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First Interstate donates to Montana disaster relief

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First Interstate Bank in Great Falls and the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation recently teamed up to donate $5,000 to the American Red Cross for Montana disaster relief.

The gift comes on the heels of an historic Montana wildfire season that saw more than 1.25 million acres burn and 16 primary homes destroyed. First Interstate Bank donated $2,500, which was then matched by the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation.

“With our recent exposure to a debilitating fire season, First Interstate Bank in Great Falls feels compelled to do what we can to aid in the relief efforts,” said Kyle Herda, Great Falls market president.

During last summer’s wildfire season, the Montana Red Cross opened 19 wildfire shelters across the state, including in communities such as Hays, Eureka, Plains, Roundup, Wolf Creek and Missoula. Red Cross provided 188 overnight shelter stays and served nearly 2,000 meals and snacks to Montana families thanks to the support of its donors. 

“All of us at Montana Red Cross are grateful for the continued partnership with First Interstate Bank and First Interstate BancSystem Foundation,” said Diane Wright, executive director of the American Red Cross of Montana. “This very generous gift for wildfire disaster relief provides help and hope for Montanans when they need it most. Montana is fortunate to have civic-minded companies like First Interstate supporting many charitable organizations that make our communities stronger, safer and better places to live.”

Gifts such as these not only help the Red Cross respond to disasters like last summer’s wildfires, but also prepare for future disasters including spring flooding and the upcoming wildfire season by giving the organization the support it needs to repair cots, replace food and cleanup supplies and service emergency response vehicles.