United Way of Southeast Alaska
September 2018 Newsletter
United Way of Southeast Alaska 2018 Campaign's Dynamic Duo!
Janey Lester and Kim Kiefer

United Way of Southeast Alaska is proud to announce a dynamic team who will be leading United Way of Southeast Alaska's annual giving campaign.  
For more information please visit our website www.unitedwayseak.org
Day of Caring Is Almost Here
Sign Up Today!

United Way of Southeast Alaska is planning the Annual Fall Day of Caring Event!
Every fall residents, businesses and schools throughout Southeast Alaska,
lend a helping hand to give back and make their communities great!
Our Event is being held in the following locations:
  • Sitka - Monday, September 24th
  • Ketchikan - Wednesday, September 26th
  • Juneau - Friday, September 28th
We would love your participation this year! I f you're interested in volunteering or are a
non-profit organization with a service project, please click on the link below to register!
If you have any further questions feel free to contact the AmeriCorps service member at
compass@unitedwayseak.org or call at 907-463-1280

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt  

United Way of Southeast Alaska Volunteer Spotlight

Ann Gifford, Volunteer Reading Tutor
By: Geoff Kirsch 

Typically, volunteers in the United Way's Coeur Alaska: Learn United Reading Tutor program tutor one student per academic year. But Ann Gifford isn't your
Ann Gifford; Volunteer Reading Tutor
 typical volunteer.
"Obviously, the primary goal is improving early literacy," she says. "But for these kids, just having another caring person in their lives makes a huge difference."
A retired attorney, Ann began volunteering at Riverbend Elementary in 2014. Her first year, Learn United paired her with a kindergarten student. The following fall, as per the usual process, the program assigned a new kindergartener. But when Ann noticed her original mentee, now a first-grader, had yet to be matched, she asked to tutor him, as well. The next year, in addition to yet another kindergartner, she continued with her two original students, who she also kept tutoring the year after.
Like most volunteer reading tutors, Ann meets one-on-one with students, for a half-hour each week. During these sessions they practice reading aloud and discussing passages, covering topics such as phonics and reading comprehension.
"It's amazing how much kids thrive and blossom with just a little extra attention," she says.
Now in its sixth year, the Learn United Reading Tutors program continues to extend its reach to more elementary students. For one, this takes massive amounts of cooperation between volunteers, teachers and the district.
"I don't see how that coordination can happen without the United Way," says Ann.
Of course, she'll be the first to tell you the program's success also hinges on recruiting as many volunteer tutors as possible. Ann strongly encourages Juneau's community to join her.  
"Some people might be intimidated, or feel they need special skills," she says. Not so.
"Sure, there's the technical aspect, but tutors are well supported," she explains; Learn United provides thorough training by a reading specialist.
"And that's only a piece of what you're there to do," she says. "Really, all these kids need is for you to show up. Just show up."
Alaska 2-1-1
Questions about how to find help?
Find Help
Are you searching for agencies to help you? The United Way website has a feature that connects YOU with the help that you need. We have added a " Find Help" button to the right side of our page that has an organized list of agencies across Southeast Alaska that provide community services.

To see which agencies are listed in your community and how they can help you Click Here.
Why Support United Way?
We at the United Way of Southeast Alaska are thankful for all of our supporters, volunteers, and donors who have chosen to advocate on our behalf all these years. To show our gratitude, we spoke with some of our donors so that we could get to know them a bit better and understand why they continue to support Southeast Alaska through the United Way.

Click Here to read why community members choose to support the United Way of Southeast Alaska.
United Way of Southeast Alaska's AmeriCorps Program Recruiting Service Members
By Cara Gilbert

The United Way of Southeast Alaska AmeriCorps Program is currently recruiting for six AmeriCorps Members. AmeriCorps Members serve at nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, government agencies and schools. 

AmeriCorps Members spend eleven months in service at host sites leading and contributing to projects related to one or more of the six focus areas identified in the Serve America Act:  
  • Disaster Services
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Education
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Healthy Futures
  • Veterans & Military Families
The United Way of Southeast Alaska AmeriCorps Program recruits college graduates and other qualified adults to address the needs of the Juneau community.

This project is funded in part through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and administered by Serve Alaska. These funds help Alaska to recruit, train, and deploy 2,500 volunteers on a full and part-time basis to address locally identified needs in education, homeland security, environmental, public safety and other human needs of Alaska residents.

For more information in serving as an AmeriCorps Member please contact Cara Gilbert at 907-463-1293.
Big Fat Check Promotion with The Juneau Radio Center
The Juneau Radio Center is using the power of their 5 Juneau Radio stations to raise money for United Way of Southeast Alaska.  There are multiple ways to participate! You can now give what you can, on-line at kinyradio.com, through United Way of Southeast Alaska, you can show up to live broadcast's to give in person or get on the Juneau Radio Center app and follow the link in our logo below.

At the end of the year The Juneau Radio Center will be presenting United Way of Southeast Alaska and their 33 partnering agencies, a BIG FAT CHECK! Donate to help our friends, neighbors, co-workers and family.
United Way of Southeast Alaska Volunteer Spotlight
Pam Watts, Volunteer Reading Tutor
By: Geoff Kirsch
For nearly three-decades Pam Watts helped people for a living. Now that she's retired, she does it for the common good.
"Engaging with the volunteerism is where my heart is," she says.
Pam spent more than 30 years as a professional counselor, the last 25 in clinical supervision and management of mental illness and addiction programs. These days, she volunteers with United Way's Learn United Reading Tutors.
"I always thought I'd tutor reading when I retired," says Pam. "And here I am."
For one, she's an avid reader, herself. But Pam also brings lessons from her long career.
"Reading holds so much value for future adults in all parts of their lives," she explains, listing literacy among the primary challenges faced by those she served.
"Kids who do better in school are far more resilient facing the emotional challenges of growing up," she says. "Early intervention, especially in reading, gives them the best chance to be successful and happy."
Enter Learn United Reading Tutor Program. During 30-minute sessions once a week at Gastineau Community School, Pam helps to provide constructive guidance, positive encouragement and a literacy-rich setting for at-risk early elementary students.
"Basically, it's about giving young readers a little extra individual attention, outside the pressure of the classroom," she says. "If one person believes in a child, it can impact her entire life."
Learn United originated in 2013 as part of the United Way of Southeast Alaska's "Literacy By Third Grade" campaign, as well as the national United Way "Million Reading Tutors" campaign, which seeks to engage one million new volunteer readers, tutors, and mentors, by the end of the decade.
For Pam, tutoring represents the perfect volunteer opportunity-flexible, exciting, highly rewarding-and she strongly encourages others to join her, if not with Learn United, then any of the United Way's various ongoing volunteer efforts across Southeast Alaska. (For full listings, visit getconnected.unitedwayseak.org)
"One volunteer makes a huge difference," she recommends. "Find something you like and jump in with both feet."

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