BILLINGS — If you’re looking for a cause to get behind this holiday season, one Billings-based nonprofit is here to help.
For The Blank’s goal is to let the community know what other nonprofits are in the area, and there’s a good chance there are many you’ve never even heard of.
In the midst of the pandemic, Billings native Kalen Brown had a vision.
“He kind of came and said I have this idea,” said Leah Swalley of For The Blank on Wednesday.
It was an idea to create a nonprofit, not focused on raising money or a community event, but on highlighting the good in the community.
“Organizations or individuals who are doing good things, we just want to come alongside them and cheer them on and be their champion and help other people know about them,” said Kelsey Wagner of For The Blank.
Fast forward to 2022 and that dream is now a reality. Brown, Swalley, and Wagner are now part of the team behind For The Blank.
The nonprofit uses social media to shine a spotlight on organizations in the area, along with other individuals making a difference in other people’s lives.
“We want people to connect to those nonprofits. We want them to hear about what’s happening in their community and think, 'Oh, that’s something that I want to be engaged in,'” Swalley said.
Some of those nonprofits, like the grief recovery foundation Aspen’s Angels, are relatively unknown.
“Aspen’s Angels was born because my husband and I lost our first daughter when she was 11 months old,” said the founder of the nonprofit, Kira Pertuit.
Pertuit struggled after her daughter’s death and couldn’t find the right fit to help her process her emotions until she found the grief recovery method.
“This program, it’s simple. It’s hard work. It’s sometimes tough to go through, but it’s worth it,” said Pertuit.
Her nonprofit helps people cope with any loss, whether it’s a loss of a job or a miscarriage. And Pertuit is ecstatic that For the Blank could help spotlight her organization, letting others know it's there for them.
“They just poured their heart and soul into loving on us and getting our name out there, because I just told you, we’ve been around since 2016 and I still hear, I didn’t know you were here,” Pertuit said.
And the team at For The Blank couldn’t be more inspired to continue spreading positivity throughout the community.
“It kind of stirs that creativity and wants you to keep going and keep learning about the people, who are here, local, and what they’re doing,” Wagner said.