2/28/19 Newsletter

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Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs).

Would you know what I meant if I said the term SIV? Many people have never heard of this status for coming to the United States as a refugee. It was created to provide a path to safety for the brave and generous men and women from Iraq and Afghanistan who put their lives on the line to serve along side our own US Military as interpreters and provide an essential lifeline for our soldiers to the communities they were working in. Recently, we sponsored a film for the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival called "The Interpreters".  This film showed the hardship and danger that Iraqi and Afghan translators face due to working with the US- tens of thousands of who, with their families, are still in very eminent danger. 
In response to the continued slowing down of refugees into America- including SIV's- we sponsored this film and partnered with Soft Landing Missoula board member and Marine Corps veteran, Clem Work, and a local Missoula veteran who worked along side interpreters in his tours of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan, Andrew Person, to present an op-ed advocating for SIVs.  As stated in the op-ed, "Nearly 73,000 SIVs have settled in the U.S. in the past 12-plus years (only two in Montana), but delays and red tape are putting applicants in harm’s way."  We want you to know that there are still tens of thousands of people who qualify for this status, waiting somewhere, hiding somewhere, for America to say thank you and welcome them home.  

Please take a moment to read the rest of thisvery thoughtful op-edand join us in advocating for SIV's by calling on Congress and the President to prioritize getting these families to safety.

In love and gratitude,

Mary Poole
ED Soft Landing Missoula

March Supper Club!

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Join us at Masala for Soft Landing Missoula’s March 10th supper club! This month we are excited to showcase the talents of guest chef Merry Gebray from Eritrea.

Merry’s meals are wonderful, packed with flavor and prepared with heart. There will also be a coffee ceremony following dinner—a daily tradition and staple of Eritrean culture!

Call Masala at (406) 926- 6444 to reserve your seat!

Reserve your spot today- they go QUICKLY! More details here.


Volunteer Spotlight- Chase Gay (aka Mr. Cheese)

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Chase volunteers with our Teen Team and has also made numerous trips to Helena to help families with their Green Card applications. He also comes to our office every Thursday to meet with clients, answer phones and help with whatever comes up. One of the refugees was gushing about how nice and helpful Mr. Chase is and accidentally called him Mr. Cheese instead. Now, of course, that is all we can call him. We are so grateful for you, Mr. Cheese! Find out more about this incredible guy here.


Upcoming Events

Flying Squirrel Bounce Night!

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Looking for a warm, dry place to spend some quality time having fun with family and friends? Take a break from the cold and come hang with us at Flying Squirrel Missoula for our first Bouncing Bucks Jump Night fundraiser!

On March 22, from 5-9p, 50% of your admission ticket will go to Soft Landing Missoula if you just say you’re with us!

Spread the word, bring your friends and make sure everyone mentions Soft Landing when purchasing admission tickets for us to benefit from this fun evening! We will also be there jumping with a crew of awesome kiddos!

IRC Petition- DUE MARCH 4TH!!

We have so many wonderful partners participating in the 2019 Legislative Session, working together as members of a coalition called MIRA, Montana Immigrant and Refugee Advocates.

As part of the effort to show support for refugees in Montana, on March 8th, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) will be hosting their first legislative briefing in Helena to educate state lawmakers about refugees and their resettlement process. 

Leading up to this day, they also need our help! They will be bringing this petition to Helena and it will be shared with all Montana legislators. Please circulate within your networks and share state wide! To show support for your new refugee neighbors and to tell legislators that you believe in the value of resettling refugees here in Montana, click the link below. Lets help them get hundreds, if not over a thousand signatures! It is an easy and quick way to Stand With Refugees! Link to sign the petition here!

SAVE THE DATE!!

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Soft Landing’s 3rd Annual World Refugee Day Cup is happening June 16th 2019. More info on how to play and party with us coming your way soon. See you there!!!