This past August, Chuck Butler attended the “Rough Sleepers” community conversation on homelessness facilitated by Helena community members. He was moved to get involved in Our Place and the unhoused community in Helena. Chuck Butler moved to Helena, Montana in 1985 to pursue a job in healthcare with Blue Cross Blue Shield. His career has spanned a number of fields including journalism, politics, and healthcare. Throughout his career, he’s always been moved to do what he can to help others.
Chuck believes that no one should be sleeping outside in Helena. He is the Stewardship Chair of Plymouth Congregational Church. Chuck started getting involved with Our Place and the unhoused community after attending all five of the “Rough Sleepers” Community Conversations put on by Jennifer Thompson and the United Way of Lewis and Clark County. He said, “what I was hearing about people in my own community sleeping outside, struck a nerve. I thought, it isn’t right that people in our community are sleeping outside. Something has to be done.”
After hearing about solutions to the issues that seemed far down the line, he decided to use his influence to do something that would help people outside now. He mobilized the members of Plymouth Congregational Church to hold a fundraiser for sleeping bags. With the funds, 45 new sleeping bags for Our Place were purchased for those unsheltered. Mark Nay, Helena’s Street Outreach Coordinator was grateful for the donation and mentioned that these would go fast. When the community came together over a shared cause, they made a difference.
I asked Chuck, what he would tell members of the community, who would like to get involved but don’t know where to start?
“I would say “go talk to your neighbors”. I had not been in Our Place before a couple of months ago, but I would drive by it on my way to work for 30 years. Often, it is easier to turn a blind eye to those who are suffering, but extending a helping hand is the sign of true strength. I started going in and talking to a couple of the guys in there. I have always been welcomed with a great big bear hug. We need to remember, that we are not helpless, and small acts of kindness can mean a world of difference.”
Chuck and Susan Butler just deposited another check for 50 more sleeping bags to donate to Our Place. Chuck will be at the Open House at Our Place on Dec. 5th. He encourages community members who have wondered how they can make a difference, to take the first step and come on in. All are welcome.
Thank you, Chuck for your commitment to the Good Samaritan Mission!