Many years ago, this organization started when a member of a local quilter’s guild was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her quilting friends decided they were going to make a quilt to raffle with the proceeds going to help their friend. Joyce Longpre, one of the quilters, thought this was a great cause and the group began trying to raise money to help anyone in Sanders County if she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not too long after they started sharing, they decided there were many kinds of cancer diagnoses and they all weren’t ladies! From this modest beginning, CNSC was formed on January 1, 2001. At first, the Clark Fork Valley Hospital allowed us to be part of their foundation so we could be recognized as a non-profit organization for tax purposes. The 501(c)(3) non-profit status for CNSC was gained in March, 2005.
Another dream Joyce Longpre and CNSC pursued, was to invest some of our money in the Montana Community Foundation. Her long-term vision was to have consistent income from the interest of this investment. That dream has become a reality.
When we started in 2001, we were able to give a one-time gift of $50. As we have expanded, we have gradually increased the amount of a gift. We have never had to decrease the amount of the gift. This is made possible because of the wonderful support we have received from the people of Sanders County. We now can look at the numbers over the past 18 years – nearly 1140 gifts for almost $600,000! This number of gifts and total amount we have distributed increases almost daily. CNSC responds with financial assistance between 100 and 120 times per year.