Missoula Gives. And Gives Some More!

Tonight at 6 p.,m a city-wide "day of giving" through Missoula Gives begins. This year their goal is to raise $300,000 for local non-profit organizations. This astonishing number showcases how incredible and giving the Missoula community is and I am positive it will be reached! Soft Landing Missoula is excited to be a part of this for the second year in a row and I mainly mention this to once again voice my extreme gratitude for this little city we call home.

I got to see this same compassion, openness, and support for two incredible events that happened over the last week: The opening dinner for SALAM's Celebrate Islam week for which refugee and immigrant women and men cooked up a HUGE and delicious feast, and the play (through a UM GLI group) "When one Becomes Many" that was written and performed by Congolese refugee families. Hundreds, and I mean HUNDREDS, of people showed up for both of these events, where much, if not all, of the proceeds went directly to the families that participated. I was in awe of the talent and effort that went into both of these events, and once again in awe of you, Missoula. I keep saying "Missoula" but I would also like to recognize those I saw from around the state at these events and the donations that continue to come in from the Bitterroot, Flathead, Bozeman, Great Falls, Billings and other spots in Montana! Thank you so much for continuing to welcome our new neighbors with huge smiles, open arms, and even at times, your pocket books!

We very much appreciate your donations through Missoula Gives, but I want to also highlight three other ways you can help as we gear up for a very busy summer:

1) Donate swimsuits! A wonderful and hardworking volunteer has successfully gotten a grant to work with the YMCA to offer free swim lessons to refugee families. We are now trying to make sure everyone gets a nice new (or like new) swim suit. We will be accepting all sizes of new suits at our office, as well as gift cards for Walmart, Target, and Bob Wards so the families can pick out their own suits. Stop by and visit or email info@softlandingmissoula.org for other arrangements.

2) and 3)  Please check out our Volunteer page. We have agreed to manage all new home set-ups for incoming families (and yes! they are still coming!) and help take the bulk of this work off the International Rescue Committee's (IRC) plate. We are also sponsoring a booth at the Missoula Farmers' Market for our families to sell yummy homemade treats and need a ton of help with all aspects of this!  Check out the Volunteer page for more details or email volunteer@softlandingmissoula.org.

That is all for now my lovely community of Missoula and Montana ;)  Enjoy the sun today!

In love and gratitude,
Mary

Donate Today: Missoula Gives

Soft Landing Missoula is participating in Missoula Gives, which kicks off today, May 4, at 6 p.m. and runs through tomorrow, May 5, at 6 p.m. It's easy to participate! Visit our Missoula Gives page to donate or visit one of the Donor Lounges happening around town (drop in, socialize, donate!). Donor Lounges can also accept cash and check donations. Donate now!

The New Neighbors Project

Self-directed refugee stories from the new American West

We are so excited to be a small part of this amazing project that is giving some of Missoula's new refugee families the chance to tell their own stories from behind the cameras!  Please consider contributing to this Kick Starter Campaign to help them get this project off the ground and equip the filmmakers with appropriate equipment. Donations accepted through Thursday, May 25! Get more info and donate.

Dialogue Across the Divide

Just a few spots left!

Have you ever been too nervous to engage in conversation with neighbors, friends, and family around refugees or other potentially divisive topics? Or maybe you have no trouble diving in, but you find it rarely goes well? Do you want to learn more about ways that we can use dialogue to create a welcoming community for all?  Then join Soft Landing Missoula as we explore "Dialogue Across the Divide" and gain new skills to more comfortably exist in this challenging space. Learn more and sign up.

Supporter Stories: Kristin Freeman

"As politics were getting so heavy last fall, I was feeling depressed for the first time ever in my life. I was telling my physical therapist, 'Boy, I’m going to start seeing a counselor to try and find a way to deal with this depression.'  I’ve never felt so bad before and there’s all this news that’s so negative. She said, 'Have you ever thought about calling Soft Landing and maybe seeing if you might find some work with the refugees?' Read more.