MISSOULA – United Way’s ‘Day of Action’ sparked multiple volunteer efforts here in Missoula, but the event is worldwide.
Last year thousands of people gave back in over 19 countries, and here in Missoula people gave back in a variety of ways like helping clean-up efforts here at Purcell Ranch.
To save homes along Highway 12 in the Lolo Peak fire last summer, firefighters did a backburn on the Pursell Ranch property. Insurance will not cover the financial costs of repair from the backburn and that’s where the United Way came in Friday.
Giving back to someone who already made a sacrifice for the community is something that United Way officials say fits perfectly with what Friday’s efforts stand for.
"We all can’t do it by ourselves, and to do it as a community and to do it as a group to have that shared goal and shared vision is something that is, it’s near and dear to our hearts at United Way and why we operate the way we do," said Eric Legvold, Collective Impact and Initiative Manager for United Way.
Another reason why Friday was so important for the United Way is to show some of their donors what kind of projects their money is going to.
"So this is just a way of really getting the people who donate to United Way and our business supporters out and seeing the work that we are doing and contributing to that in a hands-on way. I mean, it’s obviously also a beautiful day today, so I think people are really excited about being out and about I know I’m glad that the weather held out. So yeah, it’s just about mobilizing our community to give back," said Leidy Wagener, Development Manager for Missoula County United Way.
There might be a wide variety of projects, but there was a method to Friday’s madness
"This year one of our goals was really to tie all of our projects back into United Way’s focus areas of education, financial stability and health," Wagener said. "So we run a program called Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Missoula so the reading to kids is a part of that. It’s an early childhood literacy program."