Wednesday, Jul. 1st, 2020

Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure: Two Serious Steps That You Need to Take for Your Success

The CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure credential is designed to validate the candidates’ skills and knowledge of complex enterprise infrastructure solutions. Those individuals who are pursuing this certificate must pass two exams, which include one written test and one hands-on lab exam. The first one is a qualifying test that covers core enterprise infrastructure technologies. The lab exam, on the other hand, focuses on the enterprise networks through the whole lifecycle of the network, covering different topics from design and deployment to operation and optimization.

Requirements for Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Certification and Its Exams
There are no formal requirements for earning the credential or taking its exams. However, you must have a comprehensive understanding of the whole content and topics before you attempt any of them. It is also recommended that those pursuing the certification have between five and seven years of work experience. This expertise should focus on the design, deployment, operation, as well as optimization of enterprise networking technologies and solutions.

Key Steps to Obtaining Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Certification
The first step in the process of getting the badge is to pass the qualifying exam. 350-401 ENCOR: Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies is designed to evaluate one’s knowledge and skills in enterprise networking infrastructure. By taking this test, the candidates also earn the Specialist credential. This means that they also get recognized for their success as they proceed to earn their CCNA 200-301 Premium Exams Infrastructure certification.

After you pass Cisco 350-401, your next step will be the lab exam. So, let’s take a closer look at the details of these two stages that you need to cover in order to obtain the expert-level credential.

Step 1: Written Exam
Cisco 350-401 is a 120-minute exam that leads to the award of the following credentials: CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure, CCNP Enterprise, CCIE Enterprise Wireless, and Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Core. The test is designed to measure your knowledge and skills in implementing core enterprise network technologies, such as automation, security, dual-stack architecture, virtualization, infrastructure, and network assurance. Cisco recommends the instructor-led training course to help the applicants develop competence in the exam content.

The topics covered under the 350-401 ENCOR exam are highlighted below:
• Architecture: 15%;
• Infrastructure: 30%;
• Security: 20%;
• Network Assurance: 10%;
• Virtualization: 10%;
• Automation: 15%.
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The comprehensive details of these objectives can be found on the official webpage. The Cisco 350-401 exam is available in English and Japanese. To register for it, you are required to go through the Pearson VUE platform.

Step 2: Lab Exam
The second step to earning the Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certificate is to pass the practical test. This exam lasts 8 hours and focuses on the complex enterprise networks and its end-to-end lifecycle. It requires that the candidates design, operate, optimize, and deploy dual-stack solutions (IPv4 and IPv6) for these networks. They are also required to program and automate the network in the course of this test. The topics covered within the exam content are as follows:

• Network Infrastructure: 30%;
• Software-Defined Infrastructure: 25%;
• Transport Technologies & Solutions: 15%;
• Infrastructure Security & Services: 15%;
• Infrastructure Automation & Programmability: 15%.
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It is recommended that you go through the official website to find the details of these domains. It is important to understand all of them before attempting this exam. There are various tools that the test takers can explore to prepare for it. Check the Cisco platform to find the official study materials. Moreover, you can explore other sites online to access some other effective preparation resources. There is a huge variety of them and you can go for the one you like. However, be careful not to run into a website with fraudulent activities. Therefore, choose the reliable sources, such as Exam-Labs, ExamSnap, PrepAway, and others.

Recertification for Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Certification
This expert-level credential is valid for three years, and you will be required to recertify before its expiration date. You can recertify by taking the related exams, completing the Cisco Continuing Education activities, or both.

To recertify through the first option, you have to pass any expert-level test or one of the CCNA Exam. You can also opt to take any three professional concentration exams or pass one technology core test with any concentration one. To recertify through the Cisco Continuing Education credits, you need to earn 120 of them via attending the Cisco Live training sessions, completing online courses or instructor-led training.

To combine both options, you can go for one of the following choices:
• earn 40 CE credits and pass one technology core exam;
• earn 40 CE credits and pass two professional concentration exams of your choice;
• earn 80 CE credits and pass any professional concentration exam.
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Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure is an expert-level certificate that can be difficult to obtain if you don’t prepare for it adequately. With this credential, the candidates can explore numerous senior job roles in the domain of networking. Therefore, put all your efforts into the preparation process and get the certification you deserve!

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Monday, Jun. 29th, 2020

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist injured by grizzly bear in Centennial Valley

Bozeman, MT — A biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) was attacked by a grizzly bear in the Centennial Valley Wednesday morning. The individual suffered serious bite wounds but is expected to recover fully.

The USFWS employee was working on a sage grouse monitoring project on Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge about a mile west of Elk Lake. The biologist heard a noise in the sagebrush and turned to see two grizzly bears in a close-encounter situation, approximately 80 to 100 yards away.

One bear stood up, and the other charged the biologist. The biologist deployed bear spray at the charging bear and throughout the attack until the attacking bear ran away with the other bear.

The biologist began leaving the site while reporting the incident to other USFWS staff, who came and helped the individual get medical attention. The biologist was transported to Rexburg, Idaho, for medical treatment and was released later Wednesday afternoon. 

The biologist’s report indicates the bears may have been young siblings around three years old. Idaho Fish & Game assisted Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) in the early stages of the investigation, which is still ongoing.

Seven people have been injured this year by bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, including two recreationists in Montana. Grizzly bear populations continue to become denser and more widespread in Montana, increasing the likelihood that residents and recreationists will encounter them in new places. Being prepared for such encounters is more important than ever to keep people and property safe and to cultivate natural bear behavior.

Recreationists and people who work outdoors should always be prepared to handle a bear encounter. Most bear attacks on humans happen in surprise close encounters. Activities that are deliberately quiet or fast moving, such as hunting, mountain biking or trail running, put people at greater risk for surprising a bear. When you’re outside, keep these precautions in mind:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and look for bear sign.
  • Read signs at trailheads and stay on trails. Be especially careful around creeks and in areas with dense brush.
  • Carry bear spray. Know how to use it and be prepared to deploy it at a second’s notice.
  • Travel in groups whenever possible and make casual noise, which can help alert bears to your presence.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.
  • Follow U.S. Forest Service (USFS) food storage orders, which have been in effect for public lands in Montana since March 1.
  • If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Management authority for grizzlies rests with the USFWS, working closely in Montana with FWP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, the USFS and Tribal lands. This collaboration happens through the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

For more information on avoiding negative encounters with bears, visit

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MSU named best college for LGBTQ+ students in Montana

Montana State University was recently named the best college for LGBTQ+ students in the state of Montana, a recognition made by in partnership with the nonprofit organization Campus Pride. released two rankings – the Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students and the Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students in Each State – both of which aim to help students of various gender and sexual identities find an inclusive and quality institution for their college journey, according to an accompanying news release. LGBTQ refers to individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning. The plus sign in LGBTQ+ is intended to include individuals who identify with other communities, such as intersex, non-binary and pansexual.

The Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students ranking recognizes U.S. schools that have established the highest standards for inclusive environments while maintaining strong academic programs for students. The Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students in Each State ranking offers a guide for prospective students to identify schools that are culturally inclusive, affordable and closer to their location. The schools featured on the list were vetted by Campus Pride using their knowledge of the LGBTQ+ education landscape.

“Every student deserves to go to a college that is inclusive and a safe space – to learn, live and grow,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. “This June for Pride Month we want to show our campus pride for all the campuses working hard to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments.”

In its accompanying write-up about MSU, noted that MSU offers a variety of resources to help LGBTQ+ students succeed. wrote that MSU's Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons features education and advocacy tools for students interested in learning about gender identity issues on campus. It also noted that the university ensures gender-neutral housing and restroom accommodations for LGBTQ+ students, that MSU offers a student support group for LGBTQ+ students and allies who have concerns or questions and that individuals can find incident reporting forms online.

MSU earned four out of five stars on’s Campus Pride Index, which examines colleges and universities’ efforts to create safer, more inclusive campuses. MSU earned especially high scores in LGBTQ+ counseling and health, policy inclusion, housing and residence life, and recruitment and retention efforts. also recognized MSU for planning regular social and educational events centered around LGBTQ+ individuals and issues and for offering specific course listings for LGBTQ+ classes and an LGBTQ+ studies program.

Ariel Donohue, MSU’s senior diversity and inclusion officer, said the recognition from is evidence of MSU’s sustained efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive campus culture.

“This work includes strengthening a sense of belonging amongst LGBTQ+ students, improving training and professional development, examining our practices and offerings, and seeking areas for further growth,” Donohue said. “Thanks to the commitment of many partners across the university and the involvement of student leaders, we will continue to develop this welcoming and affirming community.”

More information about the Campus Pride Index is available at

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MSU researcher publishes paper examining COVID-19 spread

How many people in the U.S. have had COVID-19? Using a database of information collected after the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, a Montana State University researcher is helping develop a better understanding of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Alex Washburne, a researcher in the Bozeman Disease Ecology Lab, which is housed in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, published a paper on the subject this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The paper uses data from ILINet a database created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010 to count patients who check into medical clinics with influenza-like illnesses, or ILI. That type of data collection for the purpose of identifying trends is known as syndromic surveillance.

Influenza-like illnesses include any number of infections that carry symptoms similar to the seasonal flu — such as fever, cough and sore throat. Both influenza-like H1N1 and non-influenza diseases like COVID-19 fall into that group. Monitoring trends in ILI clinic visits, Washburne said, could help better understand how quickly and extensively COVID-19 spread during the early days of its appearance in the U.S.

In collaboration with researchers at Pennsylvania State and Cornell universities, Washburne examined the number of ILI visits reported each week over the last decade and compared those historical trends to such visits during March 2020. They identified a surge in March 2020 ILI visits that parallels regional increases in COVID-19 cases.

By examining ILI data alongside the known regional prevalence of COVID-19, Washburne and his collaborators determined that there may have been many cases of the coronavirus disease that weren’t initially identified as such.

Washburne and his colleagues estimate that as many as 87% of coronavirus cases were not diagnosed during early March, which could translate to around 8.7 million people based on the excess March ILI visits. The surge in ILI diminished quickly in the latter part of March, leading researchers to conclude that more cases of COVID-19 were being identified since fewer ILI reports were being logged in the database.

“Early on there seems to have been a low case detection rate, but as time went on that changed,” said Washburne. “By the last week in March, as more and more testing was going on, that case detection rate increased significantly.”

This is good news for scientists seeking to predict and prepare for future epidemics, said Washburne. A baseline has been established through a decade of ILI data collection that allows for the early detection of anomalous surges of ILI that deviate from the annual average.

With much of the research about COVID-19 happening as the pandemic unfolds, Washburne said syndromic surveillance like this shows researchers and the medical community one piece of a larger story. When coupled with COVID-19 testing efforts and serological surveys, which seek to identify the proportion of a population with immunity to an illness, this type of data collection and analysis can illuminate a piece of the puzzle that helps outline our understanding of coronavirus as a whole, he said, while also offering insight for future potential epidemics.

Washburne also said that syndromic surveillance using tools like ILINet could be applied in areas where widespread testing is too expensive.

“For communities that may not have the capacity for more large-scale testing, this may be able to help give them a picture of the movement of their epidemic in time and space,” he said. “That way they can know when to implement actions like mask wearing and social distancing measures.”

The practice of collecting data ahead of a potential outbreak is an investment in future public health, Washburne said. This research into COVID-19 wouldn’t have been possible without the creation of the database after H1N1, so continuing to expanding the baseline data collected for other illnesses could be crucial in navigating future pandemics.

“All these different methods can be used to cross-validate each other,” he said. “We know if our other methods don’t work optimally, we have additional resources. Things like this can really help us be better prepared in the future.”

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Saturday, Jun. 20th, 2020

8 Ways to Improve Your Writing Using Your Mobile Device

Do you stick to that impression that writers are old-fashioned? I mean; George R.R. Martin uses a DOS computer and has the most outdated blog on the planet.

But many writers are actually savvy with their technology. They use the best software for their work, and they make sure to store it in the safest possible way.

What about smartphones? Is there a way to use a mobile device to improve your capacity and skills? There is, and we’ll tell you how to do it.

Mobile writing may not look convenient because of the small screen and tiny keyboard whose auto-correct features have a life of their own. But when used the right way, your phone gives you a chance to boost your potential.

8 Tips: How Your Smartphone Can Help You Improve Your Writing Skills

1. Listen to Good Podcasts

Research is the foundation of every writing process. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to write an academic paper or a novel; you have to support your ideas with reliable information. Have you ever tried listening to podcasts on the theme that you’re exploring?

If grammar is your problem, you can listen to grammar podcasts. If you’re writing on a history theme, you can choose specific podcasts that tackle that period of time. If you’re writing a book and your character is a detective, you can listen to crime podcasts.

Be creative in your search; you’ll definitely find good resources.

If you have an iPhone, it already has a default Podcasts app. Spotify is the best choice for Android devices.

2. Use a Transcription App

Evernote is a versatile app with features that not everyone uses. Did you know that it has a speech-to-text feature, too? It’s not perfect, so you’ll have to do some editing later on. However, it’s a great tool to support your brainstorming process or any creative idea splurge.

3. Use Your Phone to Do Research, Anytime

The writing process goes beyond the moments you spend in front of the computer. You think about the project all the time. When you get an idea and you want to research it, use your phone no matter what situation you’re in. You can create private Pinterest boards to save the resources, so you’ll check them in detail later on.

4. Write Notes All the Time
Keep your phone on the bed counter. You probably know this: the best ideas come at night. You’re trying to fall asleep, but your mind decides it’s not the time for that. It decides to work, and it does it in the most genuine way possible. Use any note-taking app to capture these ideas. Don’t leave them for the morning; they will fade away.

5. Collaborate with Pro Writers
Did you know that even professional writers need to collaborate with experts at different stages of their projects? Even if they completed their work, they need an editor to bring it to its perfect format.

If you need this online essay writing service, you can hire it through your phone and chat with the writer on the go. You’ll discuss ideas and plan the project’s development.

6. Use a Thesaurus App

An advanced English thesaurus will help you find the right word when you want to sound funny, smart, intellectual, and non-repetitive.

7. Use Trello to Plan the Work Process

Trello is an outstanding project management app. You will create three boards:
• To do
• Doing
• Done
You’ll assign a timeframe to each task, and you’ll start moving through the project. When you organize the stages, the writing process will be less overwhelming. You’ll know what tasks you have today, and you’ll realize that you have time to complete them.

8. Use a Journaling App

Practice! That’s the main rule that leads to improvements. Day One is a great writing skills app. It gives you space to write down your worries, hopes, feelings, and thoughts. It will keep the entries organized, so you can go back to them to remind yourself about past experiences. You’ll also see that with time and regular journaling, your writing skills have improved.  

Don’t Ditch the Mobile Phone!
When you’re trying to focus, your first thought is to leave the phone in the other room and stay alone with a blank page on your laptop. Don’t do that! Don’t reach out for the phone to check social media, but leave it there. It may help with a thesaurus app, note-taking feature, or an educational podcast while you rest or prepare a cup of coffee.

With the right apps, your smartphone becomes a powerful tool that boosts the writing process.

Sandra Larson is a writer with a passion to share insights. She shares blogs that motivate people to write more and use different methods to trigger imagination. Commitment to a regular practice - that’s Sandra’s secret to success.

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Thursday, Jun. 18th, 2020

Fourth of July Fireworks Display CANCELED

It has been the Gallatin Empire Lions Club's greatest pleasure to provide the Gallatin Valley, the surrounding area, and its visitors with the largest Fourth of July fireworks display in the west. Due to the demands of this project, the Gallatin Empire Lions Club is unable to continue the fireworks show as we move on to other projects. We thank our major donors for their unwavering support over the past 25 years and truly appreciate all the community support. It was a good run!

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Wednesday, Jun. 17th, 2020

Great American Outdoors Act Headed to House After Passing Senate With Strong Bipartisan Majority

GOLDEN, Colo. (Jun. 17, 2020) – Today, the Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act 73-25 in a strong show of bipartisan support for public lands. The Great American Outdoors Act will guarantee full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and fund long-deferred maintenance of our nation’s national forests, trails, and other public lands - and would give the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) a chance to be completed in the coming years.

LWCF funding was used in 2017 to conserve property along New Mexico’s Alamocita Creek to create a public corridor for the CDT. “For more than 50 years, LWCF has been a crucial tool in protecting our public lands and waters,” said Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. “Full funding of LWCF means more places to play, more protection for parks and trails, and more investment in tourist communities hit hard by COVID-19. Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act into law would be a great victory for public lands, and we’re grateful to the bipartisan group of Senators from CDT states – Senators Heinrich and Udall of New Mexico, Senators Bennet and Gardner of Colorado, and Senators Daines and Tester of Montana – who led the bill to Senate passage.”

Westerners have long called for the need for full, dedicated funding for LWCF and for a solution to a growing backlog of maintenance in national parks and forests. In a 2019 survey of small business owners in towns along the Continental Divide Trail, 98% of them supported full, dedicated funding of LWCF. In March, President Trump made a seemingly abrupt about-face after years of proposing drastic cuts to LWCF to join these calls of support. His endorsement of the Great American Outdoors Act and broad support for the bill among House members makes final passage more likely, but in 2020 it seems there are no guarantees.

“We are thrilled that the Great American Outdoors Act has passed through the Senate, but the work is not yet finished,” said Martinez. “We urge the House champions of this bill, including original cosponsors Representative Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico and Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho, to push this bill past the finish line as quickly as possible.”

About the Continental Divide Trail
The CDT is one of the world’s premier long-distance trails, stretching 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. Designated by Congress in 1978, the CDT is the highest, most challenging, and most remote of the 11 National Scenic Trails. It provides recreational opportunities ranging from hiking to horseback riding to hunting for thousands of visitors each year. While 95% of the CDT is located on public land, approximately 150 miles are still in need of protection.

About the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
The CDTC was founded in 2012 by volunteers and recreationists hoping to provide a unified voice for the Trail. Working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal land management agencies, the CDTC is a non-profit partner supporting stewardship of the CDT. The mission of the CDTC is to complete, promote, and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a world-class national resource. For more information, please visit

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Tuesday, Jun. 16th, 2020

Camper bitten in possible bear incident in Gallatin County

Bozeman — A woman was bitten by what investigators believe to be a bear while camping last week in Beehive Basin just northwest of Big Sky.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks was notified of the incident on Friday. According to the victim, she and another person were camping on private land near the Beehive Basin trailhead when they were awakened early Thursday morning by a large animal pushing or “falling” on their tent. The two campers kicked and yelled at the animal to scare it away, and it bit one of them on the leg from outside the tent, then left the campsite. The campers did not see the animal.

Fortunately, the victim’s injuries were relatively minor, and she sought prompt medical treatment.  

FWP believes it was a bear that bit the woman, based on her account of the animal’s behavior and the nature of the bite wound. However, no bear tracks have been found near the trailhead to confirm whether it was a grizzly or a black bear, but the bite wound indicated it was from an adult-age bear.

Initial details of the incident indicate the bear’s behavior was likely investigative, not predatory, and that the bite was defensive. The victim reported that their food was stored securely in their vehicle, not in the tent, and that they were wearing clean clothes.

FWP will be monitoring the area closely with other agencies for potentially hazardous bear behavior. FWP has worked with the U.S. Forest Service to add signs warning other recreationists in the area of the recent bear activity. This incident is still under investigation.

FWP reminds recreationists to be cautious and prepared for a bear encounter when recreating in Montana. Some recommended precautions for avoiding negative encounters with bears include:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and look for bear sign.
  • Carry and know how to use bear spray.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses.
  • Travel in groups and make noise whenever possible.
  • Follow U.S. Forest Service food storage regulations.
  • If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.
  • If a bear approaches your tent, make your presence known gradually. If it attempts to enter your tent, fight back.

For more information on staying safe in bear country, visit

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Monday, Jun. 15th, 2020

Livingston Depot Museum Opens for Summer Season

The Depot Museum will be open to the public on Wednesday, June 17th. Visitors are welcome Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The exhibits look a little different this year in an effort to keep visitors, volunteers, and staff safe. The vaulted ceilings and spacious atrium provide room for social distancing while enjoying the exhibits. The Depot staff has also implemented safety precautions to limit the spread of covid-19, including a rigorous disinfecting schedule and adapting exhibits for social distancing.  

The Depot’s popular ongoing main exhibit “Rails Across the Rockies: A Century of People and Places” introduces visitors to the rich history of railroading in Montana, and offers a sense of the grandeur of historic travel. The exhibit gives special attention to the Northern Pacific and its central role in the opening of Yellowstone, America’s first national park. Livingston has served as the gateway to Yellowstone since the 1880s, and the accessed through Livingston beginning in the 1880s. In addition to its main exhibit, the museum also presents “The Livingston Depot in History and Architecture,” and “Film in Montana: Moviemaking under the Big Sky,” as well as an annual featured special exhibit. 

Rounding out the main exhibits in 2020 is the traveling exhibit “On Track: The Railroad Photographs of Warren McGee.”  “On Track” presents an intriguing selection of photos taken over a six-decade span from the 1930’s through the 1990’s by Livingston native and prolific railroad photographer, Warren McGee. Additional historic objects will round out the visitor’s experience of McGee’s remarkable career.  Developed by the Montana Historical Society this exhibit is now part of the Livingston Depot Foundation’s permanent museum collection. 

More information is available through the Depot office at (406) 222-2300 or its website,

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Friday, Jun. 12th, 2020

The Salvation Army provides 200+ home gift boxes in drive-thru distribution

On Saturday, June 13, The Salvation Army Bozeman will distribute more than 200 home gift boxes to families in need at The Salvation Army Thrift Store at 425 E Babcock St from 10am to 4pm or until supplies run out. The event will be drive-thru, meaning families will not have to exit their cars. 

The home gift boxes include items like cooking oil, shampoo, body wash, cleaning supplies and a various assortment of snacks. The boxes are intended for families with access to a kitchen and shower, but all are welcome. There are no eligibility requirements or restrictions for receiving a box. 

The Salvation Army has partnered with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who helped pack the boxes for the distribution event. 

“The Salvation Army cares deeply about our community, when times are difficult, and year after year,” says Lt. Jenn Larson, pastor and administrator for The Salvation Army Bozeman. “With a few simple household staples, we may be able to help families who are struggling to get by.”  

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty during this time and needs assistance, please contact The Salvation Army Bozeman by calling (406) 586-5813 or visiting

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