Thriving People & Communities

Places to play and spaces to create

Playgrounds from Nome to Nunapitchuk provide fun and healthy outlets. Radio stations and libraries bring us solid information. Community centers help us connect with one another. Projects that help Alaskans thrive speak to our core. And it all starts with a home.

2,845  Housing units added through $48.7 million in investments, through 2022.
241Alaska communities supported with grant awards, since 1955

Home for those in need

Over the years, we’ve helped to add thousands of housing units for people from elders to teachers to those who have been unhoused. In Anchorage, we’re part of a public-private partnership converting hotels to housing. In Bethel, efficiency apartments are being added to help those who have been unhoused. In Fairbanks, apartments came online for seniors and those with low incomes. 

The system is changing too. Two organizations created in 2022 are helping projects became reality. Housing Alaskans: A Public-Private Partnership, which goes by HAPPP, will help fund affordable housing across Alaska. The Anchorage Affordable Housing & Land Trust owns and manages affordable housing properties. Individuals can apply on its website.

Additional impact areas

Adventure of camp

We want to make sure Alaska kids have the chance for a life-changing experience at summer camp. An initiative that we launched in 2020 expands access and supports organizations in enhancing the quality of all kinds of camps: culture camps, music camps and theater camps, language camps and science camps, camps for runners and baseball players, for young children and older teens. The opportunity for funding now includes winter and spring breaks. Learn more through our partner, The Alaska Community Foundation.

Homegrown foods

In the Southwestern Alaska village of Emmonak, the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association started an innovative farm to help fill freezers and pantries — and create jobs — during an era of sharp restrictions on commercial and subsistence fishing. In Ester near Fairbanks, the Calypso Farm & Ecology Center teaches self-reliance, sustainable ways of living and all-things farming from seed collecting to food storage. Alaskans thrive when we grow our own food.

Alaska-style parks and recreation

From a well-used pool in Bethel to more than 100 playgrounds built or improved over the years, we love to help children and adults stay fit and enjoy Alaska. Many playgrounds are being designed with special inclusivity features that allow children and adults of any ability to play together. Adventurers can enjoy public use cabins in remote areas and hike on improved trails such as Little O’Malley Peak, fast becoming a Chugach State Park favorite.

In support of libraries

We’ve long had a special love for libraries. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, named for one of our founders, is the state’s leading research library. Even in the digital age, libraries are community resources and gathering places. In Southeast Alaska, Friends of the Thorne Bay Library worked hard to replace the deteriorated surplus trailer that had served as a “temporary” library for around 15 years. Our grant got them to the finish line — a new building. Local support turns dreams into reality.

Space to gather

In the Interior village of Galena, a new community center that houses the Tribal Council and various programs also includes a public gathering space for potlatches and other cultural and social events. In Anchorage, connections, cultural sharing and classes in English, technology and citizenship are among the many offerings of the Korean-American Community Center in Anchorage. All over Alaska, we support spaces to build and nurture community.

Radio lifeline

In much of rural Alaska, public radio connects people whether they are at home, camping or subsisting off the land and water. Grants upgrade equipment at radio stations from Chevak to the Pribilof Islands to Tok. In Bethel, KYUK’s radio tower became unstable when it sank into the thawing permafrost. We helped to replace it, so that a station that reports on natural disasters wasn’t itself victim to the damage of climate change.

Little things make a big difference

OPT-In Kiana: They got a small grant for a four-wheeler to pick up freight at the airport, move items between buildings, make meals accessible to youth and shuttle people back and forth to the airport. Lately it was…

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