9 weeks at the time, and I had been under a considerable amount of stress between planning a wedding and working full-time at a hospital with a shortage of staff.
I came to my last appointment for Aizen, and they did an ultrasound to be sure it wasn’t ectopic. He was a normal pregnancy, but the doctor referred to him as “a bad egg.” My heart broke. They elected to give me a drug called methotrexate. It is a highly toxic drug used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, and ectopic pregnancies. They told me it would help me miscarry sooner.
I could go on because there is a lot more that happened that day, but I will stop at the fact that we lost Aizen officially on February 20th, 2018.
My husband, Jacob, and I got married on March 31st, 2018. Our wedding was everything I wanted, and we were excited to try again for another baby when the time was right. I asked our doctor if we would be okay to consummate our marriage on our honeymoon, and I was told, “Oh yes. It’s too soon for you to get pregnant again. There’s no possible way you would get pregnant again this fast.”
Long story short, Oliver was conceived April 2nd, on our honeymoon.
When we returned from Florida, I just knew I was pregnant. I took about a thousand pregnancy tests until I finally got a positive test. My gut wrenched as I researched the effect of methotrexate exposure to an infant in-utero. The pictures and stories I saw were heart-breaking. So, when we went in for our first appointment, I was pretty well-prepared for the worst.
They set me up with a high-risk specialist doctor from Fargo, ND. He would travel down to Williston, ND on the second Tuesday of every month to see patients.
When he first saw me, I was 12 weeks pregnant. Babies are still pretty tiny on an ultrasound at this point, but he sat in with me to see if we could find any immediate concerns. Right away, we found out Oliver didn’t have legs. They thought he might have a hole in his heart. They also had some concerns that his jaw would be set too far back for him to have an airway. Medical care in Williston, ND is very, very minimal. If you are having any sort of complication with your pregnancy here, you can pretty much count on needing to travel for obstetric care. So, with these findings, we went to Billings, MT for a second opinion.
In Billings, we had another ultrasound done. I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time. When the doctor there got a look at the images, he confirmed that, without a doubt, Oliver would not have legs. He didn’t see a hole in his heart, but he could not confirm whether or not there was one there. (Oliver was a serious challenge to get ultrasound pictures of through the whole pregnancy.) He made no comments on his jaw. But, he made a recommendation that we get to a better medical facility before Oliver was born. He recommended we get to a major children’s hospital that specialized in all pediatric specialties. We were told that Oliver was diagnosed with sacral agenesis (nothing below the sacrum). There are varying severities with this condition, but the doctor in Billings told us to prepare ourselves for the idea that Oliver could survive either only minutes after birth, or he would live a long happy life. He couldn’t determine his life expectancy based on the ultrasound photos. Then, he referred us to a genetic counselor there. So, we stepped across the hall and spoke with the genetic counselor. We were offered an abortion straight off the bat and turned it down. Both my husband and I value the life of an unborn child, especially our own, no matter the circumstances. We discussed our family history and determined that it was likely not a genetic problem. The genetic counselor offered us amniocentesis to see if his medical problems were part of mine and Jacob’s genetics (even though it didn’t seem that way) or if it was something else entirely. We decided to go ahead with that, and had amniocentesis done. This was in the beginning of August, 2018.
On our way back to North Dakota, we made the decision to move to Boise, ID. My husband’s family lives there and offered us a place to stay. We moved at the beginning of September, 2018.
When we got to Boise, our doctor there requested that we get a fetal MRI done to determine 1) the severity of his micrognathia/short jaw and 2) whether there were no legs at all or partial limbs. We also confirmed with a fetal cardiologist that Oliver did not have a hole in his heart.
Our MRI came out inconclusive as far as his jaw goes, but they thought maybe they could see a portion of a femur. They weren’t sure because Oliver would absolutely not hold still for the MRI. We spoke to multiple doctors that would be part of our delivery, and the neonatologist there told us that staying in Idaho might not be advisable. The procedure they would need to do had only been done one time by one physician, and we were told it was not impossible but that they didn’t do many of them and that, if we were looking for the best care, Boise wasn’t the case.
The procedure they were wanting to do goes like this:
When I was scheduled for a c-section, they would cut me open, and remove Oliver from my body. They would leave him connected to my body by his umbilical cord. This would allow my body to supply him blood and oxygen so they could try to intubate him and have a little more time. If they could not intubate him, they would cut a small hole in his throat to insert a trache and provide him an airway before they cut the cord.
Basically, it was a very difficult and dangerous procedure, and if anything happened, we would be life-flighted to Salt Lake City, UT. Also, depending on the case, I might not have been able to go with him and it could have been a while before I could get down there, especially after a c-section. They said they could do it for sure, but that it would be risky. So, we made to choice to move to Salt Lake City, UT.
When we got to our doctor in Salt Lake City, they observed that my amniotic fluid was very low. It was something they had been monitoring in Idaho, but they weren’t as concerned. By the time we got to Utah, it was concerning enough that the doctor thought maybe my water had broken, and I just didn’t notice. I was 30-32 weeks pregnant at the time, so it could have been okay to deliver, but she admitted me to try and keep Oliver from coming so he had more time to develop before I went into labor.
But, I never went in to labor is the crazy thing. So, I had a round of steroids and antibiotics to keep the baby safe from infection and to help his lungs develop a little more. In the end, they could never confirm my water broke because there was that little fluid. It would never come up positive on the tests they did, so they didn’t want to just deliver him. I was sent home on bed rest with instructions to return if I was concerned I was going into labor. I was also instructed to come to the hospital twice a week for non-stress tests and every other week for doctor visits.
We were also sent for a second fetal MRI to get a better idea of what we were getting ourselves into before our delivery. This MRI showed that Oliver had no lower extremities and that he had a solid airway and that we would not be needing that procedure I mentioned above. However, we did find that he had a small congenital diaphragmatic hernia that would need to be repaired after delivery.
I was on pretty high alert after that. Oliver is my first child to make it to delivery, so I didn’t know what contractions felt like, and I was pretty convinced I wouldn’t feel myself lose my water, since there was hardly any in there. I’m fairly certain I drove my husband crazy, but he faithfully drove me to the ER anytime I was concerned…which was honestly at least once a week.
Well, for the next several weeks, every time we came in for a non-stress test, Oliver would fail it with the exception of 2 times. If they fail, you are sent for something called a biophysical profile, where they do an ultrasound to be sure that baby is moving, their heart is beating, and that there is amniotic fluid. So what should have taken 20-30 minutes always turned into a 2 hour appointment. They were long, stressful days. We made plans to be induced on December 6th, 2018, which would put us at 37 weeks, provided Oliver had not chosen to gift us with his presence sooner.
On November 30th, 2018, I woke up, got dressed, and went in for another crazy day of testing. My husband and I picked up breakfast together before we headed in, but we had no idea what we were walking into.
When we got to the office, I went and did our non-stress test which, as expected, Oliver failed. We were sent for a biophysical profile, as I expected, since I had this down to a science. I was having a good attitude because I knew we were only a week from being induced, so I was just going through the motions.
Well, when we were done, my doctor came in to visit with me. She asked if I had been having contractions or anything, and I told her I had but not many and they were not consistent. She told me that Oliver seemed to be desatting (his heart rate was dropping dangerously low) and that she didn’t feel safe sending me home. She hooked me up to a monitor and told me if he deserted again, we would be delivering that night. Sure enough, less than an hour after they hooked me to the machines, Oliver desatted again. Baby time.
My husband had gone to pick up our cell phone chargers since we honestly did not think we would be delivering that night. I called him and urged him to hurry back because we were making pretty important decisions and the baby would be coming tonight.
Oliver was desatting when I would have a contraction, and I was only less than a centimeter dilated so my doctor didn’t think induction would be safe. So, I elected for en emergency c-section.
Oliver came out crying, which means his airway was intact. I got to see him for a brief 5 seconds before they rushed him to the NICU. My husband stayed with me while they sewed me up, and then I asked him to go be with Oliver in the NICU. I had a very hard time in the recovery room after our delivery. I reacted poorly to the spinal block, and my blood pressure dropped dangerously low. I remember throwing up uncontrollably, feeling hot but my body was freezing, and the nurse and anesthesiologist arguing about how to fix it while they held my stitches together. Everything after that was pretty foggy until I woke up the next day.
I found out that when my husband got to the NICU, Oliver seemed to be doing well. Then he turned purple and they had to intubate him because he went into respiratory distress. It was later discovered that his spleen had worked its way up partially into his chest cavity, and I am suspecting that’s why he struggled. On December 1st, I got to hold Oliver for the first time, and it was pretty scary. He was hooked up to a ventilator and had multiple IV’s and other machine hooked up to him. His face was super swollen because they had a tough time getting his head out of my pelvis. He couldn’t open his eyes at all at the time. I held him until they took him to surgery.
Oliver needed surgery to correct his diaphragmatic hernia and to place a colostomy bag. He was born with a grocery list of problems:
-congenital diaphragmatic hernia
-sacral agenesis/caudal regression
-a very, VERY small brain bleed from delivery
-partially closed left nare
This doesn’t include the most recent findings of a tongue tie and a submucosal cleft palate.
After his surgery, Oliver continued to fight as he had been through his whole gestation. He shocked the doctors who cared for him with every step he took forward. We were basically guaranteed a 4-6 month NICU stay, and Oliver met every single one of their expectations in just 19 days! It felt like a very long 19 days, but we made it through Oliver’s constant dance of “two steps forward, one step back.” (He has always been unique that way.) We went from him coding in my arms just 2 days after he was born to being sent home only 19 days after he was born.
Oliver was sent home on oxygen and an NG tube for feeding, since he aspirates. He was allowed to take only 15mLs by mouth per feed. We were also given orders for oxygen to be delivered to our home, medical supply prescriptions to be sent to our door, referrals to home health, speech/feeding therapy, physical therapy, early intervention therapy, a high risk clinic, cardiology, pulmonology, neurology, gastroenterology, ENT, and a request to follow up with the surgical staff.
I have medical training. I earned my associate’s degree in medical assisting from Montana Tech in Butte, MT. But, I don’t know if anything can really ever prepare you to have to do those things to your own child. My husband and I both had to take a refresher CPR course before Oliver could go home, and I was genuinely afraid I would need it. No one can prepare you for the fear you will feel when your baby’s oxygen monitor goes off in the night and wakes you from a dead sleep because he’s desatting. (Most of the time, it was a false alarm, but still.) And no one can prepare you for the stress you feel as a mom, putting a tube down your baby’s nose and into his stomach, knowing that you might accidentally slip it into his lungs and have to start over. We were also instructed to keep him away from people until flu season is over — basically do not leave home unless it is for doctor’s appointments. And no one can prepare you for that kind of loneliness.
We were asked multiple times how we were coping so well with the stress of it all, especially with us being such young parents (21 and 22 at the time). Well, I can honestly say that at first, I was petrified. I cried all the time. And my husband, well, he held me together through most all of it. I will not say it wasn’t terrifying because it was. And praise God that He provided a way for us to be able to move from state to state (especially since my husband works for the government, and they were very helpful with transferring him wherever we went.) We also had Oliver right around the time the government shut down indefinitely, and our only source of income was my husband’s job as a TSA supervisor. Medical bills started pouring in and we couldn’t get Oliver added to our insurance yet because it was federal. And, I needed my husband to stay home and help with the baby because I was still recovering from my c-section. Basically, we were in desperate need of help.
The government finally reopened, and we started to receive income again, but the damage had already taken its toll. We received TONS of financial assistance from the church! This is honestly what held us afloat. But we knew we would not be able to afford our living expenses. My husband was making more money in Williston, ND, and my family lives there. So, we decided to move back to Williston. My parents have offered to let us live with them free of charge until we can get back on our feet financially. We so appreciate this help. My husband is wonderful and has been working from early in the morning until late in the evening to be sure I can stay home with Oliver and take care of him. We are finally starting to get on top of our medical bills, but it will be a while before they’re completely taken care of. Oliver is seeing a wonderful doctor here who is vigorously researching his condition in order to help him develop properly. Oliver sees two therapists — one for feeding and one for developmental milestones. We are in the process of getting his tongue-tie clipped in the hopes that it will be the only reason he was struggling to eat due to aspirating. He is no longer on oxygen or a feeding tube and taking
thickened liquids by mouth. He can already hold up his head all by himself and is working on learning how to roll over by himself at only 4 months old. We are so proud of our little boy, and we are so thankful to have been chosen to be his parents. We are so thankful God has blessed us with the families He has and that He has placed us with the church family He has. This is just the beginning for sure, but we’re so excited to be a part of his life.
We know God has big plans for our little guy.
“The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We can’t wait to see where he goes and what he does with this life God has given him. We are so thankful for all the love and prayers we have received from various people. We know we can trust God to provide when we need it most.
Again, I apologize for being long-winded! If you are still reading, thank you for reading our story and giving us space in your thoughts for today. Please keep us in your prayers as we learn how to raise our little boy!
Jacob, Brooke, Aizen, and Oliver Buckingham
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has created a multitude of positive, life-impacting changes in the communities that are served by the Foundation and has improved and enriched the lives of so many young people as well as touched lives of many others. This essay provides a brief description of the current and heart-wrenching struggle of a young woman battling the most formidable challenge that every human being dreads and prays to avoid in life. The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation’s Pay It Forward giving card was provided to this individual to assist in the overwhelming expenses associated with her battle against cancer.
This young lady was born to parents originally from Butte and who raised her in the Helena Valley where she attended local schools and graduated from Helena High School. She is a beautiful, blonde haired, blue-eyed, young lady with many of the fine attributes of her parents. They raised her in a warm and loving home, and she enjoyed growing up in her family with a younger sister and two additional siblings who arrived a short gap in time. She was and is close to her sister and helped her parents with her younger siblings through their toddler years and enjoyed watching them grow.
Pursuing additional education was not an option nor goal of hers to pursue but gaining employment and living an adult life style was. Shortly after graduating from high school she moved to Missoula where she was employed by Costco. She enjoyed the work and the people, appreciated her wages and benefits and portrayed a true zest for living her dreams in her own way.
At some point over the course of the next few years she became involved with a fellow who had similar aspirations for the pursuit of the enjoyment that life in that snapshot had to offer them together. She was happy, had a secure network of friends and always remained close to her extended family, particularly cousins. She enjoyed the social media outlets and frequently kept her friends, acquaintances and family apprised of her life experiences, political notions and food recipes.
Life changed for her in September 2017. She suddenly discovered a physical problem and was diagnosed with an aggressive type and greatly advanced breast cancer at age thirty. The type and advancement were so great that the medical profession prescribed a complete removal of the impacted organ and surrounding nodes and tissue to attempt to halt the progression of the disease. The surgery schedule was truncated and was performed in December 2017, indicating the high level of concern in order to restrict and control rapid expansion of the disease and transmission to other parts of her body.
Intense chemotherapy and radiation followed the surgery into 2018. She remained positive in attitude and upbeat in communications during this entire, grueling experience of the treatment and the potentially debilitating side-effects associated with the treatment. Her stories provided inspiration to the readers and prayers and hope for her recovery.
With surgeries, chemo and radiation and associated health effects, her employment was maintained but reduced to part-time status. This adjustment required additional insurance expenses in addition to the usual deductible copay and other costs not covered by insurance. She is grateful of her employer and for the health insurance that she continues to receive.
She made it through this intense regimen and period of physical discomfort and array and was her sisters Maid of Honor on her wedding day in July 2018. It was not only a joyous life experience for her sister and the entire family but among family and those close to her there was also an unspoken, relief and prayer of thanks that she had made it so strong for so far. She looked beautiful on that day and appeared to enjoy every aspect of that life experience.
The breast cancer treatment regimen and goal of eliminating cancer and the possibly of it spreading to other body parts appeared to be successful. Possible “Remission” was mentioned at one point and hopes were high with a positive prognosis.
Other health related issues arose in December 2018 and the doctors diagnosed an inoperable tumor in the cervical spine area near the base of the head. Multiple medical opinions have been sought and currently she is seeking prognosis and possible treatment option evaluation at a nationally known cancer clinic in Houston.
The fellow who was her long-time, significant partner and who shared in the types of enjoyment that their lives provided them decided to depart from the relationship. This event was extremely difficult emotionally, but, true to her form, she emerged with a positive attitude and continues to look forward instead of back.
She was extremely surprised and very appreciative and grateful to receive the Pay It Forward card to help pay medical and travel expenses, that in turn helps to reduce the external stresses on her life. I thank you on her behalf and from myself as a WC employee. I know and have seen the great multitude of positive impacts the Foundation has created over the years. I am particularly grateful to the Foundation for this gift to someone in need with whom I have a close association.
The contribution this year was used toward purchasing items that are the greatest needs to restock the closet. We were able to purchase many packages of new underwear. Then we focused on getting the most bang for our buck for pants and pajama’s. There were also great deals on shirts on the clearance racks. People look at you funny when you buy that much at the store. It is neat to watch their eyes light up when you tell them it is for charity and will help many families.
This church mission was started in memory of a sweet and giving boy named Rhett, who was a member of our church. He knew how to take care of the needs of others and share generously. People noticed his generosity. He made friends wherever he went and knew how to include everyone in games being played. His generosity is remembered and impacted many people’s lives, young and old. Through our memories of his generosity, we are giving back to our community.
We thank your organization for this generous program and how it has helped us service so many families in our community. The employee who nominated our charitable cause is retiring this year. I know it has meant a lot to him to work for a company with such a giving heart. Thank for having this program available to your employees.
While my contribution to the mission is to stock and organize the closet, which suits me talents best, I have also been there a few times while a family has come for their appointment. It is overwhelming watching them have such joy in being able to provide their family with some new/used clothes that fit. The families are so appreciative. We have even had recipients donate back things they have grown out of.
I would like to thank the Washington Foundation for the gift card and the opportunity to pay it forward.
One of the families was a guy who pulled my wife out of the ditch when she went off the road while I was at work. The other couple families have children who are sick and we figured they could use a little relief right now.
Jamey Van Doren
I guess had no idea of the impact and the perfect timing of this gift. After I made out a card for her, my wife gave it to Ms Jan after church on a Sunday since I work. Later that evening Ms Jan pulled into our driveway. She was crying and kept saying, “you have no idea”.
After giving me a huge hug she told us that she was retiring after 30 years of teaching this May. She has been cleaning houses 3-4 nights a week just to make ends meet. She went onto explain that at times she didn’t have 2 pennies to rub together to make a spark. Now her only car was having car trouble and needed new brakes, she wasn’t sure where the extra money would come from.
In our everyday lives that we live, we sometimes have “no idea” what others are dealing with in their personal lives. As I saw Ms Jan at the post office this past week, I asked her if she got her car fixed. She said yes, thanks to you. It wasn’t thanks to me, it’s thanks to Dennis and Phyliss Washington Foundation for giving me the opportunity to “Pay It Forward”.
1. $200 to Rosemary M. Rosemary is in her 70’s, and is a semi-retired Registered Nurse. She has an ailing husband and a severely mentally ill adult grown son under her care. Yet somehow, Rosemary takes advantage of her three story aging home to take someone in who is living in their car or on the street. Rosemary takes into her home total strangers, gives them 60 days to find a job, and while they are looking she feeds, shelters, and clothes them. Rosemary has a very limited income and often goes without filling her own needs to serve these strangers. When presenting Rosemary the check from the Pay It Forward gift, she began to cry and said that her van had just broken down and she was short money to pay for its repairs. The $200 gift strengthened her giving spirit and provided for the repair to her van.
2. $100 ($20 each) for graduating Anaconda Job Corps Students. The Anaconda Church of Christ has had a ministry to Job Corps Students since 2003. Church members have seen many students over the years and provide a home cooked meal each Sunday and a temporary “family” while they are away from home. This April and May, five of the students will be graduating. The members always give $20 in cash to the students as they graduate and send them on their way. The students have little funds to get them started once leaving the Job Corps. The church is giving the $20 to each student as they graduate with a card explaining the gift is from Cory Spehar and the 2019 Pay It Forward Giving Campaign from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.
3. $200 to Matt B. Matt is a father of three young children and is always “giving back” to the community of Anaconda. He is passionate about working with young people and is engaged with Anaconda Community Intervention, which helps to prevent substance abuse in a community with high poverty and suicide rates. In addition, Matt and his wife are striving to open a small business that will no doubt be another gathering place for youth in Anaconda. This gift gave a little boost to a busy father’s bank account and also encouraged him to continue to give to our community. Matt will no doubt continue to “pay it
WeMontana! is a local nonprofit that my family is involved with that is focused on education, specifically music, public speaking, and a even logical thinking class. They are currently offering these classes at no charge. Just in the first semester, there are already 39 in choir and 23 in band. This gift will help with supplies to improve the acoustics for recitals and concerts. Here is their mission statement: “Mission — We, Montana! is a fledgling nonprofit aimed at making our world a little better by facilitating lifelong learning and engagement in various ways. We initiated a homeschool chorus program in Fall 2018, and will continue that throughout 2019, as well as starting a new homeschool band offering, a public speaking class, and a class on singing techniques. If this is successful, we look forward to offering many other things in the future.” This is a community-minded group looking to expand with local talent shows and community gatherings.
Thank You for your generosity and allowing your employees to help with these projects.
National Mill Dog Rescue was established in February 2007, in honor of a forgiving little Italian Greyhound named Lily. Theresa Strader, NMDR’s Founder and Executive Director, rescued Lily from a dog auction in Missouri. Prior to that day, Lily spent the first seven years of her life as a commercial breeding dog, a puppy mill mom. During her years as a breeding dog, Lily spent her days confined to a small, cold wire cage. She was never removed from her cage for exercise or socialization. In her dreary confines, Lily was forced to produce one litter after another with no respite. Like all commercial breeding dogs, she was a veritable breeding machine whose worth was measured in only one way – her ability to produce puppies.
By seven years of age, Lily was worn out. Commonplace in the industry, she had received little to no veterinary care throughout her life, the result of which, for her, was terribly disturbing. Due to years of no dental care, poor quality food, rabbit bottle watering and no appropriate chew toys, the roof of Lily’s mouth and lower jaw had rotted away. Her chest was riddled with mammary tumors and she was absolutely terrified of people. Strader brought Lily and 12 others home from the auction and declares that even for a highly seasoned rescuer, the following months were the education of a lifetime in rehabilitation. That she would take up the cause for the mill dogs was never in question, and the vision for National Mill Dog Rescue was born. Determined that her years of living in misery would not be in vain, Theresa started NMDR, giving a voice to mill dogs across the country.
Run almost solely by volunteers, National Mill Dog Rescue pledged to put an end to the cruelty of the commercial dog breeding industry, more commonly known as puppy mills. Through rescue and education, NMDR continues in its life-saving work while enlightening the public about the truth of pet store puppies. NMDR has taken a national approach to their efforts, and they have rescued and placed 14,001 dogs since their inception in 2007. These dogs are now living as cherished family members across the United States.
After her rescue, Lily spent the remainder of her life as a beloved member of the Strader family where she received medical care, warmth and companionship. In time, Lily found courage and her disfigured little body educated countless people about the horrors of the puppy mill industry. Lily died, at home, peacefully, in the arms of her loving dad with her family gathered around, in May 2008, fifteen months after she was rescued.
We, at Horse Creek School, would like to say THANK YOU SO much for the generous donation! We are a one room schoolhouse, grades K-8, located on the ND and MT border. The school has been around since the early 1900’s! We are one of the only functioning schools like it around!
I struggle finding funds to properly engage all the grade levels. I will have 6 grade levels next year and will use this money to purchase MUCH needed equipment and supplies for the school! Along with books that are leveled to each age group.
Ms. Tosch, Iris, Lily, Hitch, Hoyt, Jude, Elice, Henri
SAFE – Helping those experiencing domestic, sexual, dating and other forms of violence.
SAFE’s mission is to address the fundamental need in the bitterroot community to decrease domestic and sexual violence and its impact in Ravalli County, Montana through the provision of direct services to survivors and their children and by working to minimize those conditions that support violence against women.
Our son and many young people that we know went to high school with Shelley. Having friends in the police force and family who have been, we felt moved and compelled to utilize the opportunity afforded to us by you to help these two families. Thank you!
This is a great cause and I think the Pay it Forward campaign by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is an amazing opportunity to give to so many deserving causes all of which make the world a better place. Thank you for letting me take part in it for 2019
I decided to pay it forward to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening, progressive genetic disease that affects a child’s digestive and respiratory systems. It requires daily medication, therapy and monitoring. Due to minimal federal and pharmaceutical funding, cystic fibrosis research is largely dependent on private donations. Many strides have been made to improve the life expectancy of cystic fibrosis patients, however a cure is out of reach without continued donations.
The 6th Annual Cystic Fibrosis March Madness Calcutta was held in Butte on March 20th. This fundraiser has raised close to $100,000 for cystic fibrosis research since its inauguration. With the pay it forward card, I purchased $500 worth of merchandise to be auctioned off in a live auction. The merchandise went to the highest bidder for $550, with 100 percent of these proceeds going towards research for cystic fibrosis.
I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity to give back to a cause that is close to my heart. I have a six-year-old relative in Butte that was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth. Donations towards cystic fibrosis give her and her family hope that one day this disease can be cured.
I gave the Pay it Forward card to a friend of mine who recently struggled through several surgeries. Although not life threatening, she endured three surgeries – an initial surgery followed by two more unplanned procedures due to infection and other complications. As a single mom, the impact of more than two months away from work and the additional medical bills put a very real strain on her personal finances. It was nice to be able to help her out in this way.
Thanks again for promoting such a positive culture of giving.