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  6.  | Katie’s Handprint Selected as Nonprofit of the Year

Katie’s Handprint Selected as Nonprofit of the Year

by | Oct 24, 2023 | Healthcare, News, Nonprofits

Katie’s Handprint was selected as the top nonprofit of 2023.

Katie’s Handprint

Katie’s Handprint, a nonprofit that seeks to help Alaska families bear the costs of medical treatment for children diagnosed with cancer, was voted the top nonprofit in 2023 in the Community Impact Awards in October.

Recognition Boost

Katie’s Handprint was one of twenty nonprofits recognized at the Community Impact Awards ceremony October 6 at the Hotel Captain Cook Quarter Deck. Hosted by Alaska Journal of Commerce, Peak 2 Peak Alaska, and Anchorage Daily News, and sponsored by MTA Solutions, the event recognized twenty nonprofits. Katie’s Handprint received a percentage of ticket sales and proceeds of raffle earnings at the event.

Nominations for nonprofits were accepted between June 15 and August 18. Voting was open until September 18, with the top twenty vote-receiving nonprofits recognized at the October 6 cocktail ceremony. Find a list of the top twenty vote-receiving nonprofits at impactak.com.

Darlis Meyer, the founder and executive director of Katie’s Handprint, says the money her nonprofit was awarded is helpful but being recognized is the larger boost.

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“The biggest impact to the organization for winning it—or even being a part of it—was the acknowledgement or recognition, because we’re so small and the only people who knew about us were those who needed us,” Meyer says.

Meyer started Katie’s Handprint in 2018, three years after her daughter, Katie Elliott, died after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2011. Undergoing medical treatment meant traveling to Seattle and, at one point, staying there for fourteen months. It was financially crippling, especially since Meyer went from a full-time worker to a full-time caregiver.

Other families whose children are diagnosed with cancer face similar difficulties, she says. Seattle is the nearest treatment option for osteosarcoma. The only pediatric oncology clinic in Alaska is in Anchorage.

“Any Alaskan family who has a kid in cancer treatment, if they need funds, we will try to help,” she says.

In the five years Katie’s Handprint has been operating, Meyer says they have been able to increase the funding to families. Since 2018, they have given 120 grants to ninety families, distributing a total of $286,250. Much of that is through donations from friends and family; the organization also holds a yearly “Kruisin’ for Katie’s Handprint” motorcycle ride in August, she says. Meyer says the organization recently received permission to hold raffle ticket fundraisers.

For more information about the nonprofit, visit katie’shandprint.org.

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