MISSOULA – You may have seen a parade of motorcycles going down Broadway in Missoula.
The caravan, organized by a cheerleader, spent Friday morning lending a hand to those experiencing homelessness.
Leather jackets, motorcycles, a cheerleader with pom poms seem like an unlikely gathering, but that’s exactly what happened in downtown Missoula.
When Ava Gainan put on her bow of cheer, she did more than touch a toe – she started touching lives.
She noticed the need to serve the homeless population of Missoula, so the Montana native decided to make an impact by putting together hygiene bags.
Each bag is filled with biodegradable dental floss, shampoo, shower gel, toothbrushes and other treats.
“Basically our mission is to brighten up the world in a way that people are happy and not gloomy and sad,” Ava said.
“I wanted to help them and give them back by giving them hygiene bags with water, that way they could stay healthy,” she told MTN News.
Ava saw a need in her own community after seeing a nationwide joy-based organization called Project Cheer Up.
So, she partnered with Missoula’s Bikers Against Bullies (BAB) to distribute the bags outside the Missoula County courthouse.
Ava’s mother, Misti – who is also the president of Montana Project Cheer Up – helped Ava with the project.
Misti used her stimulus check to provide the funds to purchase the hygiene products in the bags.
“When we got the raise money I didn’t want to get anything for myself. Eva and I went looking for stuff like the Dollar Store and we met the Bikers Against Bullies and went in that direction,” Misti said. .
“I didn’t need the money, someone else could use it.”