Carbon County Neighbor: Helping Hands: Carbon County steps up

Eleanor Guerrero
CCN Senior Reporter
Thursday, March 26, 2020

The doors are locked and the stores are silent down Broadway, our main street. But life goes on and people, despite their burdens and worries, are stepping up all around Carbon County. If you are in need this is the time to reach out and be heard.  

Here in Red Lodge, with its plus 60 charities, there are many people are coming to their neighbors’ rescue. Red Lodge Area Community Foundation with its great capacity, is offering the Carbon County COVID-19 Relief Fund. People can donate and those in need can access it on their website.  

Aware that many local workers were immediately unemployed with the mandatory business closings for bars and restaurants, locals on FB are giving away some IGA gift cards. Search FB or ask around.  

In Bridger, Superintendent Bill Phillips says individuals and businesses are stepping up. “We have the (school) bus drivers helping as well as local businesses, our school staff and volunteers. We are delivering meals to students. We also are helping out the Senior Center.” They serve two meals a week of approximately 45 meals each. “We are delivering those as well.” 

In our own neighborhood, a neighbor has cooked a turkey and delivered it to a disabled senior waiting for food stamps to come through. Another has made brownies for an isolated person to bring cheer during this difficult period. We are all keeping each other’s spirits up. Neighbors help elders with plowing as a matter of course. Excess game stored in freezers is given out to those not able to shop. Gifts of pet food are purchased for others who might need their money for their own food.  

Although Montanans are an independent lot, there is a lot of quiet, unadvertised assistance going on. There may not be friends gatherings, or even family groups, but Carbon County residents know people who care are there. Don’t allow the normal distance of ranch life, rural life or respect for a local’s usual privacy or reticence stop you from stepping up. If you think someone’s lonely, now is the time. Sometimes it’s as simple as a phone call to say “Hello, how’s it going? I’m here if you need anything.” A minute breaks up a depressed person’s day. Let someone share your computer by ordering necessities for them when they can’t or go to the mailbox for a senior. There is always a way to help. It is these small unsolicited favors that show Americans’ best sides and will get us all through.  

Surprisingly, since we are all social animals it will also help you as well. Share the humor wherever it can be found. Or the magic. Just yesterday, as I took a break from writing at home and looked out the back sliding glass door, a hawk flew into the yard, landed two feet in front of me on our potting table, looked me in the eye and then flew off! Native elders who understand life’s symbolism might say he was telling me to “Get the message out!”  

Please help keep the positive messages going by contacting ( with stories of how you, or someone you have heard of, are helping one another in these social distancing times. Social distancing may end up building bridges.  



The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.