This holiday season, TWC’s Giving Tree gave presents to 66 families in Bethel and the YK Delta. Over 200 children and 70 women received clothes, toys, or winter gear thanks to the Bethel community’s generous donations to so many TWC participants. Quyana!
We at TWC are grateful to everyone who contributed to our Pick.Click.Give. campaign in 2013. Because of your generosity, this money will support important activities that we are otherwise unable to fund. TWC is fortunate to have been affiliated with the PFD Charitable Contributions Program since it began six years ago. Thank you for continuing to give.
Please consider allocating a portion of your Permanent Fund Dividend to TWC in 2014!
Quyana and Happy New Year!
Our thrift store is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 6 pm every week.
We are looking for volunteers who can commit to working at the thrift store at least once a week for a shift (6 hours) or part of a shift. The store frequently receives donations, which need to be sorted and shelved.
Volunteers are welcome to count the hours that they work towards TANF requirements or community service, and also take home a bag of items. Thank you volunteers for all that you do for TWC!
The Tundra Women’s Coalition will be hosting its annual meeting on December 29 from 1-2:30 PM. All members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, which will take place at 248 6th Avenue in Bethel. For more information, please call TWC’s business line at 907.543.3444
Living Christmas Trees will be arriving in Bethel on December 3. Proceeds from the sale will benefit TWC.
To order your tree, please call 543.3444 and ask for Susan, Jessica, or Debbie.
You may also purchase one at the Saturday Market at the Cultural Center on November 30 or at the VFW craft sale on December 7.
There are several types and sizes to choose from:
3 – 5 feet Noble Firs: Cost ~$115 6 – 7 feet Grand Firs: Cost ~$150
5 – 6 feet Noble Firs: Cost ~$135 7 – 8 feet Noble Firs: Cost ~$185
On October 4, TWC’s Engaging Men and Boys program hosted an evening of traditional dancing at Gladys Jung Elementary School. Groups from Bethel, Napaskiak, and Kasigluk performed in the yuraq.
On October 5, TWC was back at Gladys Jung for a fiddle dance. The cakewalk featured some incredible cakes, including this one, below, with TWC’s logo on it. The Bethel Band performed in front of a large crowd, and Executive Director Michelle DeWitt was honored for her 16 years of service at TWC.
On October 8, Michelle DeWitt was a member of a discussion panel hosted by the Alaska World Affairs Conference at Bear Tooth in Anchorage following a screening of the documentary, Not My Life. Michelle has been a member of the State of Alaska Task Force on the Crimes of Human Trafficking, Promoting Prostitution, and Sex Trafficking. The other members of the panel were Executive Director of the Alaska Institute for Justice Robin Bronen, FBI Special Agent Jolene Goeden, and First Lady of Alaska, Sandy Parnell.
On October 9, TWC staff, board members, TAAVers, members of the Sexual Assault Response Team, and other supporters, including Miss Weio 2013, Megan Leary, marched through downtown Bethel from Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center to TWC to raise awareness about the impact of domestic violence on individuals, families, and communities in Bethel and across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
On October 24, members of the community gathered for the annual Candle Light Ceremony to honor victims and witnesses of domestic violence.
TAAVers Felix and Kenneth Bigjohn, TWC staff members, Matilda Bee, CJ Pleasant, Misti Nelson, Fr. Ishmael Andrew, and Jackie Larson caught a moose not far from Napaskiak on Friday, September 13. TAAV was able to hunt this fall year using a cultural education permit from the Department of Fish and Game. The group spotted a large moose around 11 am before it disappeared into the woods. Jackie made a moose call, and two different moose appeared out of the brush. Jackie shot one of them, and the group brought the moose back to the TWC.
Many thanks to everyone who helped carry, clean, and process the meat. The majority of the meat will be used by women and children in the shelter, but TAAV will also host a small feast for TAAVers and their families.
Applications are coming in slowly and the TWC Search Committee has chosen to extend the deadline until July 19 at 5pm.
Thank you to all interested parties.
by Angela Denning-Barnes on May 3, 2013
The name Michelle Dewitt has grown almost synonymous with the Tundra Women’s Coalition in Bethel. She’s been with the regional shelter for the past 16 years and was essential in getting a new shelter up and running. However, she has recently resigned and this fall will be moving over to run the philanthropic organization, Bethel Community Services Foundation.
“We’re very pleased and happy to have her on board,” says Frank Neitz, Board Chair the foundation.
BCSF helps fund local projects. It’s involved in investments, owns 14 properties in Bethel, and runs gaming like the Kuskokwim Ice Classics. It has helped fund such programs as the dental health aide therapists, and Best in the West which gives grants to start up local businesses.
“Our primary mission is to fund things local,” Neitz says.
Dewitt did not take her decision to leave TWC lightly.
“I have loved my work here in children’s program and legal advocacy and then the last almost 13 years as the director, and it has been a fantastic tenure,” Dewitt says.
Dewitt says her experiences at TWC have created new interests for her that have led her to BCSF. She says it is an exciting opportunity since she’s coming from a non-profit organization background.
“We’ve been on the receiving end of funds for a very long period of time, seeking grants to make projects and activities work and to fund them, and over that period of time, I’ve become more and more curious about being on the funding side of projects and working in philanthropy and working with funders,” Dewitt says.
Dewitt says she’s interested in coordinating with other foundations and exploring new partnerships to help fund local projects and activities.
Dewitt will stay with TWC until October to help the organization transition into new leadership.
Elizabeth Roll is President of the TWC Board of Directors.
“She’s been such an integral part of TWC for over 16 years and has really grown the organization exponentially,” Roll says. “We’re really happy to be able to have about a six month notice to be able to work on our new executive director.”
They are big shoes to fill. So, how do you go about filling them? In this case, you hire two people instead of just one. Roll says TWC is creating a deputy director’s position.
“Some of that responsibility will be diverted to the deputy director, simply to make the executive director role a little more manageable,” Roll says, “and that way there will have two people helping run the organization together.”