BILLINGS — Dirty boots? Clean them up… at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch’s boot shining booth. Young people who live at the Ranch will be shining boots and shoes for tips at the Montana Stockgrowers Annual Convention and Trade Show from December 3 through 5 at MetraPark’s Rimrock Auto Arena.
“Our kids love interacting with the public while shining boots,” said Gillette Vaira, the Director of Public Relations at YBGR. “They also enjoy being recognized for their quality work.”
YBGR’s boot shining tradition began in 2009 as a way to provide work experience for youth. Before YBGR built its own booth, the Northern Hotel shared its shoe shine stand with youth to teach them how to polish shoes.
Now, YBGR youth shine boots at various events throughout the state each year. The young people who work at the booth split 90 percent of the earnings. Ten percent of the funds replenish supplies.
About 70 children between the ages of 10 and 18 currently live on the 410-acre working ranch west of Billings. The youth, who come to the ranch from throughout Montana and other parts of the U.S., live on campus year-round to receive mental health treatment.
Source: Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, a nonprofit organization, is trusted locally and nationally as a leader in the field of mental health care for children and their families. Our organization has impacted more than 10,000 youth and their families since 1957 through Residential Services in Billings, Community Based Services throughout Montana, and the Yellowstone Academy in Billings. Learn more at www.ybgr.org.
Image courtesy of the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch