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Pay It Forward Stories 2020

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Mike Hodges

Montana Rail Link

Employee

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The gift card was donated to Graduation Matters for the Laurel Public Schools to buy books for a literacy event. The event is “Reading Under the Lights” and will take place next fall. Families will be invited to come to the Laurel Sports Complex for an evening of reading. Each family will receive a book that will be read aloud over the sound system and each child will be able to choose another book to read while waiting for the read aloud. All books will go home with the children and families. They will also be given cookies and milk as they leave for the night. This is an event for all families in the Laurel community. (The photo is of last year's event, also partially funded by a Pay it Forward donation from last year.)

I would like to thank the Washington Foundation for the gift card and the opportunity to pay it forward.

Kathleen Muchmore

Envirocon

Employee

I was going to give the entire Giving Card to one organization but after reading the "We Care" section of the Missoulian I decided to put a little more effort into this and ended up helping Seven different people.

First I contacted Sentinel High School Families in Transition Coordinator Michelle Manning to help out a student that needed a twin bed, sheets, bedding and blankets as he had been sleeping on an air mattress. I personally delivered the items which was very rewarding to know I could help out and also make contact with Michelle.

I then contacted Emily a Case Manager at 3Rivers Mental Health Center about any of their clients needing help, she was just going into a Staff Meeting so she would spread the word. By the next day I had received emails from Emily, Kristin and Christopher with requests to help out several of the clients on their case load. I ended up giving them Fuel cards, Wal-mart cards, and Straight talk phone cards, which I also delivered in order to met the staff. Below are some of the emails I received:
_______________________________________________________________
Kathi,

Thank you so much for your donations. I know that we have all, clients and case managers, appreciated your assistance so much. It has gone a long way to help our clients. If you would like to reach out again next year, I know we would all be grateful. If you end up with extra basketball tickets to donate, I’m sure we could find some clients who would enjoy going out into the community to attend the games.

Thank you again for everything

Emily

___________________________________________________________________

I just wanted to send you a thank you from myself and my client. He got an email to schedule an interview today and was able to call them back to confirm!
Thanks again!

Krissy Brown

_______________________________________________________
I have 3 people that desperately need hygiene products and supplies and
3 others that it would really be helpful (kids in the home). I will take whatever you want to offer and start with those in the most need.

Thanks again for everything!

_______________________________________________________

Ryan Devlin

Montana Rail Link

Employee

I donated to a man I highly respect that coaches girls Fastpitch softball. He spends countless hours trying to provide how to compete respectfully in the game, and in life. My card went to help his non profit that helps with equipment costs etc...

Jody Verity

Montana Rail Link

Employee

My daughter is a 6th grader at CS Porter Middle School. This is our first year experiencing the Flag Ship after school program. She sincerely enjoys the great programming they have! I appreciate that my daughter is not coming home and getting on an electronic device. I am in awe that this program is free and wanted to express my appreciation for this program.

Tyler Baker

Montana Rail Link

Employee

Friends of ours recently opened up about their financial struggles. This was about a month before 'Pay It Forward' was awarded. We had already decided if we were chosen they would be the recipients. They are a family of five with young children. She is a stay at home mom while he had a decent job. He came to me asking if I knew of any employment opportunities because the company he worked for had lost their contract and he would soon be out of a job. They have expressed their gratitude repeatedly for the assistance 'Pay It Forward' was able to provide.

Janae Wright

Montana Resources

Employee

I chose to give my card to an in-home daycare owner to use at her discretion for either daycare related items or personal use. This individual is constantly volunteering her time in our community with disabled children while her husband volunteers much of his time to teaching children in our community about archery hunting & safety & sharing a passion for the outdoors. They are really great people & I know it will have a huge impact on their lives, even though the gesture is small. I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to pass this blessing onto someone else.

Lance Hart

Montana Rail Link

Employee

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The gift card was donated to Graduation Matters for the Laurel Public Schools to buy books for a literacy event. The event is “Reading Under the Lights” and will take place next fall. Families will be invited to come to the Laurel Sports Complex for an evening of reading. Each family will receive a book that will be read aloud over the sound system and each child will be able to choose another book to read while waiting for the read aloud. All books will go home with the children and families. They will also be given cookies and milk as they leave for the night. This is an event for all families in the Laurel community. (The photo is of last year's event, also partially funded by a Pay it Forward donation from last year.)

I would like to thank the Washington Foundation for the gift card and the opportunity to pay it forward.

Wade Richards

Montana Resources

Employee

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John Anderson a retired electrician and my former partner from Montana Resources had taken his granddaughter for a snowmobile ride and she was involved in an accident that nobody will ever forget. She is recovering but has a long road ahead. Attached is the story her mother has posted.
Saturday, February 15th, my daughter, Morgan Sanders went for her first ever snowmobiling ride with my dad. Shortly after they began, Morgan felt the need for speed and was not able to control her sled around a slight curve. The ski of the sled caught under roots or brush and she was thrown from the snowmobile into a tree.

My dad sat with her for over an hour waiting for any help from emergency crews as they struggled to find a location or means of transportation through the woods to get them. Life flight circled around them a few times and finally landed a couple miles from where they were. Paramedics were not able to go into the woods from there. A friend of mine showed up with his snowmobile and went to them, picking up a paramedic on the way. ( I believe) Another friend of mine came with a cat flex, a huge machine that can track through snow. They were all eventually able to get her to the helicopter. She was flown to Missoula, stabilized and then sent to Sacred Heart in Spokane, WA.

She has never regained consciousness due to her injury. She has a temporal skull fracture, brain bleeds, blood and spinal fluid leaking from her right ear, and a bruised lung. The overall diagnosis is Diffuse Axonal Injury. A severe traumatic brain injury.

Since arriving at Sacred Heart she has developed staph pneumonia, which they say is pretty common.

She moves when poked or prodded as if to be irritated by the stimulation.

I was told it is possible for her to rehabilitate once she becomes aware, but that rehabilitation looks different for each person. If you read about DAI on the internet, it is devastating as it mentions most that suffer this TBI end up in a vegetative state, permanently.

We believe that Morgan’s story will be that of miracles.

Thank you for joining us

in supporting my daughter in her healing process. It gives us courage when we feel weak and sad.

Britney Fregerio

Washington Corporations

Employee

I gave my Pay it Forward gift card to a family in our community who experienced a house fire in January. The family has been displaced from their home, lost many belongings and will have to start the long process of rebuilding their home. This gift card will help greatly during this time of transition for them. The family was thankful for the generosity of this giving program. Thank you to the Dennis & Phyllis Foundation for giving employees of their companies the chance to extend generous donations to their communities.

Chris Thomas

Montana Rail Link

Employee

I just want to start out by thanking Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for this opportunity to spread kindness. With everything going on in the world today, this act of kindness is greatly appreciated. I didn't have to think hard about where I would like to donate this $500. After hearing the specifics on how many children rely on meals from school, and who do not have enough at home, I chose to donate this to Frenchtown School
District. This will help ensure that the low income children will not go without food, or clothing. The school helps the children if they are unable to have a warm coat, or a pair of boots/shoes. They help supply the necessities that most of us take for granted.
Again, thank you for this opportunity to allow me to help our community and our children.

Geordy Kerscher

Washington Corporations

Employee

I was very grateful to give a Pay It Forward gift card to a family in our neighborhood where the mother has been fighting cancer for over a year. This is a very nice family with young children and this disease has been incredibly difficult on them physically, emotionally, and financially. I am inspired by their strength through this experience. They were very grateful for the generous gift card.

FTSD #40

Recipient

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Charles Marvin

Montana Rail Link

Employee

Thank you to the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for this program. I gave my Pay It Forward funds to Animeals No Kill Adoption Center and Animal Food Bank. This is a great organization that rescues cats and kittens and keeps them until they are adopted, while providing medical care along the way. They also feed local cats and dogs for seniors and others that may have a hard time financially feeding their pets, instead of giving their pets away they are able to keep them, which helps the homeless animal problem. I asked Animeals to please wave adoption fees for the cats that have been there the longest and have been hard to adopt out for whatever reason. They were very excited for this donation and said Thank you so much!!

Thank you again for this opportunity to help my community.

Shawn Neal

Envirocon

Employee

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I presented the giving card to The Marine Corps League, Detachment 1132 Riverfront Marines North Augusta, South Carolina. Below are a list a programs that 1132 have in place to support veterans, veteran spouses/children and the local community.
- Volunteering at the VA Hospital: Door Greeters/information desk, Bingo Night for shut-in patients, Student Volunteer Support, Salute to Hospitalized veterans, Homeless stand downs and many other; Toys-For-Tots, Junior ROTC Annual Scholarship program and providing ceremonial burials for veterans in the local area. This Unit assist the veterans in the South Carolina and Georgia area in any way that is possible possible.

Casey Turk

Modern Machinery

Employee

My card was given to the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. This Non-Profit helps the Family deal or cope with the news that their new born has Down Syndrome. They give them facts, resources and a supporting network. So they can fully understand and handle the situation properly. The DSDN is near & dear to my heart because I have some very special friends in my live that have Down Syndrome.

Jeff Gonzales

Modern Machinery

Employee

My Wife has a Co-Worker that had a really bad year in 2019. His best friend since childhood committed suicide due to MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) which devastated him. Then he lost his Step-Mom to a single vehicle accident in Kuna Idaho and to top it all off his Common Law Wife left him and their 3 year old son just after Christmas time because she thought her friends and partying was more important that being a Wife and Mother to their Son. After she left, that took a big chunk of the household income along with her. My wife and I thought he'd be a great candidate to receive the "Pay It Forward" $$ to help boost his spirits. It absolutely did just that!! He couldn't believe that he was worthy of such a gift. I don't think there was a dry eye after seeing his reaction. Thank you Washington Foundation for adding some extra hope to my Wife's Co-Worker that there is still some good people out there willing to lend a extra hand when needed.

Zanae Bates

Montana Resources

Employee

I would like to personally thank Dennis and Phyllis Washington foundation for this wonderful program. I have split mine three ways that have touched mt heart.

1st choice was given to a friend's son Max is a High school athlete that has recently lost vision in his eye do to a tumor on his optical nerve. They are now doing chemo and having to travel to Salt Lake for treatments. I wanted to help them with a little gas money or help them be able to get a few meals while on the road.

2nd choice: I have given a small donation to the New Hope project. This is a wonderful place that helps out out community with pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, assuring moms of help with making decisions or pointing them in ways to help them make choices.

3rd choice: A friend that just moved to Montana found out they are expecting. I thought giving them some money to help with the expenses of starting the new journey to lessen their burden.

Thank you for this great opportunity that we can help others out even if it is just a small gesture. They all truly appreciated the help!

Zanae' Bates

Hal Bates

Montana Resources

Employee

We have recently heard of a hockey family was in need. Their son is 13 years old plays hockey with my son and his dad was diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer that has went into his lungs. He is is the main financial provider for his family . They have had a short bought with treatments trying everything to save him. Sadly since I have donated to them he has passed leaving the family with a lot of sadness and financial hardship. Im just hoping by giving this money to them it might lessen their worries a little while.
Thank you for this opportunity to help them out. This is a wonderful program that helps so many.

Hal Bates

Jana Norton

Envirocon

Employee

My mother survived her Stage IV Lung Cancer diagnosis for 85 days. By the time we knew anything was wrong, it was already too late. I donated to LUNGevity Foundation to help fund early detection research so that others can have a fighting chance. Lung cancer was my mother's second primary cancer. She had already survived breast cancer and had donated to breast cancer research every year since being diagnosed with it so I know she would support this decision. I am so very thankful to Dennis and Phyllis and the Washington Foundation for this opportunity to donate in honor of my mother.

Charles Baker

Montana Rail Link

Employee

We are very thankful to have the opportunity to Pay It Forward. We chose to split the money between two families. One is a family of four and the father does snow removal in the winter (as we all know Helena did not get much of that at all this year) and the mother does house cleaning. We were able to take the mom/wife shopping for whatever she needed. There were several items that she had not been able to purchase in quite a long time. The smile on her face was priceless! The family has expressed extra gratitude since the Coronavirus, as she was not worried about having food and supplies at home. With the balance of the card, we sent to a single mom of two in Arizona. She has MS and works fulltime, her ex-husband has not paid child support since last fall, as he was on medical leave from his job. She had said the timing in which she received the card "was such a blessing", as it is when the Coronavirus had started causing things to shut down. She had been worrying, as she didn't have money to purchase normal groceries, let alone groceries that she would need to be able to have her children home from school.

BJ Lange

Montana Resources

Employee

Thank you to the Dennis & Phyllis Washington foundation for this opportunity to help others through the Pay it Forward program. With the current employment situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, I learned of a very special lady Sarah, to whom I gave my card to. Sarah was a single Mom of three rambunctious boys, when her youngest at just 3 1/2 yrs old, diagnosed with Soft tissue cancer (Desmoplastic small round cell tumor). For three years Sarah traveled to Seattle for Easton's cancer treatment. Easton fought the long battle and passed away in August 2018. Sarah pulls her strength from her amazing faith knowing where her son now resides. She puts on her armor and faces each day with her two sons with a huge smile and positivity.
Most recently, she lost her job due to the company closing and had accepted a new position with another employer when the pandemic suspended the job. This card will offer a little help and genuine kindness.
Thank you again for the opportunity to brighten ones day.

Svjetlan Krsic

Montana Resources

Employee

Thanks to the Pay It Forward Program, I was able to help out two single moms and their families. These families wish to remain anonymous, but they express their gratitude for this donation. Things have been very tough for both of these families, so the donation will go to amazing use. This program is absolutely amazing, and we are so thankful to be a part of it. I thank the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for giving me the opportunity to pay it forward.

Tyler Verlanic

Montana Rail Link

Employee

I gave my pay it forward card to some friends that have recently been set back due to medical bills. Their daughter became sick with what they later found was mono. After a couple days of no progression they went back in and discovered that the mono had led to the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. The family was greatly appreciative for the donation and said it couldn’t have came at a better time!

Derek Kloberdanz

Montana Rail Link

Employee

Gave my card to a family in town that was down on lucky and really could use a pick me up. Struggling to pay bills and buy food.

Dave Slack

Modern Machinery

Employee

I donated my card to Valicity's Once Upon A Time charity. After their daughter lost her battle with leukemia when she was five. Josh and Candy Faith have a Princess Ball every year to raise money to give back to some of the organizations that helped them when Valicity was sick. This year the money was given to The Montana Hope Project. This year was the tenth annual ball and to date there has been over 9,000 participants. The other two charities they give to are The Ronald McDonald House and Angel Flight West.