In the wake of a devastating avalanche that destroyed the homes of several Missoulians, the SigEps at Montana joined the community in its final efforts to clear out the area. With shovels and pickaxes in hand, the SigEps sought to unbury the surrounding houses, transport snow out of the disaster area and salvage anything of sentimental value.
“We got an email for people to come and volunteer, and so that’s exactly what we did,” said chapter president Chance Carter, 15. “It was short notice, but we just wanted to come and help out. The Missoula community has helped us out a lot over the past semester, and we’re happy to give back.”
The avalanche took the life of a local woman and injured two others, including an 8-year-old boy.
For some, the most important part of the day was saving memories from the wreckage.
“We keep finding books with writing in them,” said Evan Fossen, 16, vice president of member development. “The snow has ruined most of the ink, but every once in a while you notice a ‘Happy Birthday’ or a ‘Love, so-and-so’ signed at the bottom, and you realize every single one of these things means something to someone. It’s devastating, but at least we were able to recover some of them.”
By the end of the day, SigEps and the other volunteers had removed most of the snow and wreckage, making way for the city to finish the job.