Missoula doesn’t often lay claim to a unified identity- except, maybe, being the eccentric blue dot in a red state. Our diversity draws in start-up entrepreneurs and communal-living aficionados alike, bros and artists, protesters and politicians. It’s this mix that keeps Missoula weird (just the way we like it).
But as the worst floods in 100 years have pushed into the valley, Missoulians showed up for each other. For all of our niches and all of our eccentricities, Missoulians united easily around the common goal of helping others. Thousands of residents came out to shovel sand, fill care packages, bring food and lend their trucks, money and time to support those impacted by flooding.
The water hasn’t resided and there are still lots of opportunities to help. The Missoula United Way is collecting funds to support displaced families and individuals. Sandbag filling stations are set up at Fort Missoula, and a Missoula Flood Support Facebook page is actively updated with ways for you to reach out and help.
Missoulians know we’re viewed as a little bit of an anomaly in Montana. We’re weird and my family east of the mountains likes to call us “granolas.” But what’s important is that we show up for one another when it counts. After spending a sunny Sunday morning shoveling sand alongside my fellow Missoulians, I can attest that it’s an experience that might make your back a little sore, but I promise it will strengthen your faith in our community.
We are a community that can pick up a shovel and dig in together. Go ahead and keep Missoula weird. Being weird doesn’t keep us from being united for one another.