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Rep. Les Gara and Kelly on a hike.A Note from Rep. Les Gara 


Great Youth Group Added To PFD Pick. Click. Give. Donation Choices

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Dear Friends and Neighbors:

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Well, first, Happy New Year! The extra six pounds I'm carrying around from the holiday season seem very happy, though I'm not too happy with them. I've been in a big fight with them lately. I'll just say we're not friends. OK, onto more important matters…

It's time to apply for your Permanent Fund Dividend, and you know best how you wish to use your PFD share of Alaska's oil revenue. I just wanted to let you know that a group I've worked closely with on foster care issues, and that does very important work very efficiently, has been added to the list of great groups you can donate to when you apply for your dividend under the Pick.Click.Give. program. The group is Facing Foster Care in Alaska.

Facing Foster Care in Alaska (FFCA) is a non-profit that works with the Legislature, court system, and foster care agencies to advocate for improvements in our statewide foster care system. FFCA helps train social workers by sharing the experiences youth have had with the system and by advocating changes where needed. FFCA holds quarterly youth retreats to help youth nurture a social network, learn about opportunities to improve themselves, solve problems, deal with adversity, and succeed. And FFCA has been crucial in recommending changes to our laws, many of which I've worked on along with Senator Bettye Davis and others.

Their Statewide Coordinator, Amanda Metivier has received national recognition by the Casey Family Foundation, a nationwide non-profit that works in Alaska. Amanda works closely with us on our efforts to match donated laptops with foster youth – over 200 have been donated so far and the number is still increasing as folks make more donations – leads a number of other volunteer and legislative efforts, and, well, frankly has helped with nearly every foster care reform we have worked on.

To take part in the Pick.Click.Give. program you need to apply for your 2013 PFD online. When you start the process you'll see the option for Pick.Click.Give. Simply click on the link and follow the directions. There will be a search function that will help you find Facing Foster Care in Alaska, or any number of other worthy nonprofits that participate in the program. You can donate as little as $25 or as much as your entire PFD!

I would note that there are many other effective groups eligible under the Pick.Click.Give. program that assist children and youth, but FFCA is a great one to add to your list if the issues FFCA works on move you. I will be donating to them and others this year, and you'll know whether your personal finances allow you to make Pick.Click.Give donations from your PFD check this year. If you need your PFD funds for yourself and your family, that's totally understandable.

We're all heading to Juneau this week for next Tuesday's start of session. We'll keep you up to date once we get settled in.

And if you know anyone who'd like to sign up for our newsletter, just pass this along and have them respond to this address, or call (907) 465-2647. If they'd like to see a sampling of our past newsletters, they can be found at, under my name.

Thanks! And if you need to contact me this week call me on my cell at 250-0106.

My Best,

[signed] Les Gara


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