Nov 26

A Holiday Blessing for FBS from Helena First Assembly!

getting tags

Volunteers come by the information table at First Assembly to pick up gift tags to go shopping for our kiddos!

This fall the wonderful people of Helena First Assembly approached me to ask how they could connect with all the families Intermountain supports through some of our community-based services. You see, Intermountain serves many more children and families than just those represented by our residential services at 500 S. Lamborn in Helena. Over the past 15 years, especially, Intermountain has made a consisted effort to minister to children before the need arises for intensive residential treatment. These services form the majority of what Intermountain now does on a day-to-day basis.

(Click here for more information about Intermountain’s community services).

One such outreach into our community is called “Family Based Services” (FBS). These children are our neighbors, our children’s classmates, and the sons and daughters of our coworkers. These families are in our churches and often struggle to get the help the need for very special and difficult circumstances. Intermountain provides a valuable support system to these children and their families, enabling them to be more successful in relating to one another despite relational, emotional, or mental health issues that have made things hard to manage in the home.

So, when Sheree Vainio reached out in September to talk about how to recognize these families and celebrate their children, I jumped at the chance! It was a lot of fun to connect Sheree with the amazing staff we have in our FBS programs and see how the amazing work Intermountain is doing fits into the vision First Assembly has for its outreach into the Helena community. After a little creative discussion, we settled upon throwing holiday party and dinner for Intermountain’s FBS clients, which is a task that possibly only First Assembly could take on. Imagine what is involved in purchasing presents, preparing a dinner, and hosting a dinner for 195 children and their families!


Gift tags carefully arranged to protect the identities of Intermountain’s FBS children

The First Assembly church family has embarked on this project with an enthusiasm and energy that is inspiring. I have heard numerous staff relate how encouraged they are to have the support of the church and how excited they are for the party. It will be a tremendous blessing for the children, their families, and our staff.

If you are in the Helena area and are without a church home, I’d encourage you to visit First Assembly and support this mission-minded congregation (click here for their site). Who knows… maybe there will still be a tag or two that you could pick up from the information table and join in the church’s efforts?