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Holiday Backpacks: Here's how to help homeless youth in the Gallatin Valley

Posted at 9:04 AM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 11:03:59-05

BOZEMAN — It’s something we don’t like to talk about or even think about, but it’s the reality for some students who don’t have a permanent home.

“Kids shouldn’t have to worry about having warm clothes or food. This is where I start crying every year, and it’s just heartbreaking that kids have to worry about that,” said Amber Hughes, one of the co-organizers.

Hughes and Tiffani Pimley may seem like two ordinary Bozeman residents but the dynamic duo set their hearts on fighting for students who are homeless or without

“Seeing kids that are aging out of the system trying to make it through high school and stepping into adulthood with very little support, I knew at that point that’s one thing that I wanted to focus on. They’re put with adult responsibilities with a teenage brain,” Pimley said.

The ladies started Holiday Backpacks to get students basic items needed to fight the cold and to meet basic needs.

“Unfortunately, there is such a big disparity in income in Gallatin Valley and that’s growing substantially as housing prices and cost of living increases,” said Hughes.

The women rely on the community for donations and then turn that over to the school district who disburses the items among all the schools.

“They’re seen and that we hear them even though we don’t physically hear them. We hear them and we see them, and we want them to know that we’re here. The community is here for them in any way that we can be,” Pimley explained.

The ladies would like to have donations by the end of this week.

“We’re looking for gift cards and backpacks specifically right now. We have a lot of hygiene products, which is amazing. So, we’re looking for backpacks to put everything in and gift cards to kind of supplement with restaurant, Walmart, Target, haircuts, and sort of indoor activity that they can do,” said Pimley.

For more information on how you can donate, you can visit the fundraiser's Facebook page or text Amber at 406-412-6768 or Tiffani at 406-219-7967.