Bethel Family Gives…and Gets…and Gives Back with the 2019 Give + Get Drawing

The Iverson Family: from left are Carolyn, Maya, Tyson, Cole, Jackson and Shane. (Photo by Kate McWilliams/BCSF)

by BCSF Staff

The Iversons have a family tradition of giving a portion of each of their annual PDF checks to YK Delta organizations through the statewide Pick.Click.Give. campaign. Longtime residents of Bethel and active members of the community, Shane and Carolyn Iverson feel it is important to impart the value of giving to their four young children. This year the little Iversons got a chance to practice giving twice.

By uncanny luck, Shane and Carolyn were randomly chosen as the grand prize and second prize winners in the 2019 Give+Get drawing out of over 450 entries. The drawing was held on November 27 (#GivingTuesday) as one of the #BethelGives campaign activities.

“We couldn’t believe our good fortune,” said Carolyn, “But we also saw this as the perfect opportunity to teach our kids about the joy of giving.”

The Give+Get drawing is a Bethel Community Services Foundation (BCSF)-sponsored effort to recognize YK Delta residents who donate to local nonprofit organizations through the Pick.Click.Give campaign. The grand prize winner takes home $1,000 and a second place winner, $500. In addition, BCSF matches the prize money and the two winners get to choose how to distribute the matching funds among local nonprofits participating in Pick.Click.Give. Shane and Carolyn decided to let the kids make the decision.

“We divided up our winnings with the three oldest children so each of us had control of how our portion was spent,” said Shane. Adding up the prize money and BCSF’s matching funds, each of them had $600 to distribute.

The Iverson children were presented with a list of local nonprofits and their parents explained each organization’s mission. At the bottom of the list, was another option: Christmas Presents. Shane and Carolyn told them that anything they kept would go towards “bigger and better” presents. After weighing the options, the family ended up distributing $2,700 of the total $3,000 to five local nonprofits: Tundra Women’s Coalition, Bethel Search and Rescue, Bethel Friends of Canines, YK Delta Lifesavers, and Bethel Winter House.

Having the whole family involved made the BCSF-sponsored Give+ Get Drawing even more special this year.

“One of our long-term goals is to promote encouraging the spirit of philanthropy in children,” said Lisa Whalen, BCSF program officer. “Shane and Carolyn’s decision to use their good luck to educate their kids about Bethel’s nonprofits and give them decision-making power about giving back was a beautiful way to teach young kids about the power of generosity and how it can affect a whole community.”

The three oldest Iverson children shared why they chose the organizations they did…

BSAR: “I thought it was nice they’re thinking of others and thinking of their feelings.” -Maya

Lifesavers: “I wanted to give to them because I don’t want them to run out of money and make a kid sad if they don’t go to the pool” -Maya 

TWC: “If people are being hurt by other people they’ll have a safe place to stay.” -Cole

Winter House: “I think it’s a good idea to have shelters because people feel like they’re being greeted. If I was one of those homeless people I would want to have shelter and have some food.” -Jackson

Bethel Friends of Canines: “I really like animals. I don’t like to hear about dogs being killed or not having owners.” -Jackson

You can make giving a part of your holiday tradition by donating a portion of your Permanent Fund Dividend in the 2019 Pick.Click.Give. campaign. Contributions to YK Delta-based nonprofits will earn you an entry into the 2019 Give+Get Drawing! Additionally, you can donate to causes you love through Bethel Community Services foundation by visiting bcsfoundation.org and clicking on Donate in the menu. While you’re there, you can learn about the various funds hosted by the Foundation and the important work that is being funded in our community.

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