The Nonprofits You Need to Know Right Now -Missoula, MT Edition

Written by: Kayla Sheridan

The Missoula community has over 1,500 listed Nonprofit organizations.

As donors and volunteers, we want to spend our dollar and time on causes that produce the most significant welfare gains. However, many of us actually spend our resources on the causes that we care aboutCharity is exceptionally dependent on our own personal identities & Nonprofits help create a culture within communites.

The Nonprofit sector in Missoula has more organizations per capita compared to most other cities in the United States. The majority of these organizations work hard to both engage and educate individuals on issues and opportunities in the community. For the most part, Nonprofits strive to make positive change, provide a sense of community, and help individuals create an identity. Our Nonprofits in Missoula are essential in sustaining our unique community here!

Below are steps to help you find a Nonprofit you can support -I’ve included a link to the article further explaining these steps at the end of the post.

1)    Align Potential Organizations with Values
2)    Decide What Type of Do-Gooder You Are
3)    Research Online
4)    Fill Your Experience Gap
5)    Search Social Media
6)    Exercise Your Options

Nonprofits make change by bringing people together around a common goal. For anyone who needs to hear it, go find your Nonprofit community and help make our whole community a better place right now! In today’s tech-savvy world, it’s easier than ever to support your favorite Nonprofits.

Article link here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/2017/08/23/how-to-choose-the-right-nonprofit-to-donate-your-time-to/#6af567a39f10

Going to class could save your ass

*WARNING: graphic image at the end*

April 13, 2018 will be a day that will scar me for the rest of my life, literally.

It was a Friday and for one of my classes I had to attend Wiley & the Wild West, a yodeling show. Yodeling is not a genre that I listen to so it’s safe to say I had no desire to go. Luckily, I was in the class with my good friend Caroline and we braved it together. We stayed for about the first 15 minutes and then snuck out. We hurried to her car in the Adams Center parking lot, I plopped into the passenger seat, and that’s where things went south.

I wasn’t sure what happened but I knew it was bad. Acting on instinct, I jumped out of the car.  I looked down at Caroline’s passenger seat, and there it was – a newly broken wine glass.

I looked down and noticed there were drops of blood on the pavement accompanied by an almost numbing pain in my left buttcheek. I called Caroline over and she confirmed that the wine glass had gouged a reasonably sized hole in my favorite jeans (RIP) and my favorite cheek.

So there I am, draped over the trunk of Caroline’s Kia Forte bleeding all over the gym parking lot while she cleans the glass out of the seat. A truck pulled over and a woman jumped out of the passenger seat to see what was going on.

She looked at my butt and said  “I am an EMT and you’re gonna need to go to the hospital.”

We promptly ignored her professional advice, folded ourselves into the Kia and I actively tried to avoid bleeding on Caroline’s seats on drove home. When we got to my house I took off my jeans, laid on the couch, and gave Caroline some tweezers to search for any leftover glass. She took one look and said, “Yeah, you know… maybe we should go to the hospital”.

I wrapped myself in a towel and off we went to the nearest Cost Care. I told them the story and they couldn’t help but laugh. They soon decided that my injury needed to be handled by the ER.

We arrived at the ER,  where I departed an hour later with 7 stitches and one embarrassing ass story.

For the next 2 weeks I couldn’t fully sit down, and on top of that, I owed Caroline a wine glass. Maybe if I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to leave and instead learned to appreciate the art of yodeling all could have been avoided.

Moral of the story, look before you sit and don’t skip class kids.

Glacier National Park: Visiting in Fall

Written by: Ellie Hanousek

Just 3 hours away from Missoula, Montana sits one of the most pristine and beautiful national parks in the west: Glacier National Park. Planning a weekend trip to GNP in the fall season can be a challenge with the park’s fast-changing mountain weather and wildfire conditions.

Although these can be tricky problems to work around, a visit to GNP during these unpopular times provides an experience unlike any other with minimal traffic, trails to yourself, access to abundant wildlife, and beautiful fall colors. Next time you are planning a trip to Glacier, consider a September or early October visit – you will not be disappointed! If you happen to find yourself in GNP during fall season, here are a few of the must-visit destinations:

Morning Coffee @ Many Glacier Lodge

Kick off the early morning after a night of camping at Many Glacier Lake Lodge. Grab a coffee at the lakeside coffeeshop run by world travelers and sit beside a roaring fire overlooking the lake.

Grinnell Glacier Hike

One of the most rewarding hikes on the east side of the park is Grinnell Glacier. This 7.5 mile out-and-back hike stretches along side bright blue glacial lakes and rocky cliffsides marked burnt orange mountain ash trees and alpine meadows. The trail climbs to a perched valley where you will find Upper Grinnell Lake, where the smallest remaining glacier sits in the park: Gem Glacier. The backdrop of Upper Grinnell Lake is called ‘the Garden Wall’ and is part of the continental divide.

Iceberg Lake

Located in prime bear habitat, it is common to see grizzly bears on the distant hillsides of this 10-mile hike. This moderately difficult hike to the lake includes small crossings over footbridges through alpine meadows. A family of moose inhabit the area surrounding IceBurg Lake and can be seen resting in the shade. If you are brave enough, go for a swim in the glacial waters!

Drive the Going-To-The-Sun Road @ Sunset

During peak season, The Going-To-The-Sun road leading to Logan Pass on both the West and East sides of the park is often the most crowded and trafficked road in the park. However, during fall evenings, the road is completely empty – meaning you can pull over, take photos, and view wildlife on your own time! Bring your binoculars to spot birds of prey, big horn sheep, mountain goats, and bear along the way.

Huckleberry Milkshakes @ Two Sisters Café

Treat yourself after a long weekend of hiking and sightseeing with a Montana famous huckleberry milkshake from Two Sisters Café in Babb, MT. This quirky and colorful restaurant makes a perfect pit stop on the way out of the park!

What Losing Friends Has Taught Me

By Gianna Pagano

My Sophomore year of college I met a girl and we instantly connected on so many levels. From that moment forward we became best friends and we were practically inseparable. We did everything together, and I literally mean everything. She was the person that I looked up to for advice on family, friendships, boyfriends, and even academics. Not only was she nice, but she was smart, loyal, spontaneous, hilarious, and most important, she always supported me whenever I needed her.

As we get older and mature into who we decide to become, we often grow out of friendships or lose touch with them. A lot of the times these falling outs can be completely unintentional. Whether we get busy with school, work, family, new relationships, or we simply just change, the truth is that this is just the reality of life. 

I’m sure many of you have experienced something similar, and you can relate that it isn’t easy. There was never an argument or a huge fight that ended our friendship, we simply had a falling out. The past few months have been extremely difficult for me, and I feel that both my friend and I have missed out on being there for each other for many important events.

Having a falling out with a close friend can be emotionally draining, so here are 5 recommendations that helped me and can help many others going through the same process:

Give yourself time to process your emotions and understand the situation

A breakup with a friend can be just as tough as a breakup with a significant other, and it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. To cope with your emotions, start by giving yourself time to grieve and assess your feelings about the situation so you can come to terms with the reality of losing a friend. During grieving, ask yourself: Are our problems beyond repair? Did they do something unforgivable? What caused this to happen?

Since the breakup with my friend, I have experienced about every emotion possible. I initially tried to brush it off and pretend I did not care. However, as weeks turned into months, I realized I was genuinely hurt by the situation and I missed her. I experienced a range of emotions: jealousy, anger, disappointment, loneliness, and confusion. I cried, A LOT.

It is important to remember that it is okay to feel vulnerable during these situations. You might force yourself to hold in your emotions, but bottling up your feelings is not healthy and it is normal to cry it out. 

Look at the situation from their perspective

Everyone has flaws, even you. Try to be more self-aware and understand you might have been in the wrong too. If you both equally contributed to the falling out, then you cannot throw all the blame on them nor should you hold a grudge. It is better to ask yourself: Why did the friendship end? Should I have tried harder to maintain it? Remember, friendship is a two-way street and it takes two people to communicate.

You should take into consideration how they are feeling. When you lose a close friend, it is likely that they are also experiencing the same or similar emotions as you are. And guess what, she probably misses you just as much as you miss her.

Do NOT make your mutual friends choose a side

I cannot express this one enough. A good friend would NEVER try to put their other friends in an uncomfortable position by forcing them to take a side. This problem involves two people, and no one else. Your mutual friends might be hurting too because they’re conflicted and feel they now have to split their time. Making your friends choose a side will only cause more drama and could ultimately make you lose those friends too. 

When both of you are in the wrong, you must be mature and refrain from speaking negatively about them. In my situation, I know that the girl was and still is an amazing person, so I never could say anything bad about her. Talking crap to your mutual friends puts them in an even more difficult position, and frankly, it will make you look petty.

Make new friends

Moving on is never easy but making new friends can be when you put yourself out there. While you may think that no one will ever compare to your lost friend, surrounding yourself around different people can fill the void and offer you new friendship qualities. Evaluate which qualities you look for in a friendship, then find the courage to expose yourself to new people.

I used to struggle when it came to making friends, and when I was younger, I honestly did not have that many. After my falling out, I decided to put myself back out there because I was tired of feeling left out. I ended up meeting a few girls recently that welcomed me in with open arms and have since become people I could not imagine my life without.

And finally, reach out when you are ready

If you are as stubborn as I am, this will be the hardest part. This requires you to be the bigger person and to take initiative. If you realize that you still want them in your life, start by apologizing or reaching out. If the two of you are still unable to resolve your issues, then at least you know you did everything that you could.

I found myself reaching out many times during the first few months, but I eventually stopped because nothing was changing. We would agree that we both missed each other and wanted to resolve our issues, but after each time I reached out, I never heard from her again. It turned into a never-ending cycle and only caused me more pain. I finally had to accept that when she was ready, she would let me know. 

If the friendship was genuine, remember that this is only temporary. Eventually you will both come around and have the opportunity to discuss the situation, but for now it is going to take some distance. In the meantime, be patient, focus on yourself, and understand that sometimes people change.

Say Thank You, It’s Important

I’m writing this blog for a marketing class I’m currently taking and I honestly could not come up with anything I wanted to write about, even after asking multiple people over the past week or so, the writer’s block prevailed.  As it came down to the wire, I thought “I should call my Dad, he always knows what to say.” And then it hit me, why not write about that? Why not talk about my parents? Weird way of getting there? Yes, maybe! But I realized that a shout out to my parents couldn’t possibly be a bad idea.

I’m not generally the most emotional person, or even the most sentimental, but I understand the importance of telling someone how much I love and appreciate them. With that being said, I realized that I really have never said thank you to my parents for shaping me into the woman I am today. So with that, here it goes!

Where to begin? My parents have never been the pushy or overbearing type. They’ve never forced sports or student council or even straight A’s, they simply planted the seeds and watched me do with them what I wanted. I still remember having discussions with my dad in elementary school about becoming class president in high school and how cool it would be to experience something like that. From that moment forward it wasn’t a question of if I wanted to become class president, it was an assumption and a goal. These little seeds were planted over the course of my childhood through casual conversations on the drives home from soccer practices, or nights sitting in my dad’s art studio chatting about politics and the art world. My parents were the best at just letting me be independent and make the decisions I felt were necessary to learn and grow.

Now that I’m away at college, these conversations aren’t quite as common and are definitely more adult in their nature, but they still have the same impact. I call my dad for literally anything school or professionally related. If I’m stressed, or overwhelmed, he always knows what to say to talk me down. He always knows what advice to give me when it comes to that job interview or when I have a breakdown about what I’m doing or where I’m going with my life. How he handles it? I’m not entirely sure! Especially considering I have 3 little sisters he also has to deal with at home. Regardless of how he manages, I can’t express enough how thankful I am to constantly have him there to guide me through life’s challenges.

As for my mom, she’s definitely a cool mom, more of a friend one might say! She’s always there like a mom should be, constantly the first one to ask how my day was and question me about the experiences I’m having at college. She encourages me to take time for myself and to make sure I’m sleeping and eating and all that jazz. She never tells me I’m being a child, even when I throw the occasional tantrum or have an attitude fit for a spoiled teenage girl. I call her when I need advice or guidance in my personal life, whether that’s boy drama or I’m feeling unappreciated and need someone to remind me that everything will be okay. She never fails to tell me how proud she is or to say she misses me and wants to know when I’m coming home. She always knows how to comfort me through my emotional ups and downs and lift me up when I’m feeling depressed from the heaviness of my responsibilities.

So Dad, thank you for always taking the time to advise me, to encourage me and to remind me that the chaos is only temporary. Thank you for constantly showing your support and never ending a conversation without an “I love you.” Thank you for talking with me like an adult and also for occasionally forgetting I’m actually a grown up. I know that’s just a dad thing to do, but it reminds me that even though I’m away at school and living on my own, you’ll always be there to protect me from the monsters in life. Thank you for showing me that sometimes it’s worth it to take risks in order to get the things you want in life. And ultimately, thank you for inspiring me through your hard work and dedication to your career and the obvious passion you have for what you do. And through everything, thank you for never failing to put Mom, me and the girls first.

And Mom, thank you for never doubting me and laughing at my relentless sarcastic comments, even when they’re really not that funny. Thanks for listening to my drama and pushing me to make the best decision and do right by the people around me. Thank you for showing me what it means to truly give your life to your family and your time to your children. Thanks for offering to drive to Missoula when I’m having a rough day and thank you for being positive through the difficult times in life. Thanks for never being afraid to express your feelings and reminding me that sometimes showing compassion and empathy are the best things anyone can do.

These are only a few of the aspects of my relationship with my parents that I’m happy to brag about. But really, thank you Mom and Dad. Thank you for creating balance and stability in my life. Thank you for never pushing, but always nudging me to succeed. Thank you for showing me that I’m really my own worst critic and to lighten up sometimes. Thank you for encouraging me to set my goals high and and my standards higher. Thank you for supporting me and inspiring me every day. I am so appreciative of every ride to practice, every long day spent at tournaments, the academic assemblies, late night phone calls, shopping trips, serious life discussions, gossip sessions, book suggestions, dinner dates, and a whole lot of patience.

I know I used the word “thank you” approximately 212 times and this really only pertains to my parents, but I think it’s important to take a moment every once in awhile to actually express your appreciation for the people who love and care most about you. I’m beyond grateful for the relationship I have with my parents and I’m blessed to have such wonderful role models in my life. Take the time to tell someone you love them, send them a text or leave a simple note, and never forget to say thank you because it’s important! I love you Mom and Dad, thanks for raising me to stand strong and be confident in who I am. I’m forever appreciative of everything you do for me.

Love,

Your Favorite Daughter

Jordyn Kronenberg