$21,500 awarded in grants to Palmer nonprofits

Advisory Board Member, Jan Newman, presents grant to Alaska Family Services


This year we’ve had the privilege of awarding $21,500 in grants to local nonprofits thanks to support from Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska Community Foundation, and our generous donors!

To get things rolling, in March we collaborated with Alaska Community Foundation to give $5000 to Family Promise Mat-Su. This grant was especially timely since it was awarded as COVID-19 restrictions were being implemented for the state of Alaska. Family Promise Mat-Su’s services are crucial during this time. The $5000 grant assists them in providing transitional housing, rental assistance, and utility assistance to Mat-Su families.

In April, we awarded five grants during our 2020 competitive grant cycle totaling $6500.

$2000 was awarded to Alaska Family Services to build a community garden at 403 S Alaska Street in Palmer. The 21 garden beds will be built and managed in partnership with Grow Palmer. AFS will reserve two garden beds for the use of Family Contact Center families to provide a safe, therapeutic parent-child activity.

Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center received $2000 to purchase a drone. The drone will provide professional, high quality, and cutting-edge avalanche forecasting in Hatcher Pass. Over the past decade, HPAC has issued detailed avalanche forecasting for the public and the new drone will add a valuable tool for providing lifesaving information for professionals and recreationists.

The Palmer High School Sandwich Project provides food to students in need on weekends during the school year. With a grant of $750, they will continue to serve approximately 80 students throughout the Palmer area. The Sandwich Project works to ensure that all students can focus on learning, getting a valuable education, and becoming valued productive citizens of our community.

The Palmer United Methodist Church received a $750 grant for their Supplemental Weekend Nutrition program. They believe no student should go hungry. In partnership with the Families in Transition program and three local schools, the program has delivered more than 785 bags in the last year to homeless and in-transition elementary and junior high students.

Radio Free Palmer is upgrading their website with a $1000 grant. The all-volunteer community radio station broadcasts diverse music, local news, and public affairs to listeners in Palmer and beyond. Updates will include making the website mobile-friendly, improving the navigation, updating the landing page, and making podcasts easier to access.

In May, Alaska Community Foundation, with support from Rasmuson Foundation, gave COVID-19 grant-making funds to each ACF affiliate. The funds were immediately available to address the growing needs associated with Coronavirus across the state. Palmer Community Foundation chose to focus our funds on food security and vulnerable populations.

During our competitive grant cycle, the PCF Advisory Board wanted to fund the United Methodist Church Supplemental Weekend Nutrition Program at a higher level. Once more funds were available, the Advisory Board granted them an additional $1000 to feed homeless and in-transition elementary and junior high students.

To support the impressive work that Mat-Su Senior Services has been doing during the pandemic, PCF awarded them with $7000. Funding to Mat-Su Senior Services will go to Meals on Wheels in the Valley, which not only provides food but also much-needed socialization for otherwise isolated seniors.

In addition, $2000 was given to Mat-Su Services for Children and Adults. MSSCA provides services throughout the Valley for people with disabilities and those caring for them. The organization will use the funds to grow their telehealth services, a service that will continue to benefit those they serve even after the COVID crisis has ended.

It is always rewarding to do this work, but it is especially fulfilling to be able to do so during these challenging times. The effects of the Coronavirus will no doubt have unforeseen consequences in the future and PCF wishes to continue to support recovery efforts in Matanuska River Communities. Right now, we have the opportunity to give an additional $18,500 towards crisis support for area nonprofits once we reach our 2020 fundraising goal. We only need to raise an additional $6500 to unlock the $18,500 for immediate grantmaking. The sooner we can raise these funds, the sooner we can offer relief for the pressing needs right here in our community.

We are working collaboratively with other community funders and looking at all areas of need. By donating to our endowed fund you are putting your support exactly where it is needed. Your gift of even $50 can have a lasting impact on our community. Please donate today.