BUTTE, Mont. -- Finding a bed to sleep in or a meal to eat, especially after the long winter we had, can be a day-to-day challenge when you're homeless. But a whole town coming together to show a little compassion can make all the difference.

Sunday through Saturday marks the 'Week of Compassion,' an initiative powered by the Butte Rescue Mission and backed by the county to restore hope to the homeless.

As of 2020, approximately 1,500 Montanans experience homelessness on any given day. The Rescue Mission has alleviated that, providing food and shelter daily for over 600 different people per year.

"The four walls of security--food, shelter, transportation, clothing--we all need to succeed," said Brayton Erickson, executive director of the Butte Rescue Mission. "We're here to just serve those that come to us on a daily basis in one of those capacities or another."

Now, it's the community turn's to pitch in. Wednesday's theme in the 'Week of Compassion': fasting--by putting the money you spend on your morning coffee toward buying food for the homeless instead.

"A meal costs us about $1.89 to serve," Erickson said. "Our challenge to the community is that you can do without one meal, and you can donate that $1.89 to us, and we can feed somebody."

Alongside individual efforts through donations and volunteering, a number of local companies, such as First Montana Bank, have partnered with the Rescue Mission to offer help during the week.

And for those interested in getting involved, you still have time to help with meal prep, campus gardening, and chapel services over the next few days.

The Week of Compassion concludes on Saturday at the Rescue Mission with a cookout. Everyone is welcome to come and get some food--and to give some food as well.

Learn more about the Week of Compassion at the Butte Rescue Mission website.

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