Sunday, June 16, 2024

Bears 'n Stuff continues support of community groups

by The Western News
| June 17, 2022 7:00 AM

Bears 'n Stuff recently continued its efforts to assist community organizations in Lincoln County.

The group recently donated $400 to Dedi Coy and Deanna Nelson of the Libby Senior Center. It will help with delivered meals to about 20 senior citizens in the coming week.

Two teddy bears are also on their way to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center to comfort young children.

Due to generous gifts given to ‘den’ these prison-made cuddlers, Bears ‘n Stuff can help the Libby Senior Center with delivered meals to people over 60.

Wednesday’s lunch meal had gone out with home delivery volunteers when Bears ’n Stuff arrived with our Lincoln County Credit Union check. We found out that around 70 folks had phoned in requests for the 70 lunches; 60 had hit the road with 10 ‘grab and go meals’ waiting pickup at the center.

The kitchen in the center produces three delicious meals a week; dinners on Tuesdays and Fridays, lunch on Wednesdays. That averages about 400 meals each week for an outfit working on a short staff.

A 501(c)3 nonprofit, the senior center is not supported by the county. Funding comes from federal and state grant money through the Agency on Aging.

Living on a ‘fixed’ income, center management daily matches wits with rising costs to make ends meet. The suggested donation of a dinner meal for an over 60 is $6; the center’s cost is about $11. No one over 60 is turned away for lack of ability to cover the meal donation. Bears ’n Stuff’s $400 will put nutritious meals on the tables of 20 seniors for about a week.

Asked what she needed the most, Project Manager Didi Coy was very clear. "I need volunteers to do deliveries," she said.

Coy explained the need for committed people. Volunteers use their own vehicle to deliver lunch and dinners to seniors at their residences.

The volunteers, working Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, provide important personal interaction when they knock on the door. Volunteers are rewarded with thanks, smiles and a $10 a weekly gas voucher.

"Human contact and food are a basic human need," said Cyrus Lee.

To minimize expensive food waste, seniors wanting meals need to call and reserve.

For Tuesday or Friday dinners, call 406-293-7222 before noon and for Wednesday lunch call before 9 a.m.

While meals are no longer served at the center, public licensed bingo is every other Saturday with the member game playing Monday afternoon and all-day Thursday.

Yearly membership is just $10 a year.

Bears, made by the Helping Hands crew at the Washington State Prison are waiting to be denned with a community child in need.

The Bears ‘n Stuff tent randomly sets up at the Libby Vendors’ Market and Libby Farmers’ Market as well as other community events.

Along with bears, beautiful inmate made art provides the money that cycles right back into our community.

For more information about Bears ’n Stuff, invite us to your event, or have us present our vision to your organization, call Marge Kroeger at 406-293-0514 or Cyrus Lee at 406-293-9630.