Contributed by Charice Chambers
Wouldn’t you like to get the perfect gift for any occasion at a lower-than-normal price, while also making a donation to assist needy seniors in your community? It can happen if you are willing to travel a bit off the beaten path.
Mat-Su Senior Services, located across from Palmer Junior Middle School on South Chugach, in Palmer has a unique and exciting gift shop just inside its front doors. Manned by volunteers, the shop’s mission aims to provide seniors with high quality giftables for prices that they can afford on fixed incomes. The public is invited to shop there as well.
The Great Part: All net proceeds go back to assist in senior programs such as Meals on Wheels, transportation services, congregate meals, adult day services and many others. Purchasing at the shop is a double win: great prices and the knowledge that your purchase assists in supporting such an important community need.
A delight to the eye, the shop is filled with a wide variety of goods and features local artists and craftsmen. In the shop can be found the state’s largest selection of men’s, women’s and children’s native style fabric kuspuks and parkas. The shop’s “little folks” section is filled with vintage dolls, games and exquisitely detailed native puppets. There are even complete layettes lovingly crafted by Grandma herself!
Miniature native doll collectibles by well-known Alaskan artists, Patty Halley and Tracie Tompkins, are also available. Halley has recently branched out to include felted angels to her collection. The angels are a gift shop exclusive.
The shop also boasts a large collection of Alaska native made art. Mukluks, baskets, scrimshaw, ivory jewelry, masks carvings and much more fill the cases.
The shop is open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 4pm, and Friday 10am to 5pm through the 23rd of December. Regular hours are 10am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday. Though the hours of operation are somewhat limited, and the location is a bit out-of-the-way, it’s worth a bit of extra effort to visit the little shop in Palmer with the big personality.