Giving Thanks by Giving Back 7

AmazonSmile Makes Supporting Local Charities and Nonprofits as Simple as Adding Items to Your Cart

Gratitude breeds generosity. During the season of giving thanks, giving back becomes equally important. Local nonprofits and charities serve purposes of good, which strengthen the entire community. Yet, they are reliant on the generosity of Billings’ citizens. Luckily, supporting these organizations is now a little simpler, thanks to AmazonSmile. 

Shopping local is the best way to foster community growth, but for those purchases that can only be made online, Amazon has developed a way for patrons to easily and automatically support their favorite charitable organizations every time they shop at no additional cost. AmazonSmile offers the same low prices, extensive selection, and convenience of Amazon.com, and shoppers can use their regular Amazon account. Simply visit Smile.Amazon.com and choose a charitable organization to support. 

We found six local nonprofit and charity organizations eligible for donations via AmazonSmile. If you want to give back locally to causes right here at home, check out their missions and biggest needs during the holiday season. 

ZooMontana

“ZooMontana is a zoological and botanical garden, accredited arboretum, and educational facility dedicated to the rescue and conservation of wildlife throughout Montana and the 45th parallel of earth,” explains Executive Director Jeff Ewelt. “Funds raised through Amazon Smile are critical for ZooMontana’s operations. These funds help cover utilities, deferred maintenance and facility upkeep.”

Biggest Need

“ZooMontana’s biggest need during the holiday season is visitors,” Jeff says. “The winter is a wonderful time to visit, and your visit provides crucial funding during the typically slow season.”

United LUV

Sheldon and Vicki Eaton, co-managers of The United LUV Project, along with their two sons lost their middle son, Ryan, to cancer at the age of 26. 

“He had a dream of enhancing the lives of individuals fighting cancer as well as other illnesses,” recounts Vicki. “United Luv is a nonprofit that donates iPads to patients from pediatrics to adults.”

The iPads are donated to hospitals and treatment centers for patient use, as well as to individuals in need. United LUV strives to carry out and continue Ryan’s mission to help others during their battles. More than 400 iPads have been donated. 

“The funds from AmazonSmile will go directly toward the purchase of iPads to be donated right in our area!”

Biggest Need

“Donations are always our biggest need,” Vicki says. “United Luv has one fundraiser (the United Luv Glow Run in September), but other than that, we operate on 100% donations.”

Steppin’ In Foundation 

“This ministry was originally formed in 1988 for the purpose of providing a support-type ministry towards recovery from the loss of a child, as well as addiction or wounding from abuse,” says Executive Director Brenda Dianne Hagstrom. “In 1991, the ministry changed towards the focus of maturation and restoring men and women to their original God-based design. We are governed under a Board of Directors for prayer support as well as Biblical accountability protection. In the Articles of Incorporation, we are to provide an annual conference that addresses personal healing issues. This year, we are happy to welcome Dr. David Levy, a Neuro Surgeon, who will be teaching on Emotional Healing and Physical Healing. This is our 35th conference, where everyone is welcome.” 

As a full-time counseling center, Steppin’ In serves others who are unable to afford the full cost of counseling on their own. 

Biggest Need

“Our biggest need during the end of year appeal for funds is centered around recovery from our conference costs and covering pro-bono costs for counseling, and the general costs for our organization,” Brenda says. 

HER Campaign

“HER Campaign’s mission is to help women heal, grow and find purpose,” says President Britney Higgs. Founded in 2016 by Britney and her husband, Sammy, the organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on helping victims of sex trafficking. 

“HER Campaign exists to show the world there is hope and restoration after sex trafficking by providing safe house programs and resources for survivors, creating community and job opportunities through creating products with a message, and providing community awareness through campaigns. Funds raised by AmazonSmile will be used to provide funding for our local safe house program serving survivors of sex trafficking,” Britney says. “It will also go towards creating and sustaining programs and resources to help reach those suffering from the effects of trauma and sexual exploitation in our community.”

Biggest Need

“The biggest need for the November holiday season is funding to help sustain our safe house program and providing the basic needs and necessities for women living in the home and expanding our programs to meet the needs of our community of survivors.”

Eagle Mount Billings

“Eagle Mount provides therapeutic, adaptive recreation for individuals with disabilities,” says Executive Director Rich Lutton. “Our organization serves anyone with a disability. We have programs for all ages and a whole spectrum of disabilities.”  

The funds raised by AmazonSmile will be used to support Eagle Mount’s eight fall programs, which include golf, cycling, 1:1 swim, group swim, circuit conditioning, equestrian, and “Out and About,” the social night program.

Biggest Need

“As is the case with most nonprofits, our biggest need is raising the funds to continue to provide our programming,” says Rich. “Due to the need for specialized equipment, staffing, volunteers and transportation, the costs of our programs can be quite high. We work very hard to subsidize our program fees so that no participant is turned away due to an inability to pay. Eagle Mount Billings is solely funded locally through donors, grants and fundraisers and receives no federal funding.”  

Chase Hawks Memorial Association

“The Chase Hawks Memorial Association is a community of people whose core values are simply those of a good neighbor: integrity and compassion,” says Whitney Giddeon, a member of the board of directors and secretary of the CHMA Executive Committee. “We believe that no person should forego basic necessities because of financial constraints due to crisis. So, we support our neighbors in crisis with financial assistance when they need it most.”

“Through our Grant Committee, all applications are reviewed, and financial assistance is awarded based on circumstances and need. CHMA steps in when other federal and state assistance programs do not apply.” 

Biggest Need

“CHMA sees an increase in requests for assistance with obvious winter-related issues,” Whitney says.