I’m thrilled to celebrate a huge milestone with you: Five years of working with refugee and immigrant families in Missoula!
Looking back, I haven’t forgotten how it felt to witness the Syrian refugee crisis unfolding in the news, with my then newborn baby in my arms.
That moment ignited the Missoula community’s desire to act.
By joining forces with friends and neighbors, families from around the world who were torn form their homes found safe ones in here in Missoula.
Today, we’re celebrating that for five years, our community has welcomed hundreds of new neighbors who are embarking on the next chapter in the stories of their lives.
We’re celebrating that we’ve supported refugee and immigrant families through our Community Resource Center, Youth programs, United We Eat, driver education classes, and U.S. citizenship tutoring.
We’re celebrating that we haven’t done this work alone. We’ve done it together with you – a generous community of donors, volunteers, and partner organizations that makes this welcome possible.
Every day at Soft Landing, I see the difference you make in the lives of Missoula’s new neighbors and I am truly awed.
Our friend, Aoci, was the first to arrive as a refugee in Missoula when resettlement restarted through our efforts five years ago. He recently came to see us for help studying for his U.S. citizenship. I asked him about his five-year anniversary in Missoula and he said, “I love many things in Missoula. I received a good welcome from people in Missoula. I have work, I’m feeling good because my life is good now.”
He added with excitement, “I’m studying very hard [for citizenship]. Soft Landing helps me study. Now, I’m ready to help someone. You know why? The Bible says, ‘When you receive free you can give someone free too.’ I’m ready to teach someone for free because someone is teaching me for free.”
We’re also celebrating that in the coming year, our community will welcome twice as many new neighbors as in any previous year. It’s an exciting moment in our collective journey.
Over the next year, Missoula will be resettling 150 refugees and 75 additional individuals from Afghanistan. We’ll also work alongside the 200 individuals we’ve come to know and love as family over the past five years.
Your contribution will help more families that ever connect to Soft Landing’s free support and resources that help from arrival through citizenship . . . and beyond.
We’re excited to welcome 225 new neighbors in the coming year. Five years into this incredible journey and with your continued support, we feel prepared to meet this wonderful challenge.
Steadfast support from passionate, caring people like you means that together this “soft landing” will continue. We are deeply grateful.
This season, will you give so that together we can welcome and help more families to integrate and thrive here in Missoula?
In love and gratitude,
Executive Director, Soft Landing Missoula