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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 6, 2020
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936, (406) 461-3757, jebelt@mt.gov
                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391, (406) 461-8367, hcouncil@mt.gov


Children’s Trust Fund Receives $10,000 to Promote Strengthening Families Month

The Montana Children’s Trust Fund (MTCTF) has received a $10,000 sponsorship from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT). These funds will support virtual Strengthening Families Month activities and help raise awareness of the prevention of child abuse and neglect across Montana.

Activities will include virtual Pinwheels for Prevention and Go Blue Mondays on Facebook as part of Strengthening Families Month in April.

MTCTF officials say everyone in the community plays a role in raising children and strengthening families. As a result of the COVID-19 situation, the MTCTF is partnering with organizations across the state to promote virtual social connectedness in Montana to strengthen families and keep children safe.

“Parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances,” said Melissa Lavinder of the MTCTF. “With added stress and uncertainty, we need each other more than ever right now. These virtual Strengthening Families Month activities provide a safe opportunity to stay connected and show support of children and families in Montana.”

MTCTF is encouraging families to create blue pinwheel art and post a picture on Facebook using #Pinwheels4Prevention. These could be painting a blue pinwheel on #406Rocks, making blue do-it-yourself pinwheels, or drawing blue pinwheels on sidewalks or windows.

“Pinwheels are uplifting symbols of the happy, healthy, and safe childhoods that all children deserve,” Lavinder said. “They represent efforts to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide, while recognizing that child development is a building block for community and economic development.”

MTCTF is also asking Montanans to participate in the Go Blue Challenge from the comfort of their homes. Visit the MTCTF Facebook page to find the Go Blue Challenge post. Wear blue every Monday in April, copy the post and share your photo, challenging friends to join in and show support of Montana families and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

MTCTF is encouraging these activities to be done at home following the current Stay at Home Directive. 

This is the sixth year that Blue Cross Blue Shield has sponsored Strengthening Families Month and MTCTF. “Kids are our future, and we want to ensure they grow up in safe, stable, loving environments and relationships,” said BCBSMT Vice President John Doran. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is honored to continue its support of the Children’s Trust Fund and its efforts to strengthen families across our state.”

More information can be found at ChildrensTrust.mt.gov or by visiting Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mtchildrenstrust/

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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. MT CTF provides Montana with programs, activities, and resources for parents, caregivers, and families that seek to strengthen their families. In 2019, MT CTF provided direct preventative services to over 5,000 individuals across Montana.

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