As we are all keenly aware, Alaska is in the midst of a fire season that has many communities on high alert. An unusually snow-free winter followed by a hot and dry spring and summer has created tinderbox conditions around much of the state.
Indeed, a quick glance at the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center’s online map of current activity reveals a wide swath of the state impacted by several hundred wildfires.
As hard working firefighters and crews from around the state evacuate and temporarily relocate residents, fellow Alaskans are stepping forward – without hesitation – to provide temporary shelter, housing, meals supplies and relief.
We at the Alaska Community Foundation and our Affiliates have, like many of you, been looking for ways to help. Fortunately, ACF’s Alaska Disaster Recovery Fund was established specifically to help individuals and communities recover from disaster.
Given the gravity of the destruction these fires have caused, ACF and our donors have made three grants already: to the United Way of Mat-Su (addressing needs in the Willow area), to the Sterling Senior Center (reaching those on the Kenai Peninsula) and one to the Food Bank of Alaska (supporting food needs in all areas of the state currently affected by wildfires)
Our faithful Affiliates have also stepped in. Here are just a few highlights that we are proud to share:
- To support the fire relief and response efforts down in Sterling, the Kenai Peninsula Foundation awarded a grant to the Sterling Community Center, the central facility for coordination of the Card Street Fire response effort.
- To support relief and response efforts in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the Golden Heart Community Foundation awarded two grants to service providers – one to the American Red Cross Fairbanks and to the Tanana Chiefs Conference.
Are you looking for ways to help? Above are just a few organizations doing great things to assist our neighbors in need. We encourage you to donate to others who are also making a difference.
Friends, families and neighbors have all stepped up to assist those affected by the fires in numerous ways. It is an outpouring of support and empathy befitting a state as large and vast as Alaska.