MISSOULA — Students travel to the University of Montana from across the country, some travel extreme distances making it difficult for their families to help them move in.
MTN News met up with members of the Hui Malama group to find out how they are helping some of their students move in.
Moving into the dorms during your freshman year can be quite an intimidating task -- especially when your family is thousands of miles away.
Luckily for those students the Adopt a Griz program is here to help them get acclimated.
Hui Malama representative Ka'au Moana Ahina founded the Adopted a Griz program to help students who are coming into UM and don’t get to travel with their parents or their families -- specifically now that the COVID-19 pandemic has effected a lot of people some students aren’t able to have that type of support.
One of those students is Jhon Rones who came to the University of Montana all the way from Alaska. "They helped me get stuff for my dorm too like foods and stuffs like that and they help me find my classes."
Adopt a Griz even helped set him up with a bike to explore Missoula, "my second day here I got the bike...and then...I already went to the Walmart I bike around and then that’s it so far."
The program has been extremely helpful and participants like Jhon couldn’t be more thankful. "I'm so lucky because I have them. I guess if I don’t have them I don’t know what's going to happen to me [becaue] I don’t know anyone here. And at least I do now you know."
Officials hope to continue developing the program so they can help even more students.
Ahina told us that the donations from the program came from multiple entities like the University and members of Hui Malama.