June 22 Newsletter



Saturday’s celebration of World Refugee Day with our First Annual Soccer Tournament and Community Celebration was a smashing success! We are so so thankful for all who showed up to play and party with us and of course, the sponsors of the event! 

I couldn’t even begin to count the number of ear to ear smiles all day, from soccer players, to dancers, to people enjoying delicious food together, and of course our lovely volunteers who once again made the day happen. We knew this event would help build community between old and new Missoulians, but it has also been so neat to see some of the refugee families that didn’t know each other come into the office this week and hug and laugh about how sore everyone still is!  

Another HUGE thanks to our own Molly Cottrell, not just for this idea, but also designing the tournament and successfully arranging the teams so well that every team won at least one game and the final match had to be decided by a shootout!  Same time and place next year, so mark it on your calendars. You are not gonna want to miss it! 

We have one more SUPER exciting announcement to make: We have officially hired Carlyn Runnels as a third member of our team! Carlyn brings years of experience and much needed skills to SLM, but perhaps even more importantly, a sunny disposition and a roll-your-sleeves-up scrappiness that fits right in at our office. She has jumped right in and will be filling the role of Volunteer Coordinator (and more!) so I am sure many of you will get the privilege of meeting her soon. We are so happy you are with us Carlyn!

I will leave you with a couple memories of the fun we had at Saturday’s soccer tournament: My favorite is a short video the Missoulian shot starring Gilbert Hategeka from Congo. Here is also a link to the Missoulian article and picturesthat are fabulous! Thanks again everyone for coming out and enjoying yourselves!

In love and gratitude,

Mary Poole

Airbnb + IRC

There is a wonderful new way Airbnb owners can support refugee families. Check it out!

Volunteers Needed for Drivers Ed

We run a fabulous little program for folks interested in working toward getting their driver’s license and have already helped a handful of folks all the way through this process! Our summer volunteer staffing for this program is a bit slim but it is one of our most popular classes and it’s fun! Please consider volunteering with this class. Learn more and contact us!

Upcoming Event

We are partnering with SALAM (Standing Alongside America’s Muslims) to screen 5 short films about refugees at home and abroad including 4.1 Miles next Wednesday, June 28, at the Missoula County Public Library at 6 p.m. Get more details.