The Department of Public Health and Human Services announced that donation boxes have been set up at various locations to receive holiday gifts that benefit Montana State Hospital patients. The effort is part of the annual Gifts With A Lift program that has played an instrumental role in spreading holiday cheer to patients. DPHHS Public Information Officer Jon Ebelt explains.

“It is a program that has been going for 67 years and it is supported by people all over Montana,” Ebelt said. “We have received donations anywhere from $20 to $1,000. Some people request a patient’s wish list and will sort of adopt a patient. They will do the shopping themselves. For the most part, our staff will take those wish lists and will do the shopping.”

Ebelt says they really need winter coats for men and women.

“People can also look at our suggested gift list,” Ebelt said. “They can mail in or drop off those items at one of our drop off locations. Patients are obviously away from home, friends and family so this provides them a lift during the season.”

The program ensures that all state hospital patients have a gift under the Christmas tree. Gifts mailed to the hospital should not be wrapped, but donations of wrapping paper and gift boxes are welcome.

Gifts or cash donations can be mailed to Gifts With A Lift, PO Box 300, Montana State Hospital, Warm Springs, MT 59756. In order to arrive in time for the holidays, gifts should be dropped off or mailed by December 15. Make checks payable to: Gifts With A Lift.

Gifts can also be dropped off at Adult Services in Missoula. They are located at 1315 Wyoming Street.

Individuals or service organizations interested in ‘adopting’ a patient are encouraged to contact coordinator Beth Eastman at 406-693-7145.