We entered the decade of the 1980s serving more than 60,000 adults and children. During the next ten years, we opened new Goodwill stores and expanded into the surrounding states of Wyoming and Idaho. The organization also began to feel the impact of direct competition from private and public entities.
Multiple name changes accompany growth
By 1980 our organization, founded as the Montana Society for Crippled Children and Adults, had changed its name three times. With the addition of our Goodwill affiliation in 1979, we entered the decade of the 1980s as Easter Seal Society/Goodwill Industries of Montana. The acquisition of Easter Seal affiliations in Idaho and Wyoming and the southern Goodwill affiliation in Idaho, combined with a name change by national Easter Seal to Easter Seals, led to still more changes. Eventually, by the end of the 1980s we had settled into the name Northern Rocky Mountain Easter Seal Society/Goodwill Industries of Montana and Southern Idaho.
Home care services added
In 1984, under the umbrella of our vocational services, we added home care case management services for adults with disabilities in the Great Falls area. Services continued to grow and a personal home aide component was added by 1987. At the end of the decade we were providing over 2,000 hours a year of in-home assistance to area adults. This established the foundation from which today’s clinical services were built. While we’ve shifted away from case management, we have added home health care and hospice services, as well as private duty nursing care. Our coverage area has also expanded to include 15 counties in north central and southwestern Montana.
Adult Day Services begin in Great Falls
Our organization was granted a license in 1987 to provide adult day care services to physically disabled adults. We were the first noninstitutional organization in our three-state territory to receive such a license. The new Adult Day was located in our Great Falls, Montana Rehabilitation and Training Center. In subsequent years, the program moved to several locations until returning to this original building in 2013, following an extensive building remodeling project. Today, adult day services is in a bright, modern space with custom designs to better fit the needs of our participants.
Teleservices aid fundraising efforts
Teleservices came into use initially during Easter Seal Society’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor fundraising program, in which our organization participated early in the decade. In the late 1980s we were conducting telemarketing for a growing list of other Easter Seal affiliates as well. The operation was located in our Billings office and employed more than 15 operators, many of whom were disadvantaged workers that we had trained for the positions. In 1987 we also began utilizing teleservices to help increase donated goods for Goodwill stores in Montana and in Denver, Colorado. In 1989 we added a telemarketing operation in Great Falls as well, focused on training and employing disadvantaged adults.