The list of local charities you can support is long. From numerous early childhood groups to senior programs, outdoor organizations, cancer groups, veterans, the arts and dozens of other various community programs, there is a non-profit for nearly every interest. GreatNonProfits.org lists over one hundred 501(c)(3) organizations in the Billings area. Picking a favorite can be a tough decision. Of course you can choose more than one charity to support, and sometimes donating your time can be just as valuable as donating your dollars.

Photo: Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media Billings

One of my personal favorites in Billings is the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Montana. I'm passionate about the Ronald McDonald House because my family were direct recipients of the services they provide. We did not stay at the Billings house (obviously, we live here) but we did spend weeks at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City on two different trips to Primary Children's. We're forever grateful for the resources the Ronald McDonald House provided for my family during an very difficult time.

Photo: Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media Billings

Traveling with a hospitalized child is stressful for any parent. The financial blow of trying to pay for a hotel and food for weeks at a time is tough. It's hard enough to budget for happy family vacation times, let alone unexpected trips that involve spending long days in a hospital. Worrying about your kid is your first concern. Worrying about how in the heck you are going to pay for weeks on the road, combined with missed work is usually next.

Photo: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Montana - used with permission

The Billings Ronald McDonald House is having their annual Corks and Canvas fundraiser and like most events this year, it's gone virtual. So, no fancy banquet with guest speakers and live auctions. Instead, you can bid now through September 28 on tons of really cool auction items, for example, the Backyard Relaxation package seen above.

Photo: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Montana - used with permission

Bidders can choose from a large selection of food, wine and liquor packages, such as the Sip and Smoke whiskey and cigar combo, the Shake it Up Martini Style basket, the Exquisite Wine Collection (featuring 13 bottles of fantastic wine) and many more.

Photo: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Montana - used with permission

Corks and Canvas wouldn't be complete without some fantastic original artwork. You can also bid on various adventure packages like a fly fishing trip, golf, and even gift baskets for your pet. The virtual auction ends on September 28, so get bidding! View all of the AUCTION ITEMS HERE.

The Billings Ronald McDonald House has been a temporary "home away from home" for literally thousands of parents and children since they first opened in 1982. As the demand for pediatric care continues to grow at St. Vincent's and Billings Clinic, so does the need for the invaluable hospitality and support that the Ronald McDonald House provides.

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