Donations up across the county
While giving opportunities remained somewhat the same, the giving spirit increased this year in Madison County.
At the Town Pump in Ennis, Mont., approximately $6,140 was donated to the Madison Valley Caring and Sharing Food Bank from the beginning of October through Thanksgiving. Town Pump matches donations dollar for dollar.
Patrons of the gas station were asked if they would like to donate while at the register. Local clubs came to support in greater quantity than before, according to Lori Ball, Town Pump store manager. “This was the first year that we got a lot of the community clubs,” she said.
“Last year we didn’t even hit $2,100. We almost tripled what we normally bring in. This is the best year that this Ennis Town Pump has ever done,” Ball said. She hopes to double the quantity next year and mentioned hunters are willing and giving during the season.
Both giving trees in the Ruby and Madison Valleys experienced generosity as well.
“I would say that we had an overwhelming amount of people wanting to give this year,” Andrea Noack with Madison Valley Bank said. She counted 200 people who had either picked up a gift tag from Madison Valley Bank or donated funds. People who chose one or two tags in previous years went for five or more this year.
“Giving has been a lot more this year than previous years,” Noack said.
All the tags have been picked off the Ruby Valley Giving Tree. Tags available at the High Peaks Credit Union in Sheridan are more for essential items for families and seniors from Sheridan, Alder and Virginia City. For seniors, some community members purchase meal tickets to the senior center or gas credit for families.
Billie Ratcliffe, Ruby Valley giving tree organizer, acknowledged there is usually a lot of giving in the Ruby Valley but felt there was even more this year. “They (the community) really stepped up to the plate,” she said.