WASILLA — The McKinley Fire is one of several wildfires burning up the state. The 3,316-acre fire at 70 percent containment, as of late Wednesday night, has destroyed 51 homes in the Willow area.
While many evacuees have found temporary lodging assistance, there are still plenty of people still seeking as they work to recover.
Below is a list that includes some of the resources available for those impacted by the wildfires.
American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross is currently running a disaster relief shelter at Menard Sports Center. Volunteers are offering showers, food, water, bedding, emergency packs and other forms of relief in collaboration with other organizations like the Salvation Army and Frontline Mission.
The Red Cross is distributing emergency relief supplies to those in need over the coming days, through a fixed site at the Upper Susitna Senior Center located at 16463 Helena Drive, Talkeetna.
They are also dispensing relief supplies in the neighborhoods affected by the fire through mobile routes with emergency response vehicles.
The Red Cross recently transitioned all overnight shelter services to the Menard Sports Center. The Upper Susitna Senior Center remains open, readily offering supplies and services. The Upper Susitna Food Pantry is offering meals. Displaced residents have access to showers and laundry at the center provided by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
The Red Cross will continue to offer disaster relief and supplies as long as there’s a need.
“We know Alaskans are generous and want to do everything they can to help those affected by the McKinley Fire. For any disaster, the first priority for the Red Cross is to provide shelter, meals and other support to those affected, and financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to those who need it most,” officials stated in the press release.
People looking to help people affected through the Red Cross by the wildfires can donate monetary donations, which is said to be the most effective method of donation.
Monetary donations help the Red Cross’ overall efforts helping people recover during disasters. Donors can visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
According to Communications Manager for Salvation Army Alaska Division, Lessa Peter, the Salvation Army is still helping provide food and spiritual services at the Menard Sports Center.
The Salvation Army has also been supporting evacuees in a number of ways, from temporary lodging to free clothes and supplies. Peter said it just depends on each person’s need.
The Salvation Army is accepting family services vouchers at their thrift stores. The store vouchers can be obtained by contacting family services at 907-745-7079. They are not part of the COAS disbursing vouchers for multiple thrift stores.
People can also make monetary donations, which are the most beneficial contributions, according to Peter.
“For us, providing monetary donations would be the most helpful… Mostly, monetary donations help with things like rental utility assistance or providing food, stocking our food pantries for people who are in need. But in various other ways as well,” Peter said.
To make monetary donations to the Salvation Army, call 907-745-7079, Text ‘HELPAK’ to 243-725, or visit mat-suvalley.salvationarmy.org
Frontline Mission is currently collecting clothing, toiletries and other essential items for evacuees. They’re offering free, hot meals Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
They’re also offering shower and laundry services. They’re asking people to call ahead to schedule laundry services.
Amber Hiebert, executive director of Frontline Mission said that there’s been an outpour of donations from the community but they mostly need essentials like beddings, (new) socks and underwear, towels and wash cloths.
Frontline Mission cannot take furniture. Hiebert suggested donating furniture for fire victims to thrift stores like Turn A Leaf. Frontline Mission is located 2001 E Palmer-Wasilla Hwy, in Wasilla and can be reached at 907-357-8600.
Church on the Rock:
“Currently we are aware of families of COTR North Campus who have lost their homes in the fire. The North and Willow campus locations are safe and are currently outside the evacuation area. North Campus is working with local agencies to provide showers, food, and assistance to those residents in the area displaced by the fire. Wasilla Campus has a licensed food service lead that is partnering with the Red Cross at the Curtis Menard Center,” stated via email.
EXP Realty, LLC — Alaska Premier Group
EXP Realty, LLC — Alaska Premier Group is donating a portion of their real estate commission to victims of the McKinley, Deshka Landing and Swan Lake Fires.
“We want to help our fellow Alaskans that have been affected by the dangerous wildfires. We love our state and the people in it, and are sad to see families losing homes,” Associate Broker in Charge/Owner at EXP Realty, LLC — Alaska Premier Group, Janice Lobaugh stated via email.
Lobaugh suggested texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. She also suggested donating to a relief account set up at Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union.
Monetary donations to Mat Valley Federal Credit Union Acct#9900000135611 can be done at any location. Telephonic donations can go through the Sunshine branch at 907-733-4891.
Non MVFCU members can make checks out to ‘USFP McKinley Fire Relief’ and drop them off at any MVFCU location.
Primal Martial Arts in Wasilla is also accepting donations for fire victims. For more information, call 907-357-5588.
For local wildfire updates, visit akfireinfo.com
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org