“We had to get creative,” says Development Director Carrie Matter, discussing how the Great Falls Rescue Mission rethought its fundraising banquet last spring.
Forced to forgo the event, the mission raised equivalent donations (over $54,000) through the new Week of Compassion, which encouraged community members to support the mission by giving up a meal and donating the meal cost to GFRM. The week was so successful, in fact, that the mission did it again in 2021.
According to Matter, 100 percent of donations to the Week of Compassion go toward the homeless, including meals for residents and the public. But, she adds, “A lot of folks don’t need just a home and a job; we need to address the trauma and underlying reasons people become homeless in the first place. We help them develop healthy support systems to get on with their lives.”
The mission serves 2,000 people each year through its women’s, men’s and family shelters. In addition to providing three meals each day, basic needs, and temporary housing, GFRM offers a recovery program, after-school program and summer camp for youth, adult education and workforce development, and community outreach programs.