Let’s Help Our Friends Struggling with This Harsh Winter

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The stories—and images—coming from areas of Montana affected by heavy snowfall this winter are simply incredible. Governor Bullock has issued a state of emergency for the Blackfeet, Fort Belknap, and Northern Cheyenne Reservations and in Glacier and Golden Valley counties, all of which are experiencing historic levels of snowfall, blizzard conditions, and cold.

The Montana Indian Caucus is calling for help:

Many have exhausted their food sources due to being snowed in. Others are unable to get to medical supplies for health care needs. Dialysis patients have been stranded. Babies are running out of milk. Families are collecting tree branches for firewood. A 93-year-old woman has been stuck at home for almost two weeks. Roofs on homes have collapsed. Ranchers are unable to get feed to livestock. Entire communities such as Babb, Heart Butte, Browning and others have been snowed in for days on end. Our Montana youth have not been able to attend school for weeks or days, and many families are unable to provide their children with warm meals, a warm home and warm clothes.

There’s maybe no better story to illustrate how bad the conditions have been than to read about the story of the Heart Butte Basketball team, which hasn’t been able to get home since mid-February because the conditions are so challenging.

The state has set up a donation page to offer food, water, hay, and financial support the areas most affected. Here in Helena, you can donate at the Helena Indian Alliance, who is collecting non-perishable foods, items for babies and bottled water for the National Guard to deliver.

Make a donation to the organization of your choice, but certainly offer some help to those who need it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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