What it Means to Be "More Missoula" Than Ever in Times of Hardship

What it Means to Be "More Missoula" Than Ever in Times of Hardship

Our city has slowed down drastically in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, and with that has come undeniable hardship and hurdles for many Missoulians. But in response to those challenges we have seen our community come together (theoretically, of course) in incredible, heartwarming, and downright brilliant ways. We don't have to float the river or shop at farmers markets to be true Missoulians—these acts of kindness and ingenuity have made us feel more "Missoula" than ever before.

Howl for Missoula

Have you heard it? What started as a simple idea has grown into a city-wide phenomena, in which thousands of Missoulians join together every night at 8pm to howl their hearts out. Yes, we said "howl." The Howl for Missoula Facebook page, which grew from 0 to nearly 15,000 followers in a matter of weeks, explains why:

Attention Missoulians!! Each night at 8:00 pm while in “shelter-in-place”, please head outside your home and HOWL or CHEER for our health care workers, those on the front lines as well as remind others in our community that they’re/we’re not alone. For ALL of the essential workers out there, let’s let them know HOW MUCH we appreciate the sacrifices they are making during this challenging time. This is a great way to show our support……so please step outside to get some fresh air, and HOWL! (It really is refreshing!! I promise!) This is a great way to come together so cheer as loud as you can! We got this Missoula!

We have to hand it to them—it is refreshing. And in a time when we all crave community and support, the collective howl sweeping across the valley is enough to give you goosebumps. Check out more videos like this on their Facebook page and @howl_for_missoula on Instagram.



Photo courtesy of @howl_for_missoula on Instagram.

Miss Montana Crew Has a New Mission

Last year Miss Montana's famous mission was to fly to Normandy and join dozens of other historic war planes to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Normandy. This year, the Miss Montana crew answered the call for a new mission as they saw some Montana communities struggle to get the supplies they need to fight the spread of COVID-19. Crew member Bryan Douglas picked up large quantities of hand sanitizer, produced by a local Bozeman distillery, and set out to fly around the state and drop sanitizer off in communities such as Sidney, Miles City, Glasgow and more.

Photo courtesy of Miss Montana to Normandy and Beyond Facebook page.

Missoulians Use Virtual Tip Jars for Local Musicians

Live music by local musicians is a Missoula tradition we just couldn't live without, even while social distancing. So folks found a responsible and creative way to watch live performances from their living rooms using tools like Facebook Live and Instagram Live, and tipping musicians using tools like Venmo and Paypal. If there's one thing you can count on Missoulians for, it's supporting their local artists.

Imagine Nation Brewing Sews Face Masks

You can still get a growler fill from Imagine Nation Brewing 2-7pm daily, but beer isn't the only thing they're creating right now. The community-focused brewery recently posted on their social media calling for new employees to help sew face masks for those on the front lines. Since their initial post they've expanded their team to over 15 employees, whose goal is to make 25,000 masks each week.

Photo courtesy of Imagine Nation Brewing.

Ninja Mike's Gratitude Raps

We all know Ninja Mike's, both from his mainstay location downtown and his forever-packed stand at the Clark Fork Market. We're grateful that we can still order his infamous breakfast sandwiches for safe takeout and delivery, and he's sending that gratitude right back by taking this downtime to say thank you to all of his kickstarter contributors and keep spirits up during a time of need. Find his series of hilarious, yet heartfelt raps on social media. This one is dedicated to the owner of Bathing Beauties Beads on the Hip Strip, Katie Simpson.

Montgomery Distillery Makes Hand Sanitizer

We'll admit, we miss sipping craft cocktails at Montgomery Distillery. But as restaurants and bars closed around Missoula, Montgomery found a new way to use their equipment and production employees. With guidance from the Health Department, they began producing hand sanitizer. "The main ingredient of hand sanitizer is alcohol and that’s what we make for a living,” said Montgomery in a recent interview with KPAX. So far, they've been focusing on giving their sanitizer out to healthcare workers and other first responders, though they may open it up to the general public in the near future.

Photo courtesy of Montgomery Distillery.

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