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A Note from Representative Les Gara- July 17, 2013

Action Alert: Toothless the Cat and Former Foster Youth Who Lost Everything in Monday’s Home Fire

Note from Rep. Les Gara

July 17, 2013

Voice Your Opinions!

Letters to the editor make a difference. You can send a 175-word letter to the Anchorage Daily News by e-mail (letters@adn.com); or by fax or mail (call them at 257-4300). Send letters to the Anchorage Press via e-mail editor@anchoragepress.com or by mail to 540 E. Fifth Ave, Anchorage, 99501. Feel free to call us if you need factual information to help you write a letter.

Contact the Governor. The Governor can be reached at 269-7450; sean.parnell@alaska.gov; or www.alaska.gov.

Contact us. My office can be reached at: 716 W. 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501; by phone: 269-0106; visit my website at http://gara.akdemocrats.org; or email: Rep.Les.Gara@akleg.gov

Dear Neighbors,

A Time To Help

         I came back from a great vacation to bad news – that two hard-working former foster youth who are struggling to succeed, and their roommate who works at Campfire and helps foster and disadvantaged youth, lost everything in Monday’s Eastside home fire. This is where we come in.

         A fund has been set up to help them replace clothes, other belongings, and basic life necessities so they can return to as normal and successful a path as the one they were on before the fire. Life as a foster youth is not easy…when you leave care you have no parent to call for help. Remember, these youth ended up in foster care because their parents were not fit to take care of them. So these young people – and I know from personal experience – have a dearth of, if any, responsible adults in their life to help when things like this happen. They can’t call mom and dad.

         I encourage you to consider donating at www.wepay.com/donations/the-toothless-memorial-fund. They named the fund after their cat who died, Toothless.

         In total roughly ten people lost their life belongings. I feel embarrassed that I do not know the others. But the Red Cross has told us they are actively helping all victims with lodging, clothing, and basic necessities. They do not have a dedicated fund for the fire victims, but you can donate to them, and ask them to help the victims of this fire. The donation link is www.redcross.org/donate/index.jsp?donateStep=2&itemId=prod60003, and the phone number and mailing address of the American Red Cross, Alaska chapter, are 888-345-4376 and 235 East 8th Avenue, Suite 200, Anchorage, AK, 99501.

         Please do what you can. As Alaskans we help each other. We’re good at that. This is a worthy cause.

 

Excessive Student Loan Rates – Congress Failed, So It’s Time For Alaska To Act (Actually It’s Been Time for a While and We’ve Pushed Legislation the Last Three Years to do That)

         Next E-News issue: It’s time for Alaskans to reduce our excessive student loan rates so youth can afford success – especially since Congress defeated a similar effort on partisan lines last week. Money should never be a barrier to success, and student loan debt, behind a mortgage, has become the second highest debt load Americans carry on their backs.

         I hope you are enjoying your summer.

Best Regards,

Les Gara

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