I am writing to thank Bethel-area residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.
Generosity throughout contributed to a successful shoebox gift collection season at drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Across the U.S., the project collected over 9.3 million shoebox gifts in 2022. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2022, the ministry is now sending nearly 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide.
Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items—Bethel-area volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Through the continued generosity of donors since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 209 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, Samaritan’s Purse delivered its milestone 200 millionth shoebox, which was packed on a country-wide tour and then hand-delivered to a young girl in Ukraine.
Across AK, shoebox packers often shop for deals on shoebox items throughout the year, and many serve at a deeper level by becoming a year-round volunteer. Information about ways area participants can get involved year-round can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling 253-572-1155.
Although local drop‑off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 13 – 20, 2023, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a shoebox gift online in just a few simple clicks at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.
These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.
Lizette Miller, SAMARITAN’S PURSE
No more plastic cups
Plastic cups? We sent ‘em packing. Today (Jan, 25th, 2023), we’re excited to announce the completion of our transition to paper cups for inflight beverages, a move which eliminates more than 55 million plastic cups annually and replaces them with a more planet-friendly alternative.
All inflight beverages on Alaska flights are now served in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper cups or reusable glassware for most First-Class services. We began the process of eliminating our five largest sources of plastic waste in 2018 by removing plastic straws and stir sticks from inflight service – a first for any airline at the time.
As part of our broader sustainability efforts, Alaska continues to pursue product innovations and supply chain advancements to achieve our 2025 goal of replacing the top five waste-producing items from onboard service and continuing to recycle. In 2021, Alaska established climate goals for its impacts in carbon, waste, and water while defining a five-part pathway to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 to keep the places we live and fly beautiful and viable for generations to come.