“I was born for peace.” ~Jeannette Rankin

May 28, 2020

Dear friends,
We are all excited to see the warmth of late spring and summer upon us. And we are happy to begin to see so many of our members and customers again. We have missed you!!! June is the month Jeannette Rankin, our hero and namesake, was born, so it is the perfect time to welcome you back and celebrate all of you with great gratitude for the support you have given us for 34 years to build this permanent place for peace, a truly unique piece of Missoula. We have some fun planned for our shoppers this weekend (check it out below) but we also want to invite you to come in and celebrate Jeannette’s June birthday with us. For the entire month of June, everything in the store is 10% off for everyone who comes in to celebrate with us. PLUS, we’ll be offering our members a 25% discount in gratitude for your ongoing support. June would be a great time to sign up as a member if you haven’t yet!! And we might throw in some extra fun along the way because our membership retention rate is over 60% and that deserves a huge amount of thanks!!

We also are looking to the future. While membership is strong, that’s only a third of our income. WE hope to see more sales in the store soon, but we know the upcoming Higgins bridge project will impact us. And we have to begin to think about our annual Peace Party. Can it happen and how will it need to change? We want to be healthy and responsible, but no nonprofit can survive without fundraising. One of our members suggested we ask you all for input, and we thought that was a great idea. So I invite you to tell us your ideas for ways we can safely raise the funds to maintain and grow our organization. As members, you ARE the organization and as customers, you ARE the Fair Trade movement! I’m looking forward to your ideas and to working with you to make them happen.

In celebration of all we are together, Betsy

Keeping Quiet

May 21, 2020

Keeping Quiet By Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Decency

May 14, 2020

Dear Friends,
Today civil discourse is facing some of its biggest challenges. People are afraid to express themselves without conversations becoming arguments, or worse yet, they are not bothering to talk at all. Most aren’t even listening. This is the first thing you find on the about page of Decency Today and this is a far too relatable statement.

Now more than ever, we must strive to make decency the standard of interaction again. Today is National Decency Day and the ask is simple; remember the importance of civil discourse, practice genuine conversation (the kind you aren’t trying to win), and extend the common decency all people have a right to.

Each day is a new opportunity to meet the world with decency. And what a beautiful opportunity to do so as we all slowly re-enter the world from our time of isolation.

In other news – Starting Friday JRPC & the Olive Branch will be open Monday – Saturday from 11:00 – 4:00. We are so excited to see everyone again!

Here are a few things we want you to know before your shopping adventure begins.

  • We are currently not accepting Cash.
  • All of our staff are wearing masks to keep you safe and we hope you will too. Darth Vader impressions are encouraged.
  • Just inside the door we have a sanitizing station with hand sanitizer and gloves for you to use if you wish.
  • We ask that you respect peoples space and follow the arrows on the floor through the shop to ensure that everyone has a safe shopping experience. Skipping and singing “follow the yellow brick road” are optional.
  • Sadly, we can only have 4 friends in at a time. Check out our neighbors Upcycled, Betty’s Divine, and Bathing Beauties Beads if you need to wait!
  • Don’t want to come in? That’s okay! We can still do curbside pick-up if you need a fair trade chocolate fix or some finger puppets to entertain kiddos. Just give us a call at 406.543.3955.

Betsy and I are eternally grateful for all of your amazing support during this strange time,

Carol Schwartz

P.S. If anyone has an infrared or forehead thermometer that we can use for the foreseeable future it would be much appreciated!

Never Doubt

May 7, 2020
Dear Friends,

While the COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to require much of global attention in the coming months, its important to remember that issues related to peace & justice need as much attention as ever. I have seen so much beauty and grace in response to this reality we are currently living. However, that response is not absolute and its shortfalls reflect many disparities that exist in our world normally.

Most Native American Nations have received little to no support during this pandemic. People sit in jails and prisons across this country with few options of how to protect themselves from an outbreak inside. Children live on top of each other in refugee camps or boarder detention facilities. There are veterans who live on the streets and people that can’t afford food. Meanwhile, the the US military budget sits at 748 Billion for 2020. So, what can we do?

JRPC has been working with the Friends Committee on National Legislation and some Missoula community members for the past few months on building a Grassroots Advocacy Team here in Missoula. FCNL’s advocacy teams work together building ongoing relationships with elected representatives to foster a network of advocates in the community acting as champions for peace and justice. More specifically, these teams advocate for issues pertaining to,

    • Criminal Justice
    • Economic Justice
    • Environment & Energy
    • Gun Violence Prevention
    • Immigration & Refugees
    • The Middle East & Iran
    • Native Americans
    • Nuclear Weapons
    • Peacebuilding
    • U.S. Wars & Militarism
  •          Voting and Elections
    • Our next workshop is a 2 hour interactive advocacy workshop that will train participants in how to be more effective advocates for peace and justice, even while isolated at home. We will go in-depth on FCNL’s relationship-based style of lobbying, teach skills on storytelling, and best practices on effective communication with members of Congress. We will explore why the Advocacy Teams program is so effective, provide an overview of our 2020 campaign to end endless war, and take action together. At the end, we will be ready to move forward with launching a grassroots Missoula Advocacy Team to continue this work. This workshop is free and open to the public. Join us May 21 from 6:00-8:00 on Zoom! Please register at on FCNL’s website so we can have an accurate count of participants.

 

Carol Schwartz

P.S. If anyone has an infrared or forehead thermometer that we can use for the foreseeable future it would be much appreciated! It’s also not too late to make a donation to Missoula Gives. Giving has been extended through Friday May 8th!