GREAT FALLS — The pandemic has taken a toll on many Montanans financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Opportunities Inc. is hoping to alleviate some of the burden on people's bank accounts.
“As Montanans sometimes we have a little pride, and we don’t want to ask for help when we really do need the help. That’s one thing Opportunities does strive to do, is reach those that are hardest to reach and even when we don’t want to ask for help and just let everyone know we are always in their corner and always offering a helping hand up,” said Melissa Giard, the Community Outreach and Program Development Coordinator for Opportunities, Inc.
The non-profit organization is giving $1,000 each to 125 people, thanks to a donation from a private foundation that would like to remain anonymous.
The only criteria are the applicant must live in Cascade County and be able to demonstrate hardship related to the pandemic. There are no guidelines for how recipients use the money.
“It’s been hard for families. Apart from financial struggles, it’s really the emotional and mental portion of the pandemic that we’re still seeing too. People feeling isolated, people being scared to get out of their house still. Whether that’s getting back to work, sending their kids back to school now, that’s a concern for individuals as well,” Giard explained.
This isn’t the first time Opportunities is giving a financial helping hand during the pandemic. Last fall, the same private foundation donated money to give away. Along with help from the United Way, Opportunities gave 300 families $500 each. This time around, Opportunities wanted to increase the amount given to each recipient.
Applications can be picked up at the Opportunities office at 905 1st Avenue North in Great Falls, or on their website.
Applications are due by September 3rd at 5 p.m. There is a drop box outside the main office that’s open after hours for a discrete drop-off of the application. For more information, call 406-868-0004.