Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Contests for New Beginnings...

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 1

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, 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 also lost their home, as did their other daughter Barbara and her husband Chuck, but all escaped without harm.

fire 2

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


The Russell family lost everything.


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 Aqvaluk Photography

Handmade (Beaded) Earrings

Atikluk Apron

Gift Certificate from Margie's Materials

Grass Handweaved Basket by Kathy Westlake

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 are THREE ways to win:

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

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:

If you want to donate electronically via, the Savings account is held under the name "Rick Janitscheck."

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.

3. Bring cash or a check over to Maija at the NANA Office, or Cathy at the Maniilaq Developmental Disabilities House. And remember, for ever $10, your name is entered once.

So, in order to get as many donations as possible and as much exposure as possible, the drawing will be held on September 25th. (My son's birthday!) Two weeks from tomorrow. So, DONATE NOW! Let's come together and help our own.


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!


Anonymous said...

I felt so helpless just watching, Later that night I wondered if it would be ilegal to form a line from the water and send buckets of water down the line? Do you think the fire department would have stopped us? I wouldnt want everybody just watching if it were my house. if you are there why not help stop the situation?

Sadie Ferguson Wilson

Indigo said...

I have some US dollars left from our road trip this spring. It's not a lot, maybe $80. I will post them tomorrow.

Urban Milkmaid said...

Gosh, so sorry for your community's loss! As someone who has made plans to relocate to the tundra next year (Bethel), I already feel like I need to be a part of things up there in Alaska. I will visit my local Wells Fargo tomorrow and make a donation. Love your blog!!

Amy (Barr) Topkok said...

Wow, so sorry for the Russell family. I hope that things get better from here on out. I will forward your blog to others, and see if that helps. I really appreciate what you are doing, and we all need to help take care of others, as it's the Inupiaq way!

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Will put a check in the mail tomorrow. Wish I could do more than it will be for.