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The Salvation Army of Missoula, in partnership with Toys for Tots, is offering holiday assistance in the form of toys and food.

Anyone who would like to receive assistance should come to The Salvation Army at 339 W. Broadway to sign up by Monday. For toys, parents must bring photo ID, proof of income as well as proof of date of birth for all children. For food, applicants must bring photo ID.

For more information, call the Salvation Army at 549-0710.

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Community partners and Missoula Aging Services are offering a festive way to help support the needs of older adults in the community this holiday season. Eight different “giving trees” adorned with bright tags, bows and candy canes make it easy to donate the amount of your choice toward a service that benefits seniors in Missoula County.

“The Giving Trees are a wonderful way for community members to help support older adults in maintaining their independence, dignity and health,” said Kathryn Hungerford, Missoula Aging Services development officer. “This can mean being able to live in their own home independently for longer, or contributing to the community through volunteer opportunities, and much more.”

Each tag on a tree lists a suggested donation amount and what it will provide. For example, $6 will provide one hot, nutritious meal delivered to an older adult who can no longer prepare their own food, through the Meals on Wheels program. A donation of $30 provides meals Monday through Friday for one week or a gas card for a volunteer who delivers Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors.

Another tag suggests a $100 donation to provide 40 hours of mentoring to an at-risk child through the Foster Grandparent program. Or a $20 gift can give an older adult caregiver a needed four-hour break from the stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

To participate, visit any of the sites, select a tag from the tree and follow the instructions on the back. For the fourth year in a row the Community Kindness Project, coordinated by the Montana Radio Co. and MSO Hub, is providing a prime downtown location in the window of the Hub. Others partnering with MAS include:

• MSO Hub, 140 N. Higgins Ave.

• The Women's Club, 2105 Bow St.

• Subaru of Missoula, 1600 Stephens Ave., Share the Love campaign.

• St. Patrick Hospital Pharmacy.

• Missoula County Administration Building.

• Community and Planning Services office.

• Missoula Public Library, 301 E. Main St.

• Taco Sano, in the alley behind the Holiday station at Higgins Avenue and South Fourth Street West, project of the UM Gerontology Society.

For more information, contact Hungerford at Missoula Aging Services, 728-7682, or visit missoulaagingservices.org.

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Polar Express Bitterroot has teamed up with Bouilla, 111 S. Third St., and the Filling Station, 217 W. Main, in Hamilton to help provide Christmas for less fortunate children in Ravalli County.

Currently, Polar Express Bitterroot has close to 200 children in need for the holidays.

Polar Express Bitterroot has made it much easier this year to help families. Visit the Filling Station or Bouilla, pick a tag or stocking for a child you would like to provide Christmas for, take the tag shopping, and return wrapped gifts and the tag to the business where you picked the tag.

For more information, call Destini at 493-8794. 

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The staffs of Mineral Community Hospital and Mineral Regional Health Center are gathering nonperishable food for residents in need in Mineral County.

Between the Alberton Food Pantry and the Mineral County Food Bank, all donations will be divided as equally as possible so they can serve clients’ needs through the holiday season.

Alberton Feed and Supply has again loaned two large horse troughs for drop-offs. Wells Fargo is a satellite location for donations as well.

Internally, the departments are challenging one another to see which can raise the most pounds of food through Dec. 29; when non-staff make a donation, they can inform Alex Heffley at MCH registration which department, if any, they would like it to applied to.

Checks are also accepted and can be made to Mineral County Food Bank. Pet food is also received as it stands to reason that if a family has trouble feeding themselves, their pets are suffering as well. Even though pet food isn’t added to the total poundage, it is appreciated.

If donations are large or for assistance getting them to drop-off locations, call Monte Turner at (406) 822-5122.

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The 2015 New Year's Eve Ball to Benefit Emma's House will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31, at the Hamilton Eagles Lodge No. 1693, 125 N. Second St.

Ring in the new year and dance to the sounds of "Hired Hand" while benefiting Emma's House. Admission is $10 (must be 18 or older) with all net proceeds benefiting Emma's House. Bring in one or more nonperishable food item and receive a raffle ticket for each item for a chance to win a prize.

For more information or advance tickets, call 531-7827, 546-9079 or (562) 307-5381.

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A University of Montana class titled "Can Giving Change the World?" granted $12,500 to local nonprofits.

The class, which is part of UM’s Global Leadership Initiative, awards grants to nonprofits that operate within Missoula County and combat hunger or address mental health issues. Organizations submitted grant proposals to the class earlier this semester.

This semester’s grantees are:

• North Missoula Community Development Corp.: $3,000 to fund the Real Meals program.

• Missoula Food Bank: $4,500 to support the Kids EmPower Pack program.

• Poverello Center: $5,000 to fund a vehicle to improve community outreach.

"Can Giving Change the World?" addresses social responsibility and community building through work in the nonprofit sector. Students spent the semester learning about philanthropy’s general influence in social improvement while also researching nonprofit work and specific community needs in Missoula County.

The Global Leadership Initiative is a four-year program open to UM students of all majors. Through this program students attend thought-provoking seminars, become involved in internships and community work, can study abroad affordably and learn skills necessary to be leaders in a global community.

For more information, contact Andrea Vernon at 243-5159 orandrea.vernon@umontana.edu.

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