Getting involved unites us

by Peter Twitchell

Tonight 3-4 bands will play at the Carpenter’s Hall following a potluck. It will be a sober event where families gather. Activities here in the biggest village in Alaska are a little more connected. It’s another way of supporting, encouraging, and uplifting each other.

A little effort can go a long ways, and is a morale booster for some and a sense of belonging for others with families in the villages, or in a far away country.

Just getting involved has given me opportunities to play with other bands and meet other musicians some of whom are Elders from the Yukon – Nunam Iqua, Shageluk, and Holy Cross. Music unites us, and Eskimo dancing is thriving here as well.

There are support groups seven days a week to address mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs. Other self-help groups as well, for men, women, teens. Many of these are sponsored by the South Central Foundation and other concerned citizens organizations.

I’m happy to see South Central Foundation operating the Covenant House who help runaway or displaced teenagers. I’ve witnessed young adults at Covenant House who have been given metro-bus tickets to go to and from their jobs.

Thank you South Central Foundation for all the great work you are doing! I have seen youth who have gone on to attend higher education and make something of their lives because of your efforts here to help our youth!

I hope that our efforts collectively help to make life more bearable and also chase the winter blues away.

Tonight I plan to sing “God Bless her ‘cause she is my mother,” and I have my friend Joey Miller to thank for teaching me that song in my early days of fiddling music. My skill level in this area has gone up a notch or two.