Feb. 14th, 2020: GCI announced today that its robust philanthropy program, GCI Gives, will donate $2 million in direct funding, in-kind services and products to Alaska organizations in 2020.
This is consistent with the Alaska-born-and-raised company’s past donations. Over the last five years, GCI Gives has donated more than $10 million in cash, products, scholarships and grants to Alaska organizations.
GCI’s grants and giving are focused in six key areas: cultural arts and innovation, education, healthy communities, youth, animals, and public safety. In 2020, GCI will support more than 150 Alaska nonprofit organizations in addition to continuing its Suicide Prevention Fund and GCI Scholarship Program.
The GCI Suicide Prevention Fund, a partnership with the Alaska Community Foundation, provides local groups that apply with more than $100,000 in total each year to support Alaskans with community training, outreach and cultural programs, in order to reduce suicides in Alaska.
“As an Alaska-born-and-raised company, GCI considers it a responsibility to support our friends and neighbors struggling in a place with the highest rate of suicide deaths per capita in nation,” said Vice President of GCI Corporate Communications Heather Handyside. “This is a personal issue for many Alaskans, including our employees, and one that we feel strongly about helping combat in any way we can. The organizations receiving funding are truly saving lives.”
Over the past 20 years, GCI has donated more than $6 million in scholarships to young, promising Alaska students through the GCI Scholarship Program. In addition to education and scholarships, GCI also supports school extracurricular activities and programs. Last year, GCI worked with the Alaska School Activities Association as its official technology partner, powering activities like basketball, student government and esports.
“Investing in our youth and their education is incredibly important,” said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker. “These students are our future workforce, our future employees and partners, and Alaskans need more opportunities to be successful in education. Through the GCI Scholarship Program, we hope to better equip Alaskans as they start their professional careers.”
GCI doesn’t just contribute to Alaska nonprofits through donations. Employees at GCI are encouraged to give back to the communities where they live and work each year through 16 hours of paid time each year to volunteer with the organization of their choice. In 2019, nearly 550 employees invested more than 5,300 hours in Alaska communities volunteering at organizations such as food banks and homeless shelters and contributing to causes like youth sports and the Special Olympics Alaska Polar Plunge.
In addition to announcing its annual giving plan, at this year’s event, GCI launched its Good Neighbor and Trailblazer Partner awards, recognizing the selfless acts of one individual and the extraordinary impact of one organization.
The Good Neighbor Award was given to GCI field services technician RJ Gallegos who, during a home visit to install GCI services, found a customer unresponsive and performed CPR until paramedics arrived, saving the man’s life.
The Trailblazer Partner Award was presented to ASAA for its work to engage Alaska youth across the state in healthy and meaningful activities. These positive activities make a huge difference in the lives of students across the state.
For more information about GCI’s corporate giving, please visit www.gci.com/why-gci/gcigives. The website includes details about GCI’s nonprofit partners, as well as the positive results of charitable contributions and volunteerism in the communities where GCI employees and customers live. Nonprofit organizations may also utilize this website to apply for support from GCI.