SSTEP Open House July 11

Joining Hands for
a Healthy Community





Seeley resident Elke Scholl donated three bags of wonderful stuffed animals for the SSTEP members to hand out to children during crisis calls for domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. The SSTEP members believe that a stuffed animal not only has a calming affect on the child during a crisis, but it also continues to remind them that what has happened is not their fault.


July 3, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

Come and join the Seeley Swan Talk, Education and Protection (SSTEP) members at their Open House July 11th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for an evening of family and community fun. It will be held at the Community Hall. We will have games for the kids and adults, material about self-esteem building, bullying and violence geared for grade school students and material for adults. And, we'll have great refreshments!

At the door children will be given star cards. As they participate in each of five activities, they will get a sticker for a point on their star. In one activity, for example, children will catch a finger puppet at the fish-pond. Next, they use their puppet in a participatory game led by Seeley's own professional puppeteer, My Pal Peggy.

At another stop, kids make a poster with their parents featuring their hands. Parents and/or couples can also make attractive posters for themselves while at this stop.

SSTEP members will be on hand to pass out and explain informational materials geared for adults on the services for and prevention of domestic violence of SSTEPAll in all, an evening of fun and "nourishment" for every family member.

Another exciting feature for our open house is the opportunity for our community to support the White ribbon Campaign (WRC). The WRC was started in 1991, by a small group of Toronto men in response to the Montreal Massacre of December 6, 1989. In the intervening years the White Ribbon Campaign has become an international movement of men speaking out and taking action to end men's violence against women.

Those who choose to wear a White Ribbon make a personal pledge not to condone, commit, or remain silent about violence against women, especially, though all forms of violence committed against all men, women and children are of concern.

SSTEP members have made 600 white ribbons to distribute over the next two weeks. We encourage men, women, boys and girls to proudly wear these ribbons.

SSTEP is made up of both men and women whose goals are to promote and preserve healthy family and community relationships as well as providing services and/or referrals to those involved in a crisis relating to domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and other acts of violence.

Over 20 victims have been served in the past six months alone in the Seeley Swan area. The program not only works directly with victims, but also helps educate the public and students in the Seeley Swan and Potomac areas. SSTEP is a branch of the Missoula County Crime Victim Advocate program.

Several wonderful things have taken place in the past several months. We have received donations of stuffed animals, quilts and dolls that the advocates can give to children during times of crisis. To date, two of the animals and two blankets have been given to children. Members believe that the animals have a soothing affect on the children and a reminder of someone telling them that what happened to them is not their fault.

Besides great toys and quilts, several residents and organizations have donated money to the Friends Of SSTEP organization. Friends Of SSTEP was organized to support the SSTEP program in areas SSTEP could either not afford or undertake. The money has helped purchase 8 pagers, a TV/VCR combination for training, gas for victims to get to and from Missoula and other needs of victims not covered by the regular funding of the SSTEP program.

SSTEP is thankful for what it has been able to accomplish with these gifts this far, however the program is still in need of radios, additional pagers and money to cover other services to victims. Donations can be made during the open house or mailed to Friends Of SSTEP, P.O. Box 903, Seeley Lake, Montana 59868.

Friends Of SSTEP is also working on a non-profit status, and plans to extend the services relating to domestic violence and sexual assault. Besides filling the gaps, the organization hopes to be able to provide needed programs for the perpetrators and expand education to perpetrators, the public and students.

Please join us on July 11th and learn more about the SSTEP program and how we can Join Hands For A Healthy Community.