AK Can Do: You CAN make a difference

Photo Curtesy of Native Conservancy

The AK Can Do fund is currently open for applications until May 4th. This is the last round of grants from this collaborative effort first launched in March of 2020 to offer a statewide opportunity to support Alaska’s COVID-19 response. The impact of this project has been inspiring, with $3.15 Million granted to nonprofits across the state thanks to thousands of donors. Organizations were able to find ways to support their communities, sustain their missions, and provide safe working environments for employees.

The Boys and Girls Club of Kenai used their grant to feed youth who could not travel to their foodservice sites. It also helped provide for the uncovered costs of food and safety supplies to ensure the safety of their staff in serving families.

Native Conservancy offered a critical and essential subsistence and cultural service to the Native community in Eyak (Cordova). The COVID response grant ACF awarded Native Conservancy allowed the Native Elders Subsistence Foods Program to expand and thrive. With the support of the AK Can Do grant, Native Conservancy provided Alaska Natives with traditional, healthy foods at no cost to them.

“In the spirit of love for our Elders and in the knowledge that eating traditional foods enhances lives, we are collaborating with several villages, starting with the Native Village of Eyak, to distribute these wild-harvested subsistence foods to Native Elders once per month. This fall and winter, we have shared essential and traditional foods, high-quality halibut, cod, and rockfish.” – Evelyn Erickson, Vice President, Native Conservancy.

Photo Curtesy of Good Beginnings Preschool

Senior Citizens of Kodiak used the grants to deliver meals to community members 60 and older. Some received meals seven days a week during the pandemic. Meal delivery offered isolated residents solace while in quarantine, and it supported those caring for loved ones.

Good Beginnings Preschool in Petersburg used grant monies to lower tuition rates to support parents working from home with small children.

” When we announced the lower tuition, I had several families call me to say thank you while in tears. Families want to do what is best for kids, they want them enrolled in safe, fun, enriching programs, and when we can lower those barriers, it is absolutely impactful, and not just at this moment, this is a lifelong impact that the Alaska Community Foundation facilitated, it is powerful, and it will not be forgotten.”- Gina Uppencamp, Educator, Good Beginnings Preschool.

As Mrs. Uppencamp noted, these grants help sustain essential nonprofits and allow them to support the communities they serve now, and in the future. If you have lingering needs due to the pandemic or an ongoing project, find the AK Can Do application link below to apply. We look forward to seeing how you intend to make a difference in Alaska.

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