Donation boxes have been set up at various locations throughout Montana, including Billings, to receive holiday gifts that benefit Montana State Hospital (MSH) patients, according to the Department of Public Health and Human Services  (DPHHS).

The effort is part of the annual Gifts With A Lift program that has played an instrumental role in spreading holiday cheer to patients for the past 63 years. The program ensures that all state hospital patients have a gift under the Christmas tree, according to Jon Ebelt, public information officer.

“This program continues to thrive because of the generosity of so many who offer to help year after year,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in a prepared statement. “Many patients do not have family or friends who are able to send holiday gifts, so this helps fill that void.”

For the past 25 years, the program has been jointly coordinated by the National Alliance for Mental Illness-MT and DPHHS.

Ideas for gift suggestions include, but are not limited to the following: Pocket games/books, CD’s/CD players, socks, T-Shirts/sweatshirts, cards, hats/gloves, magazines, fanny packs, phone cards, jackets, craft kits, batteries, slippers, blankets/ throws, headphones, postage stamps and stationery. MSH is especially in need of winter coats for men and women in sizes XL- 5X.

Individuals or service organizations interested in ‘adopting’ a patient are encouraged to contact Beth Eastman of the Montana State Hospital at 406-693-7145.

Gifts mailed to the hospital should not be wrapped; however, donations of wrapping paper and gift boxes are welcome. “Please include a name and address in the package and a return receipt so we may acknowledge the arrival of your gifts,” Eastman said.

Gifts or cash donations can be mailed to Gifts With A Lift, c/o Beth Eastman, PO Box 300, Montana State Hospital, Warm Springs, MT 59756. In order to arrive in time for Christmas, gifts should be dropped off or mailed by December 15. Make checks payable to: Gifts with a Lift.

Montana State Hospital is the only publicly operated inpatient psychiatric hospital in the state. It provides treatment to adults who have serious mental illnesses and who are referred from hospitals, mental health programs, and district courts from across the state.

Gifts can also be dropped off at any of the following locations:

Rainbow House
925 North 18th
Billings, MT 59101

Silver House
106 West Broadway
Butte, MT 59701

Western MT MHC
695 Farm House Lane
Bozeman, MT 59715

New Directions
621 1st Ave. South
Great Falls, MT 59401

Center for Mental Health
900 North Jackson
Helena, MT 59601

Adult Services
1315 Wyoming
Missoula, MT 59801

Montana State Hospital
PO Box 300
Warm Springs, MT 59756




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