FFLI Donates to Sparrow’s Nest – Kalispell, MT


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Sparrow’s Nest receives donation from visiting Long Islanders

Long Island, New York Friendship Force President Ivan Ziegler (left) and Ambassador Coordinator Jim Glasser presented Sparrow’s Nest Executive Director Jerramy Dear-Ruel and Kallispell Friendship Force President Priscilla French with a $230 donation for the Sparrow’s Nest at the Conrad Mansion Wednesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

Sparrow’s Nest of Northwest Montana is a little closer to completing the renovation of their Kalispell facility this week after receiving a donation from an unexpected source.

Jerramy Dear-Ruel, Executive Director of the organization that helps unaccompanied homeless teenagers in the Flathead, was on hand at the Conrad Mansion Wednesday, July 11, to accept a $230 donation from the members of Long Island, New York chapter of Friendship Force.

“Whenever we visit a new place, we always like to make a donation to a worthy organization in the area. Sparrow’s Nest is a wonderful organization that helps homeless high school kids so they can better themselves,” Long Island Friendship Force President Ivan Ziegler said.

“We provide resources and housing for unaccompanied homeless high school students in the Flathead Valley, be it Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls or Bigfork. We have a big county that we cover and any help we receive is greatly appreciated,” Dear-Ruel added.

Friendship Force International is a non-profit organization that has brought together more than 1 million people in homestays since 1977 to share different views and discover common ground with their motto: “A world of friends is a world of peace.” Through Friendship Force’s signature program of home hospitality, local families and international visitors share meals, conversation and the routines of daily life, creating a unique cultural encounter and lasting friendships.

For a week, beginning on July 10, the 66 members of the Flathead Valley chapter of Friendship Force have played host to their 23 of their counterparts from Long Island, showing them around the valley and beyond and visiting locations including Glacier National Park, Whitefish and Ninepipes in the Mission Valley.

Founded in 2014, Sparrow’s Nest of Northwest Montana uses safe and sustainable housing as a mechanism for empowering unaccompanied homeless high school students to develop the personal and professional skills required to graduate high school and become productive, contributing members of our community. The organization opened its first housing facility in Whitefish in 2016 and is currently renovating a donated home in Kalispell with the hopes of having that facility open later this summer.

The organization has helped a number of students in the valley to graduate from high school, including several from Columbia Falls.

For more information about Sparrow’s Nest, visit their website at www.sparrowsnestnwmt.org.