October 18, 2018 Newsletter
You do you.
So, the elephant in the room and on everyone's mind is Missoula's visitor that is flying in (and out) this evening. There are a lot of opinions, actions, and in-actions happening around this strange and somewhat confusing event. We are an organization who strives to be inclusive and a-political, yet we are still staring down a situation in which the very heart and soul of our work is being threatened and systematically dismantled by current politics. What is the appropriate response? Yeah, we don't really know either. There are a lot of different things going on today that people can choose from to express what you need to express and I guess the best advice I have heard is- You do you. These words from mentor, visionary, and one of my "sheros"- Betsy Mulligan-Dague of the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center, do a spot on job of summing it up,
"On Thursday both harmony and conflict will co-exist in our town. Wherever you find yourself, and whatever your heart leads you to do, I hope you see it as an opportunity to be the change you want for the world. And may that opportunity lead to many more. Believing in the basic principles of our country means agreeing to the responsibility to take part in it however messy that is."
For us at Soft Landing, we took a pause and recognized that the work we do every day IS the action that makes our souls feel forward moving in the face of the situation we find ourselves in. That is how "we do us". Last night, I had the extreme privilege to tag along with my incredible staff, a seriously awesome intern, and dedicated volunteers to introduce three teenage girls from Africa to an American college campus (UM) and two Montanan mayors, one from Africa (Thanks Wilmot!)! We all sat in awe of these smart and talented young ladies and watched the spark in their eyes for all of the possibilities that await them.
Tomorrow, we will host kiddos on a day off of school to carve pumpkins and partake in the sheer and untethered joy of this silly holiday that is Halloween. Our only goal is just to be a bunch of goofy kids together. Just last week, we participated in a dinner put on by Missoula Federal Credit Union as they hosted the North America Chapter of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and highlighted their work to serve Missoula's refugee families. This not only included an incredibly generous donation to Soft Landing and the International Rescue Committee Missoula, but also showcased the programing they have built in their own institution and their values of economic inclusion for all.
So thats it. This is what I mean. "You do you" and our collective actions come together to move that needle. We can, and do, all play a part.
We wish everyone a safe and productive day.
In love and gratitude,
PS- YES! We are announcing our October Supper Club today! Run quick to the phone and good luck!
PPS- I recently had the joy of meeting with Eric Halverson and participating in his podcast, Insight on Impact- a podcast about folks working to make Missoula, Montana a better place. I had a lot of fun talking about Soft Landing with him and am honored to be among the incredible Missoula nonprofit leaders he has featured. Check out Episode 7 and all of the other great episodes online or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes ;)
October Supper Club
Returning to Masala this month, this will be our first dinner featuring a Congolese Chef!
Where: Masala, 206 W Main St, Missoula, MT 59802
When: Sunday, October 28th. Doors at 5:30pm and dinner at 6:00pm
Winter Clothing Drive
Help keep Missoula's refugee families toasty this year!
We are accepting a wide array of new and lightly used winter items as the days get shorter and colder! Find out how you can donate items here!
Important opportunity- 60 day comment period!
Proposed changes to broaden the definition of who is “likely to become a public charge,” could harm many children and families of non-resident, documented immigrants. While this, as of now, does not include refugees, we still feel strongly that this is a cruel and unnecessary obstacle placed in front of vulnerable families. Find out how you can take action here.
Volunteer Opportunities with Partners
Have you ever thought that the setting of one-on one tutoring would be right for you? These hands on opportunities are wonderful ways to get to know Missoula's refugee and immigrant communities first hand. There are currently 3 partners looking for English tutors and there are options for both kiddos and adults. Check out the opportunities here.
Holiday Food Options
Are you catering a party this holiday season and want to "spice it up"? Would you like to bring a delicious and unique sweet treat to your next shared dinner or event? Maybe you would even like to turn a cozy evening with close friends into an experience and take a cooking class?! We have just the option for you this holiday season and beyond! Check it out and feel free to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!