Sifting through used clothing and shoes doesn’t bother members of the Billings Optimist Clubs. In fact, they thrive on it, especially since they’re helping kids.
“It’s a little different project than what we’ve done before,” said Roger Gravgaard, a 10-year member of the Heights Business Optimist Club.
Gravgaard rallied members of the Heights Business Optimist Club, the Big Sky Optimist Club, and the Magic City Optimist Club to clean and sort the clothing rooms at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch. The clubs are a part of a worldwide volunteer organization whose members strive to bring out the best in children, in their communities, and in themselves.
“We are able to provide clothes and shoes to youth in need because of generous donations from community members,” said Gillette Vaira, the director of public relations at YBGR. “Maintaining the clothing rooms can be challenging, but they’re in great condition with the support of our dedicated volunteers.”
“I think everybody has really enjoyed the time out there,” Gravgaard said. “It’s been a really good experience.”
The Billings Police Department teamed up with Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch to raise awareness about the active role law enforcement officers play in our community.
“We continually strive to develop positive relationships with the youth of Billings,” said Thomas Keightley, the public relations officer for the Billings Police Department. “This is one way to demonstrate to the kids how much we care about them and their families.”
Officers Keightley and Fishbaugh showed YBGR youth a police car, bullet proof vest, helmet, shield, and handcuffs. The youth also met Kooko with the K9 Unit! The event took place during National Police Week, which recognizes the service, sacrifices, and contributions made by U.S. law enforcement officers.
“Our organization is grateful for the Billings Police Department,” said Gillette Vaira, the director of public relations at YBGR. “This event will not only help our youth better understand the law enforcement community, but it may also open their minds to future career possibilities.”
The Billings Police Department consists of 142 sworn police officers who patrol within the Billings city limits. BPD is committed to improving the quality of life through a customer service, problem solving partnership with the community.