Missoula and Syria may seem a world away, but as millions struggle to leave that war torn country, many in the Missoula area are working to ensure they have a safe place to flee to. Missoula City Council woman Emily Bentley is a vocal proponent of that movement.

"We are piggy-backing onto the Welcome Refugees Movement, which is an international movement," Bentley said. "We started a group called Welcome Refugees Missoula and we are a sister-organization of a group called Soft Landings Missoula. Soft Landings Missoula is trying to bring 10 families that are trying to escape the conflict in that region to Missoula to rebuild their lives."

Bentley says there is a fundraiser going on right now to help support Missoula’s sister-city Neckargemund, Germany.

"The main thing I'm working on is trying to raise money for our sister-city for Syrian refugees there and we are working with the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. Our sister-city doesn't have that many refugees right now, but it is actually a bedroom community of Heidelberg, which is already starting to see refugees come in."

Bentley said that an investigation is currently underway to find the best way to spend the funds raised. Anyone who wishes to donate can do so by contacting the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center at (406) 543 3955.


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