Sitka Legacy Foundation Spring 2024 Newsletter

With Your Help – We Did it!

We are excited to announce that Sitkans are making an impactful difference with their charitable donations. Through your generous gifting our lasting endowment funds have reached the million-dollar mark! These funds will support causes that Sitkans care about now and into the future. Community members donate to the foundation, and the funds are managed by the Alaska Community Foundation. Each year the SLF awards income from our investment to local community organizations. To date, the Sitka Legacy Foundation has granted over $200,000 to our community.

Your donations helped to fund these local projects in SLF’s 2023 Grant Cycle:

Sitka Trail Works: Creation of Sitka Trail Works Youth Program
Sitka Babies and Books: Program support to purchase books
Sitka Homeless Coalition: Continued support for the Little Houses project
Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services: Program support for Tots to Teens program
Southeast Alaska Independent Living: Operating Support
Betty Eliason Child Care Center: Childcare scholarships for underserved populations
Sitka Conservation Society: Salty Spoke Youth bicycle education
Blatchley Middle School: Middle school digital arts program

2023 Awardee Highlights

Babies and Books

Sitka Babies and Books was founded in 1991. Over the years, we have had the privilege of engaging thousands of Sitka families by providing books, resources, and dynamic programs for children, which are structured around the five principles of early literacy: singing, talking, reading, writing, and playing.

Our program encourages and supports families and caregivers in reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers—in turn, fostering bonding between parents and children.

Research shows that reading to children at home increases reading readiness skills, so we direct our programs to children who have not yet started kindergarten.

We sincerely appreciate the kindness and generosity of the Sitka Legacy Foundation for your continued support of our efforts to encourage Sitka children to become lifelong readers and users of the Sitka Public Library.

Tots to Teens

Over the years, we have had the privilege of engaging in thousands of community meetings, where parents identified toddler gyms as greatly needed. Parent Tot Time provides a gathering place for parents to connect and toddlers to explore through movement and unstructured play. The grant has provided equipment and resources to operate free toddler time for the youngest families. Eliminating fees has more than doubled attendance at tot times.

Teen open gym offers a welcoming and warm space for youth to hang out with each other and with safe adults. Open skating, basketball, volleyball, art, ping pong, and karaoke are a few of the activities on offer at these events. An unexpected outcome has been the chance for students from Sitka’s three high schools to connect.  AmeriCorps volunteer Laura Cebulski made this observation: “I see students moving their bodies; interacting and meeting new people; showing respect to themselves and each other; and laughing and smiling.”

Sitka Trail Works

Sitka Trail Works started 2024 with a goal of getting kids aged 8-18 outside. High school age kids had the opportunity to participate in an Outdoors Skills elective. For middle school age kids, Sitka Trail Works expanded their reach through a Youth Hiking Club that offers monthly hiking on trails around Sitka. Middle school kids were also able to take a Snow School class that includes lessons on watersheds, crystal structures, avalanches, animal tracks, and snowshoeing.

Join us in feeling good about our donated dollars making a difference in the lives of Sitkans. Since its founding in 2013, the Sitka Legacy Foundation has been an integral part of supporting a huge variety of projects implemented through our local organizations.
We hope you will consider making a gift to our community-wide fund this year. Our fundraising goal for 2024 is $40,000 and the Rasmuson Foundation will match $20,000.  $15,000 must be raised into our operating endowment to receive the match. We can do it!

Ways to Donate

Mail Check:
The Alaska Community Foundation
P.O. BOX 2354
Sitka AK 99835