Donations and Volunteering Links and Information
Missoula County Emergency Assistance Fund
The Missoula County Office of Emergency Management has partnered with United Way of Missoula County to administer Missoula County's emergency assistance fund. When you give at www.missoulaunitedway.org, you can be assured that your donation will used in a fair way to support local citizens impacted by COVID-19.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
United Way of Missoula County is collecting mask donations and distributing them upon request. United Way has set up a collection bin at the front of its building, 412 W. Alder St. in downtown Missoula. All masks must be washable. Missoula Textiles has offered to launder mask donations for free. United Way is not able to accept donations of other goods, including other forms of PPE.
While United Way is accepting homemade mask donations, please keep in mind that healthcare organizations are not using homemade masks in the medical setting. Homemade masks have not gone through the same safety tests as masks worn by first responders and medical providers. The fabric available in the community has not undergone testing, so there is no way to know which fabrics, if any, will provide actual protection in a healthcare setting.
Community members who need homemade masks can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not call, as their staffing is limited at this time. For information on how to make face masks, national retailer JOANN Fabrics and Craft Stores has released a video tutorial. However, the primary medical role of masks is to reduce the chance that people who are ill can spread a virus by breathing or coughing on others. People should not expect homemade masks to serve as adequate protection against getting a virus. Handwashing and social distancing are still the best way to protect yourself from the COVID-19 virus.
Volunteer Missoula is organizing volunteers to help in safe, healthy ways.
The Red Cross is facing a shortage of blood and platelets and urges eligible, healthy donors to make an appoint online.
Salvation Army Tech Hub
The Missoula Salvation Army and Missoula Interfaith Collaborative are providing access to laptops, iPads, charging stations and other resources for people who need internet access to apply for jobs, search and apply for housing, check email, find resources, or connect with family and friends. The organization needs volunteers to staff the tech hub from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays. They will provide masks and gloves for volunteers and participants and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Contact Katie at 406-285-1795 or visit the Volunteer Missoula website for more information.
UM Food Pantry
The UM Food Pantry is currently providing free meal kits and hygiene products for any community member, not just UM students. The pantry is seeking monetary donations so it can keep supplying these essentials. You can donate online.
UM Emergency Student Support Fund
UM and the UM Foundation have established the Emergency Student Support Fund to help enrolled students meet their basic needs by alleviating unexpected financial hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic. All resources offered through the fund are made available by generous donations from family, friends and alumni of the University of Montana. Community members interested in helping students in need may give online by visiting www.supportum.org/emergencyfund.