|  August 20, 2014  |  
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Holiday Laptop Drive a Success, So We’re Extending It Another 364 Days! And Other Volunteer Opportunities

Dear Neighbors

I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and all around good holiday season.  And I wanted to let you in on some good holiday news (and one more volunteer opportunity you might like). 

Here’s what you don’t want to know.  I also found out how long it takes to work off a typical Christmas and Holiday dinner, cookie and bowls of pistachio nut diet.  That’s what I’d classify as annoying news.  So, really, why dwell on it.  I’ll just take this one for the team, suffer alone, and keep that information to myself.  And . . . I will be off to the gym after we get this letter out. 

The Good News On Laptops: Keeping A Good Thing Going

The number of late model used and new laptops people have donated to foster youth over the past two weeks - since we started our second annual Holiday Laptop Drive - will soon exceed 30.  The foster care advocacy group, Facing Foster Care in Alaska, has also received some donations to buy laptops for foster youth in need.

The donation of roughly 30 computers in two weeks – and approximately 100 over the past year, shows the great generosity of people in this community.  But the need doesn’t stop at the holidays.  So we want to let folks know we will continue to match foster youth with laptops over the coming year – and will happily take your donations. 

There are roughly 1,700 foster youth in Alaska – and, I’m guessing, about 500 over the age of 13, when a laptop starts to become important for school and socializing.  So we’ve only started to meet the need.  We’ll let you know when it’s fully met!

A special thanks for Providence Hospital and the Carr Family Foundation, which have in combination helped us make over 30 matches with youth who needed laptops this year.   And another special thanks to all of you who have made generous personal donations.

If you have a good quality laptop, call us at 269-0106.  And if you want to donate funds for laptop purchases, e-mail Amanda Metivier, who worked with us to start this effort last year, and who coordinates with OCS in making the matches with youth.  She can be reached at facing_fostercare@yahoo.com

What’s A CASA???? Another Way to Volunteer Your Time To Make A Youth’s Life Better.

Finally – while I’ve mentioned the great need for foster parents (Alaska has a grave shortage) and foster youth mentors (a program we worked with legislators to start last year) – call us if you’re interested in either of those programs - I haven’t mentioned another alternative for those of you looking to volunteer your time.

Alaska has a strong Court Appointed Child Advocate (CASA) program, which assigns adults to work with youth and their Guardian ad Litems to represent foster youth in legal proceedings, and to try to make sure youth receive the resources they need.  If you’d like to learn more about the statewide volunteer CASA program, or to volunteer, visit their website.

As always, I hope you are doing well, and wish you happiness and health for the New Year.

Best Regards,

[signed] Les Gara

     Les Gara

 

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