Scheels employees highlighted a number of human-service agencies in Cascade County on Thursday, donating thousands of dollars to 14 non-profit groups during their annual "Day of Giving."
Proceeds will help organizations purchase supplies such as a vacuum cleaner for Family Promise,and a vehicle for the Immersion School program at Paris Gibson Education Center.
United Way of Cascade County received the largest donation of the morning; the agency received a check for nearly $73,000.
Organizers say they looked at the organizations most in need in our area before awarding the funds on Thursday.
Here is the full text of the press release:
The Great Falls Scheels store gave 14 local nonprofits an early Christmas present Thursday, donating more than $56,000 as part of its annual Day of Giving.
“We love to support the organizations that our crew is passionate about and spends their free time helping.” Brabandt said.
On Thursday, Scheels donated money to the Great Falls Youth Orchestra, the Montana Vet Program, Benefis Foundation, Eagle Mount, Great Falls Public Schools’ Adult Education Program, Great Falls College MSU’s choir, Meals on Wheels, My Neighbor/Student In Need, Great Falls Food Bank’s backpack program, Boys & Girls Club and United Way of Cascade County.
Scheels also donated money to the Immersion School program at Paris Gibson Education Center to help buy a vehicle to transport students, to St. Ann’s soup kitchen to buy a Kitchen Aid mixer and to Family Promise to buy a vacuum and other bathroom supplies.
By far their largest donation was to United Way of Cascade County. Scheels is United Way’s second largest business contributor in our community. Between employee donations primarily deducted from their paychecks, special fundraising events and Thursday’s corporate gift, Scheels will donate nearly $73,000 to United Way!
“We first look at the impact a donation request will have on the organization and the community,” Brabandt said. “We try to get the most return on investment out of every penny we donate.”
Though Thursday was Scheels’ official Day of Giving, the Great Falls store supports Great Falls and area nonprofits throughout the year, both through donations and encouraging employees to volunteer. A few organizations that benefited in 2017 from larger donations were The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation/Great Falls Aquatics Club with new starting blocks, Great Falls Ice Plex with new lighting & the Boone & Crockett Club’s Wildlife Conservation Education Program with archery equipment.
Scheels sends a team to Meals on Wheels to deliver food to seniors 2 days per month. Employees frequently step up to ring the Salvation Army bell during the holiday season when the kettle is unmanned.
Scheels donated 100 backpacks and many other school supplies while other employees volunteered as part of United Way’s annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive this summer.
Brabandt is a United Way board member and she and three staff members volunteer on the United Way grant committee that decides which nonprofits are awarded United Way grants.
Brabandt estimated that employees gave more than 250 hours of their time this year.
"As a local, employee owned business, Scheels culture, values and commitment to the Great Falls community are as true today as they were in 1968 when we opened our doors here,” Brabandt said. “We take pride in supporting the local community as they have supported us all year long as valued customers.”