Rasmuson Foundation awards grants to two YK region projects

by Greg Lincoln

Marley Phillips of Aniak looks happy for the blueberries on BM Hill near Aniak. photo by Cally Phillips

The Rasmuson Foundation announced that it is awarding grant funding to the Bethel Winter House and the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association – two Yukon Kuskokwim projects that will benefit the people in our region.

The Bethel Winter House is awarded $325,000 to help renovate the community’s former senior center for use as a year-round homeless shelter and service center. A new roof and a walk-in freezer are among the upgrades. The shelter had been operating in donated or leased spaces but during the pandemic, the City of Bethel donated the senior center. An average of 25 people a night seek safety and warmth at the shelter.

The Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association is receiving $350,000 to expand a youth employment program through a small farm. The association is one of six Community Development Quota groups established under federal law to create income and employment opportunities for Western Alaska communities. The farm will create new work opportunities for up to 75 youth and will increase local access to fresh produce.

Thank you to the Rasmuson Foundation Board who after more than a year of focused response to the COVID-19 pandemic, approved $9 million for a wide range of projects covering the State. Grants were awarded to organizations and communities to help cover needs for youth and education, language and culture, arts and health and families, commerce and business development, housing and homeless programs, plus job development.

The grants awarded are life changing and promote self-sufficiency, benefiting Alaskans. Quyana!

We will print the full list of awards in an upcoming edition.