University Relations and Communications


December 21, 2017

 Tumblers gathering donations


Neil Chaput De Saintonge and Keith Graham, Pass Creek School, 2014, Digital inkjet print, 22" x 28".

Tumbling for a cause

MSU Billings students give back to the community



University Relations and Communications, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Students in Communication in Small Groups class at Montana State University Billings (MSUB) worked on a number of projects for the majority of their fall semester. One group chose to work with the Tumbleweed Runaway Program to raise awareness about homeless teens in their community by raising donations for the nonprofit organization.


When asked about her inclusion in the project, one of the group members, Meranda Sargent replied, “I am so excited to be in a class that allows us to give back to our community! I feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity to help those that are less fortunate.”


The students that have been involved with the project are Meranda Sargent, Brooke Burkett, Brooke Lueck, and Daniel Lurie. When tasked with finding a non-profit in need, they chose to work with Tumbleweed because they were inspired by what the organization did for young adults and the community. They formed under the group name: The Tumblers.


After figuring out what donations Tumbleweed was most in needed, the Tumblers decided to incorporate the residence halls on the MSUB campus and Faith Chapel into the project. Faith Chapel has been collecting donations at one of their fellowship groups which meets every Tuesday. Additionally, there were multiple shopping carts set up in both Petro and Rimrock Hall to give students the opportunity to donate to Tumbleweed.


The Tumbleweed Runaway Program was established in 1978 and strives to serve the needs of children and young adults. These services include, but are not limited to: supplying food, shelter, emergency services, teaching them life skills for integration into the workforce, and even have a platform set up to combat human trafficking.


When asked about the Tumblers’ project, Nick Zullo, Development Director for Tumbleweed, said “We’re serving youth victims that are young and vulnerable in our society and changing lives. Having the support from the MSUB students with this project really moves us forward in our work. It is much appreciated.”


If there are any questions about the organization, please contact the Tumbleweed Runaway Program by phone at 406-259-2558 or by email at To learn about the partnership between MSUB and Tumbleweed, contact Melinda Tilton, University Lecturer, at 657-1728,