Record-breaking donation puts Alaska on the map to help end youth homelessness

November 18, 2016

 GCI executive raises more than $116,000 for Covenant House Alaska with support from local community

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – In an effort to raise funds and awareness for Covenant House Alaska’s annual Sleep Out on Thursday, Nov. 17, GCI Senior Vice President, General Manager Consumer Services Paul Landes broke the record for largest individual fundraising donation ever in Alaska for the event, and has the potential to break the national and international record for funds raised for a Sleep Out. Funds donated by Landes, this year’s Alaska event chair, and other local Sleep Out participants will support Covenant House Alaska’s mission to support homeless and at-risk youth in need.

 Landes’ initial fundraising goal of $25,000 in September was easily shattered with overwhelming support from many business community members across Alaska and beyond, a key part of the Covenant House Sleep Out: Executive Edition movement. His current tally of $116,870, which is still climbing due to last-minute donations, has the potential to surpass current national and international Sleep Out record-holders.

 “Knowing so many youth are at risk in our community and across Alaska is very troubling,” Landes said. “That’s why it is so important for community and business leaders to step up and raise awareness about the situation. The outpouring of support I’ve experienced during this process has proven to me that our community really cares, and I hope that message of caring gets through to all the youth out there who are in need of our support. This has been a very humbling experience for me.”

 The Sleep Out: Executive Edition begins on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. with a Candlelight Vigil for Homeless Youth at Town Square Park. It will continue throughout the evening as members of the Anchorage community spend the night outside in the Covenant House Alaska courtyard in an effort to understand the situation many homeless youth face every day. All donations from the Sleep Out support Covenant House Alaska youth and the organization’s efforts to end homelessness across the state.

 “In Anchorage, there are youth experiencing homelessness who are on the streets or couch-surfing, running from broken families, violence and abuse,” said Alison Kear, executive director at Covenant House Alaska. “Paul’s incredible donation will touch so many of these young lives by helping us keep our doors open 24/7. The Sleep Out is an opportunity to engage a massive group of people in our community and raise awareness about the need to support these kids. We’re thrilled with this level of commitment and so thankful for the support.”

 Covenant House Alaska has served as a safe refuge for thousands of youth since 1988 through an ever-growing range of services and programs. Its goal, which is to provide care and vital services to homeless, abandoned, abused and exploited youth in Alaska, is supported by ongoing efforts from contributing members of the community, including those at the Sleep Out.

 For more information about GCI and the organizations it supports in the community, visit https://www.gci.com/connect. To see the fundraising pages and totals for this year’s Sleep Out: Executive Edition, visit https://ak.covenanthouse.org.

About GCI

GCI delivers communication and technology services in the consumer and business markets. Headquartered in Alaska with additional locations in the U.S., GCI has delivered services for more than 35 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com

About Covenant House Alaska

Covenant House Alaska is the state’s largest shelter for abused and at-risk teenagers and youth experiencing homelessness. CHA’s mission is to serve homeless youth with absolute respect and unconditional love. It provides safe shelter, warm meals, as well as medical, counseling, education and employment services. Since 1988, CHA has served over 20,000 homeless youth in Alaska.

Media contact:

Ally Day, Thompson & Co. PR
907-561-4488, Ally@thompsonpr.com