Monthly Archives: December 2016

One law enforcement officer is taking the spirit of giving to the next level

By Kolby Crossley of SWX Right Now Fox news station

BOZEMAN – One Law Enforcement Officer is taking the spirit of giving to the next level. Deputy Sheriff Dean DuVall out of Park County has created Operation Christmas Lights, it’s an operation to help families in need this Christmas by donating hundreds of presents.

In its first year of operation, Operation Christmas Lights will be delivering presents to 102 kids this Christmas.

Deputy Sheriff Dean DuVall says, “One of the things I wanted to see with this operation was bridging the gap between the public and the police.”

Deputy Sheriff DuVall went to the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch with the idea of donating presents to those in need on Christmas. He says this operation has become bigger than everyone involved in it.

“It exploded once they got excited about, about doing a team project and then we ended up locating 102 kids within the county,” says DuVall.

In its first year of operation, close to five thousand dollars has been donated to purchase 400 gifts.

“One of the main things that officers are going to do on this night is demonstrate to others that simple acts of kindness can actually crush hatred,” DuVall continues.

Joshua Bigner, Case Manager at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch says DuVall stepping up like this is an incredible act.

Bigner says, “I think it’s a great thing, I think it’s just great that Dean DuVall was willing enough and brave enough to promote this project to us.”

DuVall with the help of the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch put this operation together in just ten days. He now wants to challenge the rest of the nation.

DuVall says, “This is going to be contagious, acts of kindness are becoming contagious when people see this. And I challenge leaders across Montana and across our nation to come up with a better operation and better ideas to better their communities.”

Deputy Sheriff DuVall says you never know what the future holds but he hopes to continue operation Christmas lights next year.

Click here to watch the video segment by Bozeman, Montana’s SWX Right Now news station.


A Message of Thanks

Christmas for emotionally troubled youth served by Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch on campus, in group homes and foster homes, and even living at home, can be a lonely time.  We want to give our heartfelt thanks to all our friends in the community who supported Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation this year with your time, talents and treasure.

Next year, YBGR will celebrate 60 years of serving emotionally troubled children in our community!  Each day, YBGR serves more than 600 emotionally troubled children.  Its residential program hosts children on the original 410 acre working ranch between Billings and Laurel.  Its community programs are based out of Garfield School on Billings’ south side, providing therapeutic foster homes, school based therapy, and family therapy and support throughout southern and eastern Montana.  Yellowstone Academy, an accredited public K-8 and private high school, provides special education to YBGR’s residential children and day school students from our community and surrounding communities.

As we head into YBGR’s 60th year, we are also thankful for the board members, volunteers, and 325 employees of YBGR and Yellowstone Academy who selflessly help these emotionally troubled children day in and day out . . . and especially at Christmas.


Kurt Alme, President Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation
Mike Chavers, CEO Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch

Warming Up Kids with Blankets and Bears

(BILLINGS, Mont.) December 7, 2016 – This holiday season, Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch (YBGR) has much to be thankful for, especially when it comes to gifts provided by Billings area partners and businesses. Nonprofit organization Blankets and Bears, founded by Sandy McCaffrey, is just one of the businesses who’ve supported YBGR in years past. The Ranch is excited to see the organization back again this year.

Blankets and Bears LogoBlue“For the past 9 years, Pillows, Blankets, and Bears has provided a number of youth with a unique gift at Christmas,” Rick Hamblin, Director of Community Based Services, said. “The children are all smiles when they receive their bundles.”

For YBGR’s Community Based Services (CBS) kids and families, they get to be a part of a special kind of giving… guaranteed to be cozy and warm. In an event which lasts from 3:30 – 5 p.m. on Dec. 19, at Garfield Center in Downtown Billings, nonprofit organization Blankets and Bears will donate enough bundles which include a new pillow and pillow case, a blanket, and a stuffed animal for nearly 60 YBGR CBS youth and other children in the community. In years past, volunteers have dressed in Christmas outfits and presented each child a gift.

“Deliveries to YBGR have captured me because this is what caused us to grow,” McCaffrey said. “I am just blessed to be able to have our community rally around the children that need us here in Yellowstone County and beyond.” McCaffree said that, in 2005, Blankets and Bears delivered only seven bundles in total, but expects that this year they will deliver nearly 800 bundles. “All of the children have my heart. They’re my first priority,” she said.