Since Missoula and the state of Montana have been locked down the Missoula County United Way has led the way in helping those who are most affected and the least fortunate in western Montana.

CEO Susan Hay Patrick described some of the ways that Missoulians have been most generous.

“We are so fortunate that we have been able to distribute almost $300,000 mostly in the form of checks of up to $400 each to service workers and gig economy workers who have been affected by the COVID 19 pandemic,” said Hay Patrick. “Many have been laid off and these are the people who are most likely not to have any savings to fall back on.”

Along with hundreds of individual donors, Hay Patrick also named some corporate and institutional givers to the United Way.

“Some of our corporate sponsors include Payne West and Pacific Source, Stockman Bank, JCCS, and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation,” she said. “Just today we just found out that we received a $12,500 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust in Minneapolis that doesn’t usually fund in Montana.”

In addition, there will be a special Sunday fundraiser by an online University of Montana group.

“The University of Montana E-Sports Gaming Team is doing a fundraiser for us this weekend,” she said. “On Sunday, they’re hosting something called ‘Griz Gives – Streaming for United Way’. They are going to play video games because that’s what the E-Sports gaming team does and raise money during this live steam on Sunday. They have an anonymous donor who has said they will match either $50,000 or $100,000.”

The Griz Gives event continues until 10:00 p.m. on Sunday. Click here to give and take part in the fundraiser.