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Children's Trust Fund, BCBSMT partner to support families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2018

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391

Children’s Trust Fund, BCBSMT partner to support Montana children and families

Montana Children’s Trust Fund (MCTF) officials announced today it has received a $10,000 sponsorship from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT).

Melissa Lavinder of the MCTF said these funds will support Strengthening Families Month activities in April and help raise awareness about the prevention of child abuse and neglect across Montana. Activities will include Pinwheels for Prevention and #GoBlue Mondays.

“The Montana Children’s Trust Fund focuses on how everyone in a community plays a role in raising children and strengthening families,” Lavinder said. “We are proud to partner with organizations across the state to raise awareness of the resources available in Montana to strengthen families and keep children safe.”

BCBSMT officials said grants such as this one is important for many reasons. “But, the most important reason is that we’re investing in an organization focused on supporting Montana’s children and families,” said John Doran, BCBSMT Vice President of External Affairs. “We’re honored to join the Children’s Trust Fund to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and help Montana families thrive in their communities.”

The funds will be used to distribute 4000 blue pinwheels statewide. The pinwheels symbolize a happy, healthy childhood and convey the message that every child deserves to be raised in a safe, nurturing environment.

Also, 2000 lapel pins, 1500 tote bags, 200 T-shirts, 500 bibs and other resource materials will be distributed throughout the state as part of the #GoBlue campaign.

The #GoBlue Campaign encourages everyone to wear blue and share their pictures on social media using the hashtag every Monday in April to show support of Montana families and child abuse prevention.

Numerous organizations are participating in Strengthening Families Month activities, including Butte 4-Cs, Explorer’s Academy (Billings), Alliance for Youth (Great Falls), Thrive (Bozeman), Family Support Network (serving Crow Reservation), Child Care Connections (Helena), Nurturing Tree (Glendive), Healthy Montana Families Home Visiting (statewide), Shodair Children’s Hospital (Helena), Healthy Start Missoula, Russell Elementary (Kalispell), Radley Elementary (East Helena), Gallatin Early Childhood Community Council, BCBSMT, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Health Department, Guardians of the Children (Bozeman), Montana Radio Company, Montana Television Network, Anaconda Family Resource Center, Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, and Red Bird Women's Center (Fort Peck Reservation).

More information can be found at ChildrensTrust.mt.gov or by visiting Facebook @mtchildrenstrust.

The MCTF raises awareness all across the state. “This is something that involves all Montana communities,” Lavinder said. “The impact will be much greater the more we can work together to raise awareness about the prevention of child abuse and neglect.” 

This is the fourth year that Blue Cross Blue Shield has sponsored Strengthening Families Month and MCTF.

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About Montana Children’s Trust Fund
Montana Children’s Trust Fund strategically supports initiatives to effectively strengthen Montana's families and keep children safe from abuse and neglect. These initiatives work to ensure that Montana children are born into and raised in safe, stable, and nurturing environments. MCTF provides Montana with programs, activities, and resources for parents and families that seek to strengthen their families. In 2017, MCTF provided direct preventative services to over 11,000 individuals across Montana.