AmeriCorps members pack emergency preparedness kits for Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s Tribal Emergency Operations Center as part of a day of service on Sept. 10, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

AmeriCorps members pack emergency preparedness kits for Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s Tribal Emergency Operations Center as part of a day of service on Sept. 10, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

AmeriCorps members help Tlingit and Haida on day of service

Members were making emergency preparedness kits for Tribal children.

AmeriCorps members in Juneau celebrated one of their three-a-year days of service helping put together emergency preparedness packages for tribal children across the Northwest.

Working with Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s Tribal Emergency Operations Center, members readied more than 1,000 kits to go out to children across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

“I’ve been here for so long that I’ve always worked in partnership with Tlingit and Haida,” said Shari Paul, United Way of Southeast Alaska’s director of the AmeriCorps program in an interview. “(The AmeriCorps members) want to learn about the land they’re working on and more about Alaska Native culture and history.”

[Alaska National Guard lends a hand in Louisiana]

Members packed the kits, which included masks, a water bottle, a flashlight, a key chain, a hand sanitizer bottle, a bike reflector and a coloring book teaching kids about COVID-19 mitigation.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire 
AmeriCorps members pack emergency preparedness kits, like the one shown here, for Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s Tribal Emergency Operations Center as part of a day of service on Sept. 10, 2021.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire AmeriCorps members pack emergency preparedness kits, like the one shown here, for Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s Tribal Emergency Operations Center as part of a day of service on Sept. 10, 2021.

“I wanted a more permanent position where I could get to know the community a bit better,” said Kelsey Rich, originally from Cleveland and who previously worked with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps across the country. “It’s been fantastic.”

Rich is one of nine members to work in Juneau for this year’s group. Seven of those members have had at least one year working with AmeriCorps before, a relatively high percentage of veterancy.

“They know a lot of the rules and regulations,” Paul said. “They have the experience.”

Lucas Oswald, originally from the Chicago area, is another, coming up after a year working in Florida north of Fort Lauderdale assisting with literacy programs.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
AmeriCorps members pack emergency preparedness kits for Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s Tribal Emergency Operations Center as part of a day of service on Sept. 10, 2021.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire AmeriCorps members pack emergency preparedness kits for Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s Tribal Emergency Operations Center as part of a day of service on Sept. 10, 2021.

“This is my second year doing AmeriCorps,” Oswald said in an interview. “Alaska is much different than anywhere I’ve ever lived.”

Oswald, who works at Sayéik: Gastineau Community School, said he’s enjoying the change of pace from Florida.

“It’s been good. I like the seasons. I like winter,” Oswald said. “This is definitely the smallest place I’ve ever lived. It doesn’t feel as isolated as I thought it would. There’s so much to do.”

AmeriCorps members have three volunteer days a year, Paul said, as part of the AmeriCorps mission. The 9/11 day of service has long been part of the organization’s efforts.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a glance for Wednesday, Sept. 15

The most recent state and local figures

The Juneau Police Department is seeking more information on a handful of crimes that occurred in Juneau in August. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police seeking information on recent crimes in Juneau

The police need more information if the investigations are to proceed.

The Baby Raven Reads-published book Shanyaak’utlaax̱ – Salmon Boy will represent Alaska at the 2021 National Book Festival, held by the Library of Congress. (Courtesy art / Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Baby Raven Reads book is Alaska’s selection for National Book Festival

It’s the first time a book from the early literacy program has been selected.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Sept. 14

The most recent state and local figures

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Local author Lindy Miller Ryan’s new book “Aloha With Love,” has been turned into a movie that will be released next year. She’s planning on writing a Christmas romance based in Juneau. (Courtesy photo/Meryl Moss Media Group)
Local author pens love story

Rainy days inspire tale set in Hawaii

State Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, participate's in an October 2020 march and rally in Juneau. Hannan on Monday apologized for comments made during a state House of Representatives floor session in which she suggested Nazi medical experiments led to gained knowledge. ((Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Hannan apologizes for Nazi experiment comments

State rep calls her remarks “incorrect, insensitive and hurtful.”

Grammy-award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey performed all six Bach suites as people filed in for a second COVID-19 vaccine dose at Centennial Hall on April 3. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)
Juneau Jazz & Classics announces Fall Festival line up

In-person events require a vaccination card

Most Read