Building a Better Community Since 2007

Local Gift Shop Gives Thousands to Customers and Charities in 2018

Wednesday Aug. 8th, 2018

Montana Gift Corral celebrates 25 years in Bozeman with a yearlong giveaway.

The generosity of Montanans is a badge of pride, right next to their independent streak and ability to make a good, strong cup of coffee. Local gift shop Montana Gift Corral has been honoring ideals like these for over two decades, selling souvenirs and gifts which savor Montana culture, its artists, the landscapes, and wildlife. Visitors and locals visit their three Bozeman locations for tangible reminders of a trip to Yellowstone, or another backroad journey in Big Sky Country. But as 2018 marks their 25th anniversary, Montana Gift Corral wanted to do something special in commemoration.

Based on the philosophy that getting a gift feels good, and giving one feels better, Montana Gift Corral is helping its customers do both with a yearlong giveaway. Names go into a hat and are drawn every two weeks. The winners receive a gift card, and Montana Gift Corral then makes a donation—which matches their gift card dollar amount—to any nonprofit of their choice.

The winning charities have ranged from beloved local animal shelter Heart of the Valley to international organizations like VETPAW (Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife). Since January, when the giveaway began, Montana Gift Corral has been able to donate to conservation groups and animal shelters, family and women's’ support organizations, and senior care. Every donation is meaningful—for the individual drawing winner and the donation recipient, as well as for the team at Montana Gift Corral. Manager Les Gundersen shares her sentiments, “The best part of this giveaway celebration is that the money’s going out into communities. Supporting our community organizations and nonprofits is good for all of us.”

In the early 1990s, Sharon and Bert Hopeman opened the first Montana Gift Corral location in downtown Bozeman. July marked Montana Gift Corral’s 25th Anniversary month and fell just past the halfway point in the 2018 giveaway. Hundreds of dollars have been awarded to winning names drawn from the hat, and hundreds more donated to 14 charities and nonprofits thus far during the anniversary celebration. Montana Wildlife Federation, one of Montana’s oldest conservation groups and the party responsible for the state’s famous stream access fishing regulations, was one of the many nonprofits to receive a donation from Montana Gift Corral.

As Les Gundersen reflected with gratitude on the chance to share $6,500 with dozens of different charitable causes by year’s end, the conversation turned to being part of the Main Street Bozeman landscape for more than two decades, sharing Montana memories with gift-givers and receivers all over the world. “The truth is, we never take it for granted that we’re still here in Bozeman, after 25 years. We’re really grateful to be here in this community, and we’re grateful to share this opportunity to give back to—and with—our customers.”

To learn more about how these donations have positively impacted nonprofits, or information on how to participate, please contact Montana Gift Corral at or visit one of its three Bozeman locations, downtown, in the Gallatin Valley Mall, and inside Walmart.