MISSOULA — If this COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it's that 'community matters'.
The 7th annual Missoula Gives and Bitterroot Gives kicks off a 26 hour celebration on Thursday in hopes of raising $1 million for area non-profits.
There are 163 area non-profits participating in the online fundraiser that supports everything from CASA to Garden City Ballet, non-profits that help with housing and food, the arts, and more.
The online event not only raises money to support these groups but also helps them get the word about "what they do" and "how they help."
The website is easy to navigate and when the event begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, there will be a live stream with music and entertainment to get people excited and engaged -- because it's been a tough year for everyone.
"I think people want to help more, says Missoula Community Foundation's Marcy Allen. "I think we've seen an increase in people's giving and they understand more clearly the role nonprofits play in supporting our community and supporting those with hardships."
"Nonprofits in the past year have had to work really hard to tell their stories online because they're not having the normal interactions they have with donors," Allen continued. I'm really excited because there are some really great showcases and different events going on throughout the day."
According to a news release, the annual event raised more than $800,000 in 2020 and this year hopes to be a celebration of Missoula and Bitterroot Valley communities that connects generous Missoulians and Bitterrooters with the causes they care about.
It is a day to celebrate the critical role nonprofits play in making our community great.
“More than ever, our nonprofits need support from our community,” Allen said. “These organizations have been a large part of what’s kept our community moving forward during the pandemic and it’s time to show them how much we value all that they do.”
The Missoula Community Foundation will host the live stream throughout the event from the MCAT space at the newly-opened Missoula Public Library.
The live stream will feature local comedians Teresa Waldorf and Rosie Ayers, former Missoulian & comedian Chris Fairbanks, musician Travis Yost and father/daughter “You Must Know Everything” podcast phenoms Jeremy N. and Rasa Smith.
It will also feature panel discussions on affordable housing and art with local experts.
Click here to view a live stream of the event.