Newsletter 9/4/19- Welcoming Week and more!

Has it really been 4 years?

This time of year is always a bit of a whirlwind for us at Soft Landing Missoula- a time of duality. We are trying to enjoy the last bit of summer sun and adventure while at the same time finding balance as kiddos return to school.  We are experiencing the abundance that new staff and interns bring to our work lives after a “lean” couple of months with fewer UM students around.  We are reflecting on the joyful and beautiful families we have come to know and are watching the turn of the fiscal year bring a new and potentially even lower number of refugees to America in 2020.  We are fighting the possibility of a Presidential Determination set at zero, but are hopeful in the face of this uncertainty because you are fighting with us. AND, it is especially nostalgic this time of year as we remember that 4 years ago today, the idea of Soft Landing Missoula took root in our hearts as our chests were cracked wide open by the photos of Alan Kurdi and there was no choice but to ask the questions; If not us- who? If not now- when? Out of these questions rooted in tragedy, grew the most beautiful and wonderful, life-changing and life-affirming effort by an entire community. So yeah, a little bit of duality this time of year 😉

As we remember that moment- that one moment of one day that changed so many lives- we gear up to celebrate all that welcoming refugees has meant to us, our city, our state, and our new neighbors.  For the third year of participating in Welcoming Week– a national week of events- we will be joining with other wonderful groups, individuals, and businesses to bring you 9 events to celebrate refugees and immigrants in our city and our state. From those newly here, to those who have been making a positive mark in our communities for decades, we are taking this time to say “Welcome” and “Thank You” and we value the strength, resilience and diversity you bring to our lives.  

Join us for one, two, or all nine of the events!  There will be a little bit of everything-  new participating communities (woooohooo to Missoula’s Venezuelans!), old favorites (freshly roasted Eritrean coffee, international soccer games!), ways to ACT (work parties with beer!), an inaugural rally, delicious food in the form of Middle Eastern sweet treats (obviously!!!), and the best kick off party ever- complete with the return of the Together Missoula Global Pale Ale brewed just for this week!

Look for the Together Missoula banners around downtown all month and share the news that it is time to celebrate and it is time to act!

In love and gratitude,

Mary Poole
ED Soft Landing Missoula

PS- In case there weren’t already enough links to make you go crazy in this newsletter- I am currently obsessed with this song and wanted to share 😉


Events and Opportunities

>> WELCOMING WEEK– One of our biggest weeks of the year with too many events to list here; check out all of the ways you can celebraterefugees and immigrants in our community during Missoula’s 3rd annual, 9 day event, starting with a fantastic kick-off party at Imagine Nation Brewing on Sept 13th from 6-8p! Whew! >>

>> World View film series- We are happy to continue to sponsor this great series that creates a window to the world in partnership with The Roxy, Arts Missoula, the International Rescue Committee in Missoula, and more. Come check out this fall’s line up of FREE movies that starts September 9th- the theme is art from around the world: Cultures on Display.>>

>> Free Public Lecture by Mĩcere Gĩthae Mũgo: World renowned author, activist, and educator speaks at UM Sept 24th at 7p about transformational scholarship guided by Ubuntu- the essence of being human.  More details available here.>>



As the refugee resettlement “ceiling” will be set in the next few weeks for the Fiscal Year 2020 (starting October 2019), we are asking you to help save a very successful program that has changed many thousands of lives across the country, including more than 300 here in Montana in the last 3 years. Find out how we can help the national ceiling be set at at least 95,000 individuals, not at zero!

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Do you see anything listed on our office resource board that you have and/or would be able to provide to refugee families in Missoula? Feel free to stop in our office for a better look at this ever changing board or to drop stuff off 9-4 M-F!

***We are also looking to BORROW some card tables for a Welcoming Week event. Please email if you have any available that you wouldn’t mind lending for a day!****

And now for some more fun stuff……..

We were so excited to celebrate the opening of the new Universal Revival Church founded by Congolese refugees in Missoula. It was such a beautiful ceremony and we would like to share a few images with you! Regular Sunday service takes place at the Public House at 1pm and is full of song and celebration.