Helping Hands International currently serves native Alaskan's in the remote village of Unalakleet. We invite you to join us in sharing the love of God by bring help and hope to hurting people in this beautiful place!
May 19, 2023-May 26, 2023 (open)
May 25, 2023-June 2, 2023 (full)
$300 per person per week (plus airfare) - please register for the trip PRIOR to paying! :)
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
This year our service trip will focus on completing necessary camp repairs which will benefit over 350 youth from the Village of Unalakleet and surrounding areas. Alaska has long extremally harsh winter that wreak havoc on the entire camp. Because of this there is always a tremendous amount of repairs needed to get the camp in working order.
This year the projects will include but are not limited to:
- Clear land by climbing tower
- Fallen tree cleanup
- Clean up brush piles and put them through the chipper
- Paint outhouses
- Level staff cabins
- Clear 10 foot space around each of the staff and camp cabins
- Install drip stove in New Cabin
- Temple floor repair
Stove corner is sinking and has slipped off of footings. We need to straighten and level the supports. The stove pipe will need to be hooked back up once the floor is leveled.
- Replace leaky water valves
What to Expect
On Your Way to Unalakleet: If you are flying into Anchorage, AK on your way to Unalakleet, you are encouraged to eat a hearty meal because there is typically only one connecting flight and it may be delayed. After arrival in Unalakleet, all luggage bags will be moved to a van or trailer so waterproof luggage is not necessary but can be helpful. Finally, we suggest you have rain gear readily available – be prepared for rain. Once in Unalakleet: A typical day includes having breakfast around 7:30 a.m., morning devotions and praise around 8 a.m., working on projects until 5 p.m. in the afternoon, and interacting with the locals. See itinerary link below for detailed schedule.
LODGING & FOOD
Where We Stay & What We Eat
We will be staying at Covenant Bible camp in the staff Cabins. The cabins have bunk beds with pads. You will need a sleeping bag, pillow and extra pad if you require a more comfortable option.
How We Get Around
The local Covenant Church provides us with a 15 passenger van along with a truck. There is also opportunity to walk around the village and local landmarks.
What to Bring
HEALTH & SAFETY
Helping Hands International recommends you follow those health and safety recommendations readily published by the CDC and Travel Alert program offered by the US State Department, as well as those recommended by your personal physician. Please also be sure to read HHI's COVID-19 policy (see below) and discuss local travel restrictions with your Team Leader.
Alaska has the highest suicide rate per capita in the entire US. The highest rate of suicide being men and woman between the ages of 15-24. Unalakleet and the surrounding areas are especially susceptible because they feel trapped with no options for a future. Unalakleet and the surrounding villages are only Accessible by plane leaving the native very little opportunity to leave their small town or village. It's a tragic and seemingly never ending problem but Covenant Bible Camp brings hope. Covenant Bible Camp is a wilderness camp for the youth of Western Alaska. Campers come from dozens of different villages in the Norton Sound, YK Delta, Nana Region, and even the North Slope. Campers with ties to Western Alaska also come from the road system all the way from Sitka, Soldotna, Anchorage and up to Fairbanks. Covenant Bible Camps mission is to serve Alaska youth and young adults through Christ-centered ministry, partnership and discipleship, to raise mature believers who will lead the Church for generations to come. Please visit their website to learn more.
DATE: August 6, 2022-August 13, 2022
FUNDRAISING GOAL: Met!!!
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
This service trip will largely focus on completing Doris's house. Doris is an elder in the Unalakleet who continues to serve her community. Doris's house burnt down and with out insurance she had no way to build it back. Through the help of the Church, Community and Helping Hands International she's getting a new home. This year HHI wil focus on completing the drywall, paint, plumbing and interior doors for her home. HHI will also be working on various projects to improve the Covenant Church building. Specifically, we plan to upgrade a kitchen (which currently feeds a primary meal to approximately 30-50 kids a day) and complete some electrical projects (e.g. replace a circuit panel and fluorescent lights with LED lights in an auditorium, gym and church).
Covenant Church in Unalakleet has had an amazing impact on the community and we are here to help them serve their community better.
The Reveal Video: Here is a short video of the Alaska Team's trip!
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
A message from our Program Director
This service trip will largely focus on building a home for a family in need.
“I’d like to introduce you to Doris Ivanoff. She is a native Elder from the village of Unalakleet, Alaska. Doris is a 68 year old Inupiaq native who purchased a small HUD home (under 800 square feet) on a 30 year loan. Recently, she paid that loan off but after owning her home, for only about one year, it burned down to the ground and she unfortunately had no home insurance. Doris is currently living in a 200 square foot space (that was once a bakery) with her son, plus two grandchildren who live with her part of the time. This summer, I will be leading a group of volunteers over a two week period to rebuild Doris a home!”
– Robin Espasandin, HHI Team Leader
(As of 2023)
Helping Hands International requires each Volunteer planning to travel on a non-US project, or out of State project, to obtain a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure, IF you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or may have been recently exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Test results will need to be shared with individual HHI Team Leaders. However, you do NOT need to send results to our main office.
Helping Hands International also recommends you follow the country specific health and safety recommendations readily published by the CDC and Travel Alert program offered by the US State Department, as well as those recommended by your personal physician. You can find this information on your trip specific HHI web page For Example www.helpinghandsinternational.com/mexico.
While COVID-19 requirements vary by location, and sometimes day by day, we will do our best to monitor and keep you abreast of testing requirements for each trip. Please also be aware that some countries may require you to provide a negative COVID test before leaving the USA and entering their country, as well as prior to departing their country to head back to the United States.
Q: What if someone tests positive for COVID-19 in a foreign country and cannot fly home?
A: Although this scenario is unlikely, it is a possibility we need to be prepared for. If an HHI Volunteer tests positive for COVID-19 in a foreign country, that person (if a minor, with an adult) will need to stay in the country and quarantine for the amount of days required by local authorities (e.g. in some cases this is between 10-14 days.) Helping Hands International will arrange lodging for HHI Volunteer(s) who need to be quarantined, but the expense will be the responsibility of the traveler(s), not the nonprofit.