A Food Drive Adoption Story


Dec 2, 2009

In our previous post we  mentioned that there were individuals that couldn’t afford to adopt a family on their own and wanted to know if they co-adopt a family.

Here is a story of just such a group of adoptees…


Once upon a time there were  five ladies struggling with lives full of problems and challenges. They took the time to read about the plight of residents in Nunam Iqua, Alaska and wanted to help, but in light of their problems, couldn’t even think of taking on such a big job as adopting a whole family all by themselves. Each one, in her own time, asked the question, could a group of us gather together and take on the needs of a family?  We thought about it  and said, “Hey, let’s try it!”

Thus, with an e-mail, Ann introduced the ladies to one another and left them to sort themselves out. Within a few hours, the new group began the halting steps to organize themselves. Each one thought hard and realistically about what she could afford to do and the group chose one person to be a recording secretary and one to keep Ann in the loop and to ask her questions as time revealed them.

Ideas began to germinate among them about how to best manage the job. Those with more experience, shared what had worked well previously, and the group googled to find cost effective ways to purchase, pack and ship sorely needed items.

In the process of doing this, a mysterious thing began to happen. Five women, totally absorbed in surviving unemployment, income reduction, illness and other struggles, found themselves reaching out to one another.

They shared their stories, their problems, their histories and their battles with depression and loss. A funny thing began to happen. They began to feel better. They laughed together over shopping trips and the bargains they found, about the Post Office reaction to five crazy ladies lugging in boxes that risked herniating any postal clerk who tried to lift them.

In the process, their burdens consumed less of their time, their depression began to lift and they got to know one another better. Even when one of the ladies lost an elderly parent right in the middle of all this, she had the comfort and care of new friends to help her bear her loss, and their prayers and thoughts held her up. All she could think of was, “Please don’t give up on me! I still want to be part of the group!”

The story is ongoing, but in less than a week, this little group has managed to forge new friendships, gather others to help, and boxes are flying out of Post Offices from all over the country to help fellow citizens.

Thank you for taking time away from your shopping and emails to share your story with us!  Thanks to your efforts a family of eight in Nunam Iqua will have help with food and a little less to worry about this holiday season.

Family Adoptions Update:

Out of 29 households, 19 families have been adopted by generous people in both the US and Canada.

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Thank you to VFW AK Post 10041

This morning we received a call from “Buck” Bukowski with VFW Alaska Post 10041, who told me that they had heard about the plight of Nunam Iqua,  discussed it at a meeting, and voted to send a donation of $1,000 to help the people of Nunam Iqua!  This donation will be made to Span Alaska for purchasing much needed items in bulk.

Thank you to VFW Bethel Post 10041!  Your generosity will be of great help to the residents of Nunam Iqua!

*  *  *

Media Interviews

Anonymous Bloggers have been hard at work trying to get the word out and bring help to these families.  We  have been interviewed by:

The Alaska Dispatch:  Hungry on the Edge of the Continent  by Jill Burke

APRN: Internet Helping Nunam Iqua Prepare for Winter by: Dave Donaldson

Nicholas Tucker Sr. on Native America Calling (starts at about 32:45)


4 Responses to “A Food Drive Adoption Story”

  1. Cindy Says:

    Last year we sent some boxes up to Ugashik, as well as Nunam Iqua. What is the story for the people in Ugashik this winter?

  2. alaskapi Says:

    The magic of everyday folks working together makes a difference for everyone involved.
    Thank you Ladies 5 !

    And thank you VFW AK Post 10041 !

  3. Lightedhearted Says:

    Quick question, from those of us sponsoring a family alone. Are we expected to send more than one box a month to our family that we’ve “adopted” or will one box be enough?
    If more than one box would be better, how many do you recommend?

  4. UgaVic Says:

    Cindy/Others :-)

    I am just finishing catching up on Pilot Point and Ugashik for their needs.

    Thank heavens I can share that this summer was so much better than last and overall our two communities are doing much better. We still have winter moose season so that might change things but we are feeling this are more stable this year.

    We still have some ‘need’ but more in a ‘normal’ sense and it looks like things can be taken care of via channels that we made contact with last year like the AK Food Bank.

    Also our fuel costs backed off some and that has helped greatly.

    Thank you for asking. It is appreciated.

Comments are closed.

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