Post written by Cassandra Garrison, Real Estate Loan Specialist
Helping to make our Montana communities better places to live and work has always been important to us.
Over the past year, we’re proud to have contributed more than $1.5 million and thousands of employee volunteer hours to our state’s community organizations.
One of those organizations is Erin’s Hope Project, Inc., a non-profit program based in Miles City that helps kids and families across Montana.
Stockman Bank supports this organization every year at their annual fundraiser, Erin’s Crystal Ball. It’s one of my favorite organizations and I want to share how they’re making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of having coffee with Pam Hurr – a mother, wife, nurse, friend – and one of the co-founders of Erin’s Hope Project.
Cassandra: Hi Pam! So many of us who live here in Miles City know your family and your organization.
For the Montanans across the state who maybe haven’t heard your story, I wanted to share more with them about the history of your organization, Erin’s Hope Project.
Pam: Erin’s Hope Project, Inc. was created in March 2011 in memory of our nine-year-old daughter, Erin.
Erin was born in Miles City, Montana on December 9th, 2000. In March 2010, she went to heaven peacefully after bravely battling a brain tumor for 2 years.
Cassandra: What were some of Erin’s favorite things to do?
Pam: Erin’s life was full of many activities, always surrounding the ones she loved. Hanging with her best friend, Emily, and baking with their Easy Bake Ovens.
She especially loved to read in her spare time and one of her biggest accomplishments was teaching her younger brother Jacob to read before he started Kindergarten.
Erin also enjoyed camping, swimming and going to Big Timber Water Slides. One of her more memorable moments was getting to go to Disney World for a Make A Wish Trip and meeting Cinderella and Tinkerbell.
Cassandra: What is your mission and purpose for Erin’s Hope Project?
Pam: Erin had such a strong spirit, and always had a heart full of joy that overflowed to everyone who knew her. To honor her, we want to make positive differences in the lives of families across Montana.
The kids we help may be battling cancer, have a rare illness, or terminal disease – and our mission is to bring them joy and hope through our Erin’s Hope Adventures.
Cassandra: What are Erin’s Hope Adventures and how many families have you worked with so far this year.
Pam: We’ve worked with four families so far this year.
The adventures are different for each family, but we usually send each family on a week-long family trip, or a 4-day weekend getaway if they aren’t able to be gone for a week.
It gives the family and kids a break and a fun time to share together.
Cassandra: What are some of your favorite adventures that you’ve gotten to do for a family?
Pam: We’ve helped sponsor a surprise birthday party for a young man in Helena with a rare condition whose friends and family wanted to surprise him with a Star Wars themed birthday party.
We also sponsored a trip for a little boy with a rare auto-immune disorder and sent him and his family to Seattle, WA to watch a Seahawks football game.
We also sponsor trips for families to go camping, fishing, hiking, hot springs, Yellowstone National Park – it’s always neat to see where the kids want to go and what they want to do. Our organization’s motto is “If it happens outdoors, we will help you and your family experience it!”
Cassandra: Tell me about your annual fundraiser Erin’s Crystal Ball, and what you have planned for this year.
Pam: We usually host our annual Fundraiser Erin’s Crystal Ball around Christmas or New Year’s.
This year we are hosting Erin’s Crystal Ball on December 29th, 2018 at Miles Community College.
We serve dinner and there is both a silent auction and live auction, and during the dinner we always share a video that commemorates the memory of our daughter and share stories about the families we have sponsored throughout the year.
Erin would have been graduating from high school this year, and we asked her childhood friends to share with us what they think Erin would have been like today if she were still here with us, and we are going to share that in our video this year.
Cassandra: Thank you for taking the time to meet and have coffee with me today Pam. If there was one thing you could share with people across the state, what would it be?
Pam: Most of us measure life by the length of time, but true life is measured by the impact we make. The impact Erin made in the lives of others goes far beyond her years.
Since Pam and her husband started Erin’s Hope Project, Inc., their organization has sponsored close to 30 families and individuals across the state of Montana.
If you would like to learn more about Erin’s Hope Project, please visit their website at http://www.erinshopeprojectinc.org.