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Winter has arrived early in Billings, MT. We've had the second coldest October in city history, and while our colleagues in town can bundle up for their commutes, our local at-risk youth have challenges staying warm and fed.
When the non-profit teen service center Tumbleweed put out the call for winter clothing and food items they desperately needed, our colleagues jumped into action. With just a few days' notice, donations filled Corrina Gilbertson's cubicle to overflowing. She and her coworker Dana Pate, PayneWest Account Manager, were thrilled at the response.
"Tumbleweed helps displaced teens that don't have a safe place to go," said Pate. "Sometimes the teens don't have warm clothes or resources to get help. Tumbleweed helps them stay safe and get connected with the right organizations in town."
"They provide them with shelter, showers, food, and a place they can feel safe," added Gilbertson, a PayneWest Support Specialist.
In just 24-hours, Pate and Gilbertson's colleagues had brought in armfulls of new coats, hats, gloves, warm socks, and hoodies and sweatpants of all sizes. They also filled boxes with non-perishable food like canned tuna and granola bars, plus basic toiletries like shampoo and soap.
It's so important to remember how little it takes to feel comfortable and safe, especially when you're battling more than just the winter elements.
"We can take so much for granted," Gilbertson said. "Tumbleweed asking for warm socks was just a real wake-up call for how small items can make a big difference."
Want to donate? Or want to encourage your company to make a difference in some local lives this year? Tumbleweed's winter clothing and food pantry drive continues as the temperatures keep dropping. You can reach Tumbleweed online or by calling