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Town Crier: Helping Others

Town Crier: Helping Others

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True Care plans diaper giveaway May 9

True Care Women’s Resource Center plans a Community Diaper and Wipes Giveaway the Saturday before Mother’s Day. From 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, women and families can come to the organization’s parking lot and receive a gift of 24 diapers and a bagged container of wipes. First come, first served until we run out of materials to give away. Sizes newborn, 1, and 2 with a few bags with size 4. True Care is located at 1746 South Poplar St., just south of Walgreens. You can stay in your car and one of the staff (who will be wearing masks) will bring the gift bag to you.

Expanded sites for student meals

NCSD Food Service is now providing takeaway breakfast and lunch meals, Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to all individuals 18 years and under at the below-listed locations.

Any individual 18 years and under can come to pick up the meals, you do not need to be on Free and Reduced Lunch. There is no application process or questions asked, they are here to help.

They are asking for individuals to assist in following the Casper Natrona County Health Department’s social distancing guidelines.

Individuals may pick up meals for their siblings and family members 18 years and under to help assist in maintaining social distancing.

Individuals 18 years and younger can pick-up meals at the following locations: Oregon Trail Elementary, Sagewood Elementary, Pineview Elementary, Poison Spider School, Roosevelt High School, Bar Nunn Elementary, Mountain View Baptist Church, Cottonwood Elementary, Evansville Elementary, Journey Elementary, Boys & Girls Club main branch, Paradise Valley Elementary, Casper Rec Center, Midwest School, Verda James Elementary, Raven Crest, 4701 Tranquillity Way; Casper Housing Authority, 145 N. Durbin; Kids Campus, 12 Curtis St., Evansville; Seton House, 919 N. Durbin, and 3420 Provence Ct.

Signage will be outside to direct individuals where to pick up the meal.

Mission needs kitchen ingredients

Central Wyoming Rescue Mission is currently serving approximately 1,500 meals a week to those in need at the mission and in support of the Westwood medical shelter. Here is the most recent list of kitchen needs: shredded mozzarella, baking yeast, bacon, canned fruit, bread and cake/brownie mixes.

FIB contributes to nonprofits

In an effort to help get food and resources into the hands of those who need it most during the COVID-19 health crisis, First Interstate Bank and its Foundation recently stepped up to donate a total of $20,000 to six separate Wyoming nonprofits.

Donation recipients include the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies, Wyoming Food for Thought Project, Restoration Church Food Pantry, Holy Cross Food Bank, Natrona County Meals on Wheels and the Wyoming Rescue Mission.

Further, because First Interstate believes in stepping up during difficult times, the company has solidified its annual commitment to once again donate 2 percent of its net income before taxes to nonprofits serving those in need across First Interstate’s six-state footprint.

Last year, this totaled more than $5.2 million.

To provide relief to both individuals and businesses, First Interstate has created a number of programs to address multiple challenges arising in the current climate.

First Interstate currently has two separate initiatives underway with community focus:

  • First Interstate has partnered with EverFi, a leader in financial education programming, to develop online financial literacy modules that assist with planning, teaching and learning. This content is available at First Interstate’s online Resource Center.
  • To ensure meals for families throughout its footprint, First Interstate has kicked off its annual Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program early. Launched in 2009 by the First Interstate Foundation, Neighbors Feeding Neighbors was created to focus resources on food insecurity, one of the most pressing issues facing communities. During the third quarter of each year, the Foundation doubles its match of money and time donated by the employees to charitable organizations that provide food to neighbors in need. This year, First Interstate decided to start the outreach a quarter earlier to help neighbors when they need it most. They plan to keep this campaign in place throughout 2020.

Checking on at-risk kids

Court Appointed Special Advocates are community members who volunteer with CASA of Natrona County. They work with children in the child welfare system who have already experienced abuse or neglect. They meet with children in person at least monthly, and provide information to judges that helps them make the most well-informed decisions about each child.

Child abuse and neglect is likely on the rise during this pandemic. Children are no longer in the public eye — they are not at schools or daycare, or in other locations where caring individuals would be able to spot signs of abuse.

If readers suspect a child is in immediate danger, they should call police or 911. They can also contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline via text, phone or online chat at www.childhelp.org/childhelp-hotline to report abuse.

Normally, advocate visits provide an opportunity for CASA volunteers to check in on children’s safety and well-being. Volunteers are currently working with program staff to find creative ways to continue to meet with children. They are using phone calls, FaceTime, Skyping and visiting from afar.

“While none of these is a great solution, this kind of creativity is what will make a real difference in children’s lives,” said Chandra Ortiz, executive director. “We need volunteers now more than ever and are encouraging all community members to join with us either by volunteering or considering a donation, helping us ensure children are safe during this time of national crisis.”

For more information about CASA locally, visit www.casaofnatronacounty.net.

WFBR distributes to partners

Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is pleased to announce $52,000 direct funding to partners across the state as part of their COVID-19 response. These funds will be distributed to support the purchase of food as part of Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies’ Fighting Hunger Feeding Hope Program. This is just one of WFBR’s efforts designed to get food where it is needed most when it is needed most.

WFBR has witnessed its existing partners requesting more than twice the normal amount of food in order to serve their clients. The need to help fund the purchase of food is part of Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies’ efforts to do everything possible to continue uninterrupted food distributions.

Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies will be supporting dozens of communities by providing 43 local grants. Every county in the state received funding through one of Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies’ partners/programs. This will help secure 208,000 meals for community members who may not know where they will find their next meal.

Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is “leaning in” and collaborating with Jennie Gordon, First Lady of Wyoming and her Wyoming Hunger Initiative, the statewide COVID 19 Hunger Task Force, The Department of Homeland Security, VOAD and many other state, county and local officials.

BBBS looks for fall lunch buddies

Big Brothers Big Sisters wish you health and like you look forward to returning back to work and activities. The Lunch Buddies program is a simple and profound idea. You can volunteer today and give a child in the community a gift of friendship and mentoring.

The BBBS Lunch Buddies program will again start in the fall of 2020. You can help a child reach their full potential with having lunch one day a week with them at their school! One day a week makes a profound difference. Be that mentor, change a life. Sign up today via the website. www.wyobbbs.org or call 265-2227 and they will get back to you. Today you can change a child life and help them reach their full potential.

Updated food pantry, soup kitchen list

  • Casper Community Church food pantry, 249 N. Wolcott, Eugene, 307-462-6821, Saturday 9 to 11 a.m. Food pantry closed temporarily.
  • Oasis Food Pantry, College Heights Community Center food pantry, 1927 South Walnut, 224-4104 (ext. 7), Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Faith Assembly of God food pantry, 4301 Casper Mountain Road, 265-9121, Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Staff is providing pre-made boxes at the front door of the church during pandemic
  • First Church of the Nazarene food pantry, 2020 S. Jefferson, 258-9646, closed this week.
  • Holy Cross Center Inc. food pantry, 1030 N. Lincoln, 577-1041, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Mountain View Baptist food pantry, 4250 Poison Spider Road, Wednesday, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. 234-4381 or foodbank@mvbccasper.com
  • Joshua’s Storehouse food pantry, 334 S. Wolcott St., 265-0242, grab and go, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, call for apptointment if you are shut in, limited delivery, (Kim’s cell, 307-215-6683)
  • Restoration Fellowship food pantry, 411 S. Walsh Drive, 235-9100, every Wednesday, 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Salvation Army food pantry, 441 S. Center St., 234-2002, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon. The Salvation Army is reaching out as well. Check their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TSAcaspercorps/ for details.
  • Salvation Army, 441 S. Center St., is now serving breakfast from 9 to 10:00 a.m. and lunch, 1 to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday, 11 a.m. Sack lunch and hot meal. 234-2002, grab and go.
  • First Christian Church, King’s Corner, 112 S. Beech Street, Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon. Sack lunches provided, canceled for now. 234-8964.
  • First United Methodist

Church, Kings Corner, 112 S. Beech Street, hot meal, 5:50 p.m. Tuesday and 5 p

  • .m. Sunday, canceled for now. 234-9385.
  • Central Wyoming Rescue Mission serves breakfast, 7 to 8 a.m.; lunch, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and dinner, 6 to 7 p.m.
  • Glenrock, second and fourth Wednesday of every month, 506 West Birch, Ste. 15 (right downtown). Starts at noon with temporary curbside pickup. 277-7151.

Mary Ann Budenske: 307-215-4732 or mbudenske@aol.com.

Seeking recipients for Quilts of Valor

Crossroads Quilters, the Central Wyoming Chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF), meet at the Central Wyoming Senior Services Center at 1831 E. 4th St. every Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. to make quilts which are awarded to military service members and veterans touched by war. QOVF is a national nonprofit organization. The Quilts of Valor are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts and are a lifetime award. If you have served or know someone who has served, please contact Jenny Vass at 259-8321 or Cyndi Adams at 262-2701 to receive a Quilt of Valor.

Senior companions needed

Do you want to help people in need while earning a tax-free stipend? (Stipend does not go against your Social Security/disability/housing benefits). Looking for qualified, caring seniors age 55+ years of age on a fixed income to become a senior companion. Call Vernita Lackey at 235-5959 for more information or email scpfgp@wyoming.com.

Classroom mentor, foster grandparent

Make a difference in a child’s life by becoming a Classroom Mentor/Foster Grandparent while earning a tax free stipend (stipend does not go against your Social Security/disability/housing benefits). Looking for qualified, caring seniors age 55+ years of age on a fixed income to become a foster grandparent. Call Vernita Lackey at 235-5959 for more information or email scpfgp@wyoming.com.

New sign for theater

Casper Theater Company would like to thank the following business and people for helping raise the money for the new sign at 735 CY. It is through grants and personal donations they have succeeded in raising almost $30,000 to become visible from the street. First Interstate Bank and First Interstate Foundation, Goodstein Foundation, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, and a special thank you to an anonymous donor. Casper Theater Company was able to fund the remaining dollars. Thanks also to Brad Moore and Bar D Signs for putting together the bid, design work and installation. Watch for the new sign very soon as you drive by 735 CY. Thank you all so much.

Volunteer drivers needed

Volunteer Disabled American Veteran (DAV) drivers needed to transport veterans to and from authorized medical appointments in the Casper and Sheridan areas. Most driving occurs on I-25 from the Casper VA Clinic to and from the Sheridan VA Medical Center during the hours of 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Your service will enable veterans to obtain medical treatment they may be prohibited from due to lack of transportation. Ford vehicles are used; primarily the Ford Flex and Ford 4X4 Explorer. Please call 307-675-3273 for application information.

New online directory for churches

Here is some important information about the first-ever website created and managed by Servants United. They have created a website to aid the community in connecting with either a local church, a local Christian organization or a Christian-owned business. The website address is www.ChristianConnectory.com.

Many of the Christian leaders in the community are excited about this easy way to connect online with various churches and Christian organizations and businesses in the Casper area. Currently the website has three directories for churches, Christian organizations and Christian-owned businesses. As it grows and develops, categories of faith-based community events, prayer gatherings and other helpful ways to connect the Christian community may be added. If you see a correction that needs to be made or would like to advertise to support the directory, please email info@christianconnectory.com.

CASA receives big grant

CASA of Natrona County has been awarded a $20,000 Promising Practices grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem Association for Children. CASA of Natrona County recruits, trains and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

The Promising Practices grant will be able to help CASA of Natrona County to better address the unique needs of children in Natrona County who are close to aging out of foster care. CASA of Natrona County is creating a mobile store providing gently used clothing free of charge to youth in foster care. It will also provide teens in foster care the opportunity to gain employment and job skills with assistance of a mentor who will work hand-in-hand with them.

There are 950 CASA/GAL programs nationwide, including 45 state offices. The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA/GAL are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. In 2018, National CASA/GAL was awarded nearly $10 million in federal grants.

CATC low income tickets and tokens

Combined funding from the City of Casper, the towns of Mills and Evansville and the Wells Fargo Foundation is being used to continue the Casper Area Transportation Coalition (CATC) Low Income Fare Assistance Program into 2020.

CATC’s Low Income Fare Assistance Program provides a limited number of tickets or tokens for rides on CATC or The Bus for local people who have low, very low, extremely low or no income at all as defined by federal poverty guidelines from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Wyoming Department of Health.

According to CATC executive director John Jones, the ongoing financial commitment of these funders makes a real difference to those for whom CATC is the only accessible, safe and affordable way to get to work, medical appointments, education and shopping.

Casper Area Transportation Coalition (CATC) is a local 501©3 nonprofit transit provider for Casper, Evansville, Mills, Bar Nunn and parts of Natrona County. The combined system of demand-response and fixed route buses serves the general public, the elderly and disabled and those who do not have access to their own vehicle.

For information or to donate, visit www.catcbus.com or contact John Jones at 265-1313 or john@catcbus.com.

Hospice boutique accepting donations

Support Central Wyoming Hospice patients with generous donations to the Memory Lane Boutique. Gently used items including bookshelves, dressers, jewelry, household goods, hand bags, toys, tools and more are currently being accepted. No books or clothes, please. See’s Candies are also available for gift giving and enjoying. All proceeds go directly to patient care.

Memory Lane Boutique is located at 319 S. Wilson St. inside of the Administration offices of Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have any questions please call 577-4832.

Boutique seeks donated items

Please consider donating your unwanted items to Memory Lane Boutique, located at 319 S. Wilson St. inside of the Admin offices of Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions. All contributions fully support patient care at hospice. Furniture, jewelry, household goods, hand bags, toys, tools, etc. are accepted. Please no clothes or books. And new See’s Candies are on the shelf for your gourmet chocolate desires. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Urgent needs at mission

Wyoming Rescue Mission staff is in desperate need as cold winter temperatures will bring more individuals and families to their door. “This time of year can be unbearable for those living on the streets,” said executive director Brad Hopkins. “We look for signs of hypothermia – shivering, nausea, confusion, slurred speech. It can be a life or death situation, especially for people who are older, ill or in poor physical condition.”

Wyoming Rescue Mission is prepared to provide food, shelter and other life essentials for an average of 140 people each night throughout the winter months. Hot meals, dry clothes and a warm environment are crucial to avert the dangers of winter, Hopkins explained. “However, as temperatures continue to drop, as many as 205 homeless men, women and children will need help on a daily basis this winter.”

Hopkins urgently calls on the community to help the Mission care for the homeless throughout the winter months through a number of different ways. “New or gently-used winter coats, as well as warm gloves and hats, boots and undergarments for men and women are always appreciated and provide tremendous help,” he said. “We also need bus token donations, to help provide guests with the means to safely get to work and other necessary appointments during this season.” Monetary gifts are helpful as well to cover the costs of the Mission’s utility bills, which greatly increase as the weather grows colder and the guest number increases.

Gifts of clothing, food and bus tokens can be delivered to 230 N. Park Street. Monetary donations can be made online at wyomission.org/donate. Additional information about Wyoming Rescue Mission activities and year-round programs and services are available online as well.

WMC needs junior volunteers

Wyoming Medical Center is looking for volunteers to join the Junior Volunteer Program. If you are between the ages of 16 and 21, this opportunity is for you. A unique opportunity to gain valuable insight into careers in the medical field, while learning in various departments including the Emergency Department, Neurological Unit, Medical Unit and guest services. Junior Volunteer applications can be obtained online at www.Wyomingmedicalcenter.org/volunteers or can be mailed to you. Please contact Lisa Johnson, WMC Volunteer Coordinator, at 577-2794 or by e-mail at lnjohnson@wyomingmedicalcenter.org for additional information.

WMC looks for volunteers

Do you have some spare time during the week or weekends that you would like to use to help others? Wyoming Medical Center is looking for volunteers to join the team! A variety of openings are available to fit your schedule. Current volunteer opportunities include helping at the Information Desk, Escorting and with the Library Cart. Volunteer applications can be obtained online at www.Wyomingmedicalcenter.org/volunteers or can be mailed to you. Please contact Lisa Johnson, WMC Volunteer Coordinator, at 577-2794 or by e-mail at lnjohnson@wyomingmedicalcenter.org for additional information.

Hospice establishes endowment fund

Over the years, many families and supporters of Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions have asked how they can help ensure a sustainable future, finding a way to provide much-needed care even during lean economic times. Hospice has announced the establishment of the Central Wyoming Hospice Endowment Fund at the Wyoming Community Foundation, laying the groundwork for Central Wyoming Hospice to provide hospice care indefinitely.

Endowment funds provide a stable, predictable source of income for nonprofit organizations. The Wyoming Community Foundation manages these funds, and, like a community savings account, this permanent pool of assets generates income and grows over time. With this partnership, CWHTP will benefit from the Foundation’s 30-year history of honoring donors’ wishes to build long-term assets that will help the community forever.

To show its commitment to the future of hospice care, CWHTP’s Board of Directors has set aside $50,000 to match donations made to the Endowment Fund this year. If you are interested in contributing to the new Central Wyoming Hospice Endowment Fund and wish to take advantage of the match, please call Rachel McPherson at 577-4832.

Group needs volunteer advisers

Do you want your voice heard about your health care? If so, please consider joining the team. Mountain Pacific Quality Health is looking for patient family advisers.

Mountain Pacific Quality Health is a quality improvement organization that works to improve the quality of health care received from providers and improve population health.

What is a patient family adviser? Someone who can volunteer his/her time, share suggestions about creating positive changes within the healthcare system, listen to other’s stories and talk about experiences to seek opportunities for improvements.

The group meets monthly for one hour in duration. Advisers have the option to work on projects fitting to their goals and interests with the Mountain Pacific team.

If you interested in joining our PFAC team and would like more information, please contact Crystal Morse at 307-439-2370 or cmorse@mpqhf.org.

BBBS needs volunteers

Here in Natrona county there are close to 40 children waiting for their match with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Why are you waiting to become a mentor? It is fun and fulfilling to mentor a child and be there adult match. Get out there and have some fun, fish, hike, swim, walk, run errands and just talk. Make a profound difference in a child’s life today. Go to www.wyobbbs.org or call 265-2227 for more information and start your new wonderful adventure today.

WMC seeks volunteers

Wyoming Medical Center is looking for volunteers to join its team.

Junior Volunteer Program is for ages 16 to 21. Volunteer in a variety of settings, including the Emergency Department and Neurological Department. Hours are flexible and based around school schedules and extracurricular activities.

Evening/Weekend Information Desk Volunteer: Volunteers needed for evening and weekend shifts. Shifts range from two to four hours. Provide information and directions, answer phone calls and provide general assistance.

Other volunteer opportunities are available. Please contact Lisa Johnson, WMC Volunteer Coordinator, at 577-2794 for additional information.

Be a Big, make a difference

Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters welcomes you to apply to become a Big. Becoming a Big is life changing for both the child and you — the volunteer.

Get out there and have fun, hike, ski, fish, walk the dog, play music, create art or enjoy crafts. An adult spending time with a child has a huge and positive impact.

Join the fun. It is easy to apply to begin helping a child reach their full potential.

Simply call 265-2227 or go to www.wyobbbs.org.

Theater thanks Pacific Power

Casper Theater Company would like to make special recognition to the Pacific Power Foundation for their generous grant to supply the stage lighting needs. This is the second grant Casper theater Company has received from the Pacific Power Foundation, and thanks to them for enhancing the productions with state of the art equipment to provide audiences with the best possible experience.

The PacifiCorp Foundation is one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The foundation was created in 1988 by PacifiCorp, an electric utility serving 1.8 million customers in six Western states as Rocky Mountain Power (Utah, Wyoming and Idaho) and Pacific Power (Oregon, Washington and California).

Joshua’s needs volunteer drivers

Joshua’s Storehouse needs volunteer drivers to pick up donations and to help with the food rescue program. If you have some time or some community service hours and would like to help Joshua’s feed families in Natrona County, please give Kim Perez a call at 265-0242 or text her at 215-6683.

Seeking children’s books

Helping a child enjoy reading is very important to many families who visit the Holy Cross Center in search of nutritious food to supplement their diets. The center seeks children’s books to make available to families. If you have good children’s books, please drop them at Dave’s Darts at 601 E. 2nd Street. Please do not donate adult books. Your gifts will be greatly appreciated. For more information contact Joe at 577-1041.

Meals on Wheels needs volunteer drivers

Meals On Wheels needs meal delivery volunteers. Volunteers must have a valid drivers licenses and proof of automobile insurance. After training, each volunteer delivers a meal route, once weekly Monday through Friday. Routes go out anytime between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon. Each route takes about an hour. A volunteer can easily deliver during a lunch hour. Meal deliveries are made to senior and home-bound citizens who are unable to prepare meals or to grocery shop for themselves. If you are unable to commit to an assigned day each week, substitute volunteer drivers are needed. As a substitute driver, you fill in whenever you are available. If interested call 265-8659 to make arrangements for training.

Make-A-Wish Wyoming welcomes volunteers

Make-A-Wish Wyoming is looking for volunteers to support its mission of granting a wish to every Wyoming child with a life-threatening medical condition.

Volunteer wish granters are specially trained to work directly with children and their families to determine the child’s true wish and then help plan, create and fulfill that wish. The opportunity is flexible and allows volunteers to give time based on their own schedules. Help provide hope, strength and joy to children and families in your community when it’s needed most.

The organization is also looking for people who are interested in helping with community events designed to raise funds and awareness.

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities and others, or to refer a child to the program call 234-9474, email mlasky@wyoming.wish.org or visit wyoming.wish.org.

Disabled vets need volunteer drivers

The Disabled American Veterans need volunteer drivers to take veterans to their medical appointment at the VA hospital in Cheyenne. The volunteer driver will transport them in a VA vehicle. If you are interested please call the DAV transportation office in Cheyenne at 307-778-7577 for further information.

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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