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December 19, 2013 8:29 am

Help brighten Christmas and new year for others

Written by Ilene Olson

With Christmas around the corner and a new year following soon after, many hearts and wallets turn toward charitable giving this time of year.

That giving may be done on a very individual basis, with people reaching out to help their neighbors, relieve suffering and benefit those less fortunate than themselves. They might do that by providing for a merrier Christmas or by helping someone make it through a financial or other type of crisis, or simply by delivering a plate of goodies along with a kind word or a Christmas carol.

Some people look for more formal ways to help others. We would suggest that, before writing a check to a national organization, you consider donating time or money to help people and organizations in our community.

You can start by giving to the local church of your choice, or you can donate to a number of local organizations that benefit local residents. Most have official nonprofit status, so you can deduct your donation for income tax purposes as well.

Here, in alphabetical order, is a list of some of those organizations and contact information:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wyoming — Partners at-risk children, or “littles,” with “bigs” — adults who spend time with the children and serve as role models for them. 800-294-9700.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Park County — Provides a positive place where children, often at risk, are supervised and have activities, companionship and accountability. Contact Tina Bernard at 754-0202 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Crisis Intervention Services — Provides a safe house and other services for victims of domestic violence. Contact Cherie Garlish at 754-7959.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) — Trained volunteers advocate for children in Park County who are victims of abuse or neglect. Contact Ellen Klym at 307-587-4631 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic — Provides free medical care for people who are uninsured and living on low incomes, and who are not covered by other programs. 754-1142 or www.hmvmc.net

Homesteader Museum — Powell’s local museum focusing on history of the Powell and Heart Mountain area. 754-9481 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity — Builds homes and provides lower-cost home ownership for successful applicants in Powell and Cody. 254-4849 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Northwest College Foundation — Provides scholarships for students and benefits to Northwest College. The foundation also is helping finance the new Yellowstone Building on the NWC campus. 754-6110 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Powell Council for Community Services — Helps families in crisis with utility bills and other needs. Contact council chairman Dave Blevins, 754-9541, P.O. Box 794, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The council also helps with the Christmas Basket program, organized by Sally Montoya, 202-1663

Powell Health Care Coalition — The group working to establish a community health center in Powell. Contact Bill Baker at 202-340-7274 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Powell Medical Foundation — Provides funding to enhance medical care, equipment and facilities at Powell Valley Healthcare. Contact Diane DeLozier at 754-7746 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Powell Senior Center — Provides meals, activities and transportation for local seniors. Contact Cathy Florian at 754-4223.

Powell Troop Support — Sends monthly care packages to active-duty service members from the Powell area. Donations can include magazines, videos, grooming supplies, nonperishable food and other items, or money to help pay for postage. Contact Bonny Rouse at 754-4272 or Ann Ruward at 754-8022, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes — The local food pantry that helps families in need. Contact Cindy Balderas at 754-2641 or P.O. Box 992.

Service clubs — Local service clubs include the Lions, Kiwanis and Rotarian clubs. Contact any member for more information.

Toys for Tots — Gives new toys to children who might not get them otherwise. Contact Harold Wages, 307-213-0305.

Veterans service organizations — Local chapters of the American Legion (754-3411), Eagles Lodge (754-4242), Elks Lodge (754-2995) and the VFW (754-9241).

Our community has a lot going for it, thanks in part to the caring and generosity of Powell residents. We encourage everyone to continue to be a part of the solution to problems faced by our friends and neighbors by helping them individually or by donating to an organization devoted to providing needed services.

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