Thursday, September 10, 2009

Please Help Us Help Others in Need

Here is some info from Maija's Blog about a fundraiser for the victims of the terrible fires we had here in Kotzebue on Saturday. Please feel help us spread the word of this fundraiser by linking directly to my post or Maija's post or by re-posting the info onto your blog (if you have one).


One good thing about living in a village, is the astounding help you get in the wake of a tragedy.

Early Saturday morning, the residents in Kotzebue (those who were awake, or awakened by the sirens) witnessed a sight so awful, words can not describe.

fire 4

A house fire ravaged four homes in the middle of town. Three of those homes were completely destroyed along with the memories within them. One home was partially burned, but will survive this with a nasty scar on one side.

fire 3

Those homes belonged to a father and mother, Homer and Margaret Russell, elders in our community, grandparents taking care of grandchildren, parents who raised children. Homer suffered a fractured leg and Margaret scrapes and bruises. Their daughters, Eva and her husband Henry Booth also lost their home, as did their other daughter Barbara and her husband Chuck Janitscheck, but all escaped without harm.

These families lost everything.

fire 2

The home that was damaged belonged to another elder, Dolly Sours, who escaped unharmed with a friend who happened to be visiting.

fire 1


So...we need YOUR help!

Starting today, we will be hosting an online contest for locally made products.

For every $10 you donate to the family, (I'll tell you how in a bit) your name will be put into a random name generator, for a chance to win some pretty AWESOME items.

So far, we have the following: (I'll post photos tomorrow, as well as other prizes as we still have them coming in from local people)

Deluxe handmade Knife By Siksu's Knives

Eskimo Kuspuk (atikluk) made by a local sewer, custom to fit YOU!

Birch Bark Basket made by a resident of the Upper Kobuk

Mukluk Keychain handsewn

Mitten Keychain Handsewn

2 jars of homemade Aqpik Jelly (made by Red Seeberger)

2 jars of homemade Blueberry Jelly

2 jars of homemade Fireweed Jelly

A beaded Barrette with Mukluks and Flowers sewn into it

Ivory Ulu Earrings

An Ivory Zipper Pull

Three Fillets of Kenai Red Salmon (Vacuum Packed, frozen)

Three Packages Alaskan Halibut (Vacuum Packed, Frozen)

Matted Photos by Aqvaluq Photography

Swan Antler Carving

And a multitude of other fun, and SUPER ESKIMO things!

P.S. if you want to donate something, please let me know, and I'll add it to the list.

Here's two ways to win:

1. A SAVINGS account has been set up at WELLS FARGO Bank under the name:

Rick Janitscheck (the custodian for the account)
ACCOUNT: 9790207832

Visit your local Wells Fargo Bank and donate in increments of $10 (ten dollars) to that account. For every $10 you donate, your name will be placed in the database.

Email me the confirmation of donation to:

2. Write a check to: KOTZEBUE HOUSE FIRES, and send it to me, "C/O Maija Lukin PO BOX 1350, Kotzebue, AK 99752" and email me the amount and I'll put your name into the database.

The drawing will be held Friday, September 25th.


Witnessing the fire only gives you an awareness of your vulnerability on this earth. A year and ten months ago, my aunt and cousin died in a house fire. Several months ago, a Selawik family with young children lost their home to a fire. Fire's rattle my nightmares, and shake me to the bone.

What else can I do? I don't know, but what I can do is help.

Thank you for your support and help. The residents of Kotzebue really appreciate it!



Linda Lou said...

So sorry to hear this! So happy no one lost their life. Was the elder Dolly Sours?
Linda Graves

Cathy said...

Yes, Dolly Sour's house was one of the houses that was damaged by the fire. If did not burn to the ground but it did suffer extensive damage to the backside of the building. She has had to move to different housing until repairs can be made.

The other three houses are a total loss. These families made it out with only their lives and the clothes on their backs and there is a long cold winter right around the corner.

Millsy said...

I tried to donate by making an online transfer. It will not accept the name "Kotzebue house fires". What name is the account under?

Cathy said...

Thanks for the heads up. I called the Kotz Wells Fargo and they said to do an online transfer you have to use the name Rick Janitscheck. He is the custodian of the account. If someone wants to send a check the check can still be made out to Kotzebue House Fires C/O Maija's address and she will deposit it into the account.

I changed the info in the blog.

Millsy said...

Thanks Cathy!

Linda Lou said...

If you have a chance would you please let her know I am praying for her and give her my love. It has been so many years since I have spoken with her and I still miss her.

Anonymous said...

I shared your post on my Facebook. You might want to consider Paypal or one of the online donation sites, for those of us not from the US of A.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to the people involved with the fire. We have so many friends that lost houses in Julian Ca. in the last two Forest fires.
The Calif. guy

Lisa said...

Thank you(both you and Maija) for posting this info. I read about it at ADN and couldnt believe it. I'll pass on the word....

Cathy said...

I sent a note to Maija about Paypal. I think we might be able to figure out something for that tomorrow.

Lisa said...

If you guys could get something set up on Paypal that would be great. I shared the info on Facebook, my blog and my Shutterfly site so hopefully people will donate and help! Keep us posted on any items that could also be mailed up there to help out,such as clothing or household items.

gpc said...

Hi Cathy - I tried to email you but it was returned 'undeliverable.' I'm sure the fault is in my program. Anyway, I have mailed a check for $30 today and wish I could do more. Thanks to you and Maija for doing this. I enjoy both of your blogs. (feel free to delete this comment, which was intended to be an email!)


Cathy said...

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated. Don't forget to email Maija at so that you can be interested into the drawing. There are a lot of really great prized with more prizes being donated every day.