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Missoula Residents ‘Live United’ With Day of Volunteer Work

Original Source - Missoulian

by Rylan Boggs

Missoulians came together Friday to volunteer across the city for United Way’s Day of Action. The international event celebrates volunteerism to help strengthen communities and encourages residents to “live united.”

Yvonne Lowney of First Interstate Bank spent her morning volunteering at Orchard Gardens. The gardens saw 15 volunteers commit their time to weeding out amaranth and lamb's-quarter from the vegetable patches.

The acre-and-a-half garden grows a variety of produce. “Most any vegetable you can think of we grow here,” said gardens employee Sarah Bortis.

A large crew of volunteers from First Security Bank aided Missoula Food Bank employees in erecting a new sign at the future home of the Food Bank at the corner of Wyoming and Caitlin Streets in Missoula.

A crew of volunteers from First Security Bank helped the Missoula Food Bank break ground on its new site. The food bank acquired the acre-and-a-half property on the corner of Catlin and Wyoming streets at the end of May.

The lot, formerly Bakke Motors, has gone unused in recent years, and is overgrown with weeds and shrubs. Volunteers attacked the messy lot with chainsaws, a dump truck and a sense of camaraderie.

Sue Brown smiled and joked as she and her coworkers went about clearing debris from the lot.

“We just like to do it because it’s a good thing to do,” Brown said.

The food bank served 17,560 people in 2014, roughly one out of every six people in Missoula County, according to director Aaron Brock. The current location on South Third Street West is too small to provide the services Missoula requires.

“We don’t have nearly enough room,” Brock said. “Back in 2008, our board identified the need to eventually move to a larger location.”

Once the new location is completed, the facility on Third Street will be sold to help offset the costs of the project.

“It needs a lot of love, but it’s a great location, great size, and great price. So we feel really excited to be here,” Brock said.


More than 100 volunteers from 19 Missoula businesses and organizations joined in Friday's service projects.

Ten local nonprofits benefited from the volunteer effort, including A Carousel for Missoula, Children's Museum of Missoula, The Flagship Program, Missoula Food Bank, Open Aid Alliance, Youth Homes and YWCA of Missoula.

Other crews helped to build a garden fence at Mountain Home Montana, clean up a homeless encampment with the Poverello Center's Homeless Outreach Team, and attack weeds at a variety of Garden City Harvest community gardens.

Work crews came from ALPS Corp., Anderson Zurmuehlen, Blackfoot Telecommunications Group, CASA of Missoula, First Interstate Bank, First Security Bank, HDR Engineering, JCCS, Leadership Missoula 31, Missoula Federal Credit Union, Missoula Independent, Morrison-Maierle, Northwest Farm Credit Services, P.E.O. Chapter Z, Providence St. Patrick Hospital, Side Project 406, University of Montana School of Extended and Lifelong Learning, and Youth Dynamics.