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Pick. Click. Give.

The start of the New Year in Alaska brings on barrage of emails, advertisements and articles about PICK.CLICK.GIVE. and AK Child & Family will not be out done. Those of us living in Alaska have a unique opportunity to give back to our communities in a uniquely Alaskan way. We can give to charities of our choice with money that we don’t have.

Ok, that’s a bit misleading so let me put it another way. Every year in October we receive a Permanent Fund Dividend check. Sometimes that money goes to buying things we really need. In other cases Alaskans put the PFD to work by saving it up for their family’s college education. Still, a growing number of Alaskans are electing to contribute a portion of their PFD to charities of their choice using PICK. CLICK. GIVE. during the PFD application process. (Thus, money they don’t have now but will have in the future is contributed later.) For that, we at AK Child & Family are sincerely grateful.

The help we get through PICK.CLICK.GIVE. has opened the door to treatment for some young people and their families that might not be available without it. The cost of our care has gone up annually for the past decade. Personnel costs rise, health insurance costs rise, food costs rise, energy cost go up, etc… Despite this, our major funder of treatment, Alaska Medicaid, has not raised the rates they pay to us one penny in that same time frame. Contributions through PICK.CLICK.GIVE. enable us to continue to reach out to youth throughout Alaska.

While treatment is our major focus, we also know that we are home for many of the young people we serve. This means that we have to make sure there are new clothes when they outgrow the old ones; we have to make sure they are ready for school when the school bell rings; equip them with pencils and notebooks and increasingly technology to meet the demands of school these days . We have to pay attention to things like birthdays and assure there are presents and cake for them to share with their cottage mates and a party to go along with their special day. Treatment, while intensive, should be interspersed with down time, like going to the movies or out to eat with a favorite staff and peer. At times the young people we treat need extra attention; it is funds provided by the PICK.CLICK.GIVE. program that allow us to call someone in to provide that attention without hesitation.

It is so encouraging to all of us at AK Child & Family to know that people recognize the work we do as valuable. Without donations like those that come through PICK.CLICK.GIVE. we would not be able to meet all of the needs of the young people that we serve. It is our hope that our fellow Alaskans will use PICK. CLICK. GIVE. when applying for this year's PFD and that they will choose us as their donation recipient.