As we ring in the New Year, it gives me great joy to reflect on the past year and imagine how we will make 2017 even better for our community and the new families that have found a home here. (Scroll down to find out how you get can involved!)
Who would have thought how quickly this all would happen? In one year we have helped nearly 50 people fleeing violence and persecution relocate in Missoula, witnessing a new world of opportunity flourish for them and their families.
All of our successes have been possible because of your support: the overwhelming support of the Missoula community, the hundred-plus volunteers that are working with us and the IRC everyday, the amazing organizations and facilities in Missoula that have stepped up to the plate and are hitting home runs (go MCPS!) and finally, your financial contributions to support opening our community center and increasing our programing capacity. This is all you. Thank you!
Thanks to you our year-end campaign raised over $13,000! These contributions will help us increase education and outreach opportunities across the state, sponsor our next lecture (slated for February), provide resources for our growing English language and driver’s education classes (so lovingly run by volunteers!), and help us have a voice in this year’s Montana state legislative session. We cannot thank you enough for your help in this important work.
We will face additional challenges this year. We will have to adapt and maybe even roll with some punches. With a new year will come new adventures, and I have complete confidence that the incredible volunteers, our outstanding board, our city and county elected officials, and the other organizations and facilities supporting our mission, will continue to build a city that is welcoming and vibrant—a place where refugee families can find respite and opportunity. I am so proud of you all.
This year my family’s New Year’s celebration looked pretty different than years past. We had the honor of assisting some of our families with their tradition of providing a feast for their community—complete with a goat that broke loose and almost made a harrowing escape! As a lifelong Montana hunter, my husband was mesmerized by the difference in process, but every single one of us felt at home around that fire pit, sharing tradition, meat, laughter, and song. It was a beautiful moment that I hope to continue to make a tradition for my own family for years to come.
In love and gratitude,
Winter Clothes Still Needed
We are really in need of the following: Coats, boots, mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, thick socks, long underwear and snow pants/suits. All sizes are welcome, but sizes for school-aged children are the most needed. More details.
Women’s March on Montana
SLM will be participating in The Women’s March on Montana on Saturday, January 21.Read more and consider joining us!
MAC Day: Show your support in Helena
There are multiple anti-refugee/anti-immigrant bills in play for the 2017 Montana State Legislature. We must have a presence at the Capitol to have our voices heard. We will be participating in MAC Day at the Legislature on Monday, January 23, in Helena. More details.
This month we’d like to spotlight Hayley Wright and Grant Parker, who have taken the lead on our English tutoring program that is offered in our Community Center. We are so happy that they are giving their time and energy to this important endeavor and we want to say thank you! Read more!