As Things Warm Up, Here's How You Can Live United!

Contributed by Michele Harmeling, Outreach Coordinator

As spring approaches, we’re excited to spread the word about upcoming community events and important dates. Of particular importance is the extended deadline for earthquake assistance from FEMA. Those affected by the November 30 disaster now have until MAY 31 to apply using the online portal, by visiting the Disaster Recovery Center nearest you, or by calling the disaster hotline. Please remember to list the date of incident as NOVEMBER 30, 2018 when completing forms.

Wasilla Disaster Recovery Center: Christ First United Methodist Church, 5137 W Fairview Lp., Wasilla

Disaster Assistance Hotline: 1-800-621-3362

Spring Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 27th. Valley residents may bring unused and expired drugs and medications to either Fred Meyer pharmacy location (Wasilla and Palmer) for safe disposal. Talkeetna area residents may visit the Talkeetna Sunshine Community Health Clinic. This event runs from 10AM-3PM at all locations. Help prevent misuse of prescription drugs and keep our community safe by marking your calendar for Drug Take-Back Day! (Please note that we cannot accept medical sharps or medical waste.)

United Way of Mat-Su is now accepting applications for the 2019 THRIVE Mat-Su Youth Retreat. Held at beautiful North Star Bible Camp in Willow, AK, the Youth Retreat is open to students ages 12-18. This event is free of charge, but space is limited. In past years, the retreat has included workshops on self-care, resilience, youth leadership, outdoor skills, community service, and plenty of time swimming or boating on the lake. Text YOUTHRETREAT to 51555 to receive your application via mobile. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and each student will be contacted regarding their status. Please submit your application by May 15th at close of business.

Questions, or unable to utilize mobile app? Please call Becky Stoppa at (907) 745-5827 or email

United Way of Mat-Su is hard at work organizing our 2019 Week of Caring projects! Week of Caring, you may ask? To reach and connect as many community volunteers and local nonprofits as possible, we have extended our Day of Caring service projects to encompass May 20-May 23, 2019. If you are a nonprofit agency with a project to complete, or a community volunteer who is seeking volunteer hours, look no further! United Way of Mat-Su will connect you with each other. Those interested in submitting a project for Week of Caring 2019 should submit contact information and a brief description of your needs. If you are interested in volunteering, please tell us about your interests and any applicable skills or needs. Requests may be sent to Nick Jenkins, Development Director, at Questions? Please call (907) 745-5822.

Registration for this year’s Play60 Challenge with the Seattle Seahawks will open on April 9! Valley youth ages 6-13 are invited to attend this popular activity day, meet new friends, and try a new sport. This event costs $10 per youth, but registration is limited to the first 300 applicants, so don’t wait! Lunch will be provided, and youth are encouraged to wear clean shoes with non-marking soles and comfortable clothes to get active in. Play60 will be held at the Menard Center on Thursday, June 27. Applications may be submitted via the Mat-Su Seahawkers website at

Questions? Please contact Nick Jenkins at (907) 745-5822. Volunteers are welcome!

Tickets for Wednesday Night Football with players from the Seattle Seahawks are now on sale! Join us for a tailgate-style dinner and auction fundraiser, Wednesday, June 26 from 6:30-8:30pm, at the Palmer Elks Lodge. Meet and greet players from the Seattle Seahawks, with special appearance by Blitz the Seahawk. Bid on a wide array of amazing auction items, including autographed swag, VIP game day package, and Alaska Airlines tickets! All proceeds benefit both the Mat-Su Seahawkers and United Way of Mat-Su’s youth programs in the Valley. To purchase tickets, text Seahawks to 41444. Questions? Please call Michele Harmeling at (907) 745-5824 or email

Did you know that the Early Childhood Partnership of Mat-Su now offers FREE workshops in ACEs, Hope & Resilience? ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) affect nearly two-thirds of adults, but there is always hope! This course is designed to be an overview of ACEs, brain science, and the science of hope and resiliency, for individuals, small groups, or groups of childcare staff. CEUs may be available upon request. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your location or group, please contact the Early Childhood Partnership at (907) 745-5824 or

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