Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What We Do

We can summarize our mission in one word: Community. Meeting real needs right here in Missoula. Making a difference, one relationship at a time. And while we are committed to serving all sorts of people (regardless of creed, color, gender, or sexual orientation, etc.), we are particularly passionate about helping our seniors, because these are folks who often need community most.

We partner with over 13 agencies in Missoula who refer to us. Our official partner is Missoula Aging Services. Others include the YWCA, Hospice Of Missoula, WORD, Western Montana Mental Health Center, and Partners in Home Care. We are also members of MUD, Home Resource, and others to do this work, because working together makes the biggest impact!

Because we're a small organization, we don't have a lot of money to spend - we can't buy people cars, pay their rent, or cover medical bills. But we CAN tackle small things that make a big difference to those in need. For example, we can...
  • ...help people maintain their homes (we can fix a leaky sink, build a fence, paint a house, plant a garden)
  • ...help our seniors stay in their homes longer (by shoveling walks, mowing lawns, raking leaves)
  • ...help find donated items and deliver them (like clothes for kids, supplies for the kitchen)
  • ...help anyone experience community by pitching in and volunteering!
So that's what we do. You might also be interested in The Way We Do It.

In short, if it's a need that can be solved with a little bit of money and a handful of volunteers, we can probably help! Wondering if we could help you? Email at imaginemissoula@gmail.com!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Way We Do It (Core Values)

Just as important as What We Do is the way we do it - here at Imagine Missoula we embrace 5 core values that influence how we go about fulfilling our mission:
  1. diversity - We seek to foster community for all sorts of people, regardless of ethnicity, gender, faith, political convictions, or social status. We believe the best community happens when it is diverse and multifaceted. So we actively work to recruit and serve broadly - anyone who loves Missoula and shares these basic values is welcome to pitch in and get involved!

  2. dialogue - True diversity often leads to differences of opinion. We see disagreements as opportunities to forge new deeper community by building bridges where they do not yet exist. So we actively seek to help people learn how to listen, value, and appreciate others who see the world differently than they do. And what better way to do this than by volunteering together!

  3. relationship - We think relationship lies at the heart of real community. Consequently, we avoid approaching needs as mere checklists (things to get done). Instead, we see needs as opportunities (chances to build relationships), and we actively seek to meet needs in relational ways (even if it means we accomplish a little less at the end of the day). Ultimately, we think friendship is one of the most valuable things we have to offer.

  4. respect - If we're truly committed to being a community of friends, we think we will appreciate and respect people right where they are, rather than trying to change them. We believe in the inherent dignity and value of all human beings, and seek to treat them with the respect they deserve (regardless of race, creed, color, gender, or sexual orientation).
This is who we are. We are happy to work with any organizations (faith-based or secular) that share these basic convictions. Want to know more? Ask us!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Projects

Projects...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Getting Involved

We're creating a network of friends and volunteers - eyes and ears, hands and feet, scattered throughout Missoula - to help identify the needs all around us, to help meet those needs in personal, relational ways.

Here is how you can get involved today with Imagine Missoula...
  1. Get in the loop! - join the Imagine Missoula group on facebook or ask us to add you to our email updates!

  2. Volunteer to help - if you'd like to help with a need, click this link to register (please note that it will take you to an external site), you'll have to give us permission to conduct a background check, and we'll let you know once you're clear to go!

  3. Tell us about a need - know of someone who could use a helping hand? Let us know...

  4. Tell your friends about us - Facebook makes this is easy! Once you've joined the group, you can invite your friends or post a link to us on your profile...

  5. Contribute financially - as a grassroots organization, we depend on financial support from people like YOU - all donations go to meet real needs right here in Missoula, and it's tax deductible! Just click the paypal link on the home page. THANK YOU!

  6. Invite us to speak - part of an organization or group that might like to learn more? We'd love to come explain who we are and what we're up to!
Got a question we haven't answered yet? Ask us! We'll be happy to tell you more...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Asking for Help

Getting help is easy - you just need to ask! And there's three ways to do it!

  1. CALL our answering service at 406-748-MSLA (6752) and leave a message. Someone will call you back within 24 hours.
  2. TEXT your request to 406-748-MSLA (6752). Someone will respond to your request within 24 hours.
  3. EMAIL your request and we'll begin connecting you with able-bodied volunteers immediately!
Even if we can't help with your specific need, we might be able to connect you with someone who can. Please note that Imagine Missoula cannot provide emergency services or repairs.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Q: I need help! What happens next?

Start by asking for help! We will schedule a visit with Nina or another volunteer. She will check out the job, and determine how many volunteers are needed, if any supplies are needed, and if there is anything you need to do to make the job go a little smoother. Then she will get the word out about your need and wait for volunteers to respond. The volunteers will coordinate a date of service with you, and then they will come and do the work. As this is a volunteer dependent service, we can not always meet the need, but do what we can.

Q: How much is it going to cost me?

Zip. Nada. Nothing. We gladly accept donations, but no money is required.

Q: Can Imagine Missoula buy a car for me? Mine is dead!

Probably not. Our focus is on low-cost needs that can be met with a little bit of money and a lot of people power. We help organize volunteers for service related work, and the supplies needed for the job. Instead of money, we offer time, help, and friendship.

Q: Can Imagine Missoula help me move? I don't have any friends or family to help!

Yes. We're great at mobilizing folks to pack boxes, load U-Hauls, and help you get settled in your new place.

Q: What other kinds of things do you do?

Lots! Start by reading what we do. Then just ask us and let's see. Sometimes our volunteer pools have folks with some amazing skills. And if not, we will try to point you in the right direction to get the help you need.

Q: Is Imagine Missoula a religious organization?

Nope. While it's true that we were founded by a church (All Souls Missoula), Imagine Missoula was designed from the get-go to be an independent non-profit, to allow anyone to participate, regardless of their spiritual convictions (or lack thereof).

That said, spirituality is one of our core values - we think you should never have to hide who you are or what you believe. At the same time, we also value diversity and respect: we seek to be friends with all sorts of people, just the way they are, without trying to change them. We are happy to work with any organizations (faith-based or secular) that share these basic convictions.

More questions? Contact 406-748-6752 or imaginemissoula@gmail.com.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Under Construction

Hey folks! Welcome to all of you who are wending your way here from the All Souls Ale site (or All Souls Missoula). As you can probably tell, this site is undergoing a lot of work right now - most of the content should be up by next week sometime. Until then, we appreciate your patience while we work.

Some of you who are wondering "What the heck is Imagine Missoula, anyway?" - here's the very short answer. Imagine Missoula is a grassroots non-profit aimed at 3 specific areas:
  1. mercy (helping people more beautifully),
  2. beauty (taking care of this place we live),
  3. the arts (which teach us to envision and value beauty, for both people and place)
Our goal as an organization is not to accomplish one big thing - rather, it's to foster community by tackling many small things together. In short, we want to create a network of people to help us identify needs and meet needs - typically for less than $250, with plenty of volunteer manpower.

In other words, we're looking for little things that don't cost much besides good will and elbow grease. Because we think that solving these kinds of problems, together, will actually make Missoula a much better place.

If you'd like us to keep you in the loop on this thing, please send me an email and we'll add you to the mailing list as soon as the website is up!

Cheers,
Christian

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Contact Us

Contact us! We mean it!

Call or Text us: 406-748-MSLA (6752)
Email us: imaginemissoula@gmail.com

Mailing address -
Imagine Missoula
P.O. Box 758, Missoula, MT 59806.