GCI sent a strong team to our 2021 Candlelight Vigil and Sleepout event!

Cornerstone Donor Spotlight: GCI

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12/17/21

By Sam Buisman — Covenant House Alaska Staff Writer

Every day, Covenant House Alaska is humbled to partner with GCI, who has furthered our mission and bolstered our Alaskan community through its devoted service and charitable giving. 

For well over a decade, GCI has given Covenant House Alaska bountiful gifts of money and time that have proven instrumental to our mission of ending the experience of youth homelessness. The capacity and quality of the services we provide for our young people are reflections of GCI’s generosity in this partnership. 

As GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker puts it, our work together brings our community one step closer to guaranteeing every young Alaskan the future they deserve. 

“Every homeless youth has the right to a home and food, guidance and education, and the right to be loved,” said Slyker. “Covenant House offers crucial support in their journey to become healthy, self-sufficient members of our community.” 

Reliable service across Alaska

For GCI, service has been an indelible tenant of its mission across its 42-year history.

The company has invested more than $3 billion into building Alaska’s telecommunications network, connecting people and businesses in well over 200 communities spanning the entirety of our state. Despite the massive range of their coverage, GCI has not sacrificed quality for quantity, as they recently launched the US’s northernmost true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage. 

Yet, what service means at GCI extends beyond their formal operations and into a philosophy of giving back to Alaskan communities. In the past five years alone, GCI has given over $10 million in the form of cash, grants, scholarships and products to organizations across Alaska. 

Furthermore, GCI provides each of its employees with 16 hours of paid leave for volunteering. As a result, thousands of GCI employees have been able to give their time and talents to food banks, shelter facilities, youth sports teams and other causes in the communities where they live and work.

GCI and Covenant House Alaska

We are incredibly thankful for GCI’s choice to support Covenant House Alaska with its abundant giving and conviction in our shared mission of ending the experience of youth homelessness. 

“GCI is proud to support all of the life-changing work being done each and every day at Covenant House Alaska,” said GCI Chief Customer Experience Officer Maureen Moore.

As one of our Cornerstone Partners, GCI’s financial support of Covenant House Alaska fuels the fundamentals of our care. From the hot meals we feed our young people to the beds that they sleep in, there is no aspect of our care that GCI’s generosity doesn’t touch. 

Additionally, GCI routinely and enthusiastically participates in our annual fundraising events. We can always count on a strong GCI showing for our Sleep Out. This year’s event certainly wasn’t easy! At negative 15 temperatures and clear skies, GCI team members Roberto Mendez and Blake Pierce spent the night outside, in solidarity with youth experiencing homelessness. Collectively, GCI raised a whopping $14,750. GCI is also a regular attendee at our Fire and Ice Ball and a contributor to the event’s silent auction.

“We are thankful for the support of local businesses, like GCI, in our efforts to shine a light on this crisis and raise funds so we can provide Alaskans with a safe, warm place to sleep,” said Covenant House Alaska CEO Alison Kear. 

Between all of these activities, GCI’s support of Covenant House Alaska is essential to the work we do to empower Alaska’s most vulnerable young people.

“Calling” bingo: GCI’s Adopt-a-Day

At Covenant House Alaska, we provide the necessary services for our young people. In turn, we rely heavily on our community partners and volunteers to facilitate the extracurricular activities that make life more interesting! In December, GCI sponsored an entire day of operations at Covenant House Alaska through our Adopt-a-Day program. But, as always, GCI went above and beyond the call of duty and organized an afternoon of fun activities for our youth!

GCI sponsored a thrilling game of bingo on their Adopt-a-Day!
Thanks to GCI, our youth and staff were treated to Serrano’s for lunch!

First, GCI got Anchorage’s own Serrano’s Mexican Grill to cater lunch. The savory and spicy scents of chicken tacos and pico de gallo wafted through our Youth Engagement Center, proving irresistible to the nostrils. 

Then for some mid-meal entertainment, GCI sponsored a classic game of bingo for our youth! For prizes, GCI provided an array of tech gadgets that are certainly in high demand, such as wireless speakers and earbuds. Our young people held onto every letter and number the caller announced, blotting their sheets with glee!

Thanks to GCI, a snowy Wednesday turned into a winter carnival of games, prizes and food that our youth will never forget. 

Ringing in the holiday season

On top of everything else GCI gives to Covenant House Alaska, they donate to us a warehouse’s worth of tech products to be given as Christmas presents!

Every December, these gifts from GCI make our young people feel loved and treasured during what can be a difficult time for those experiencing homelessness. The joy on the face of a young person unwrapping one of these presents is only rivaled by that in the hearts of our staff.

We won’t give away what is waiting in our youths’ stockings from GCI this year, just in case any of them might be reading, but we are beyond thankful for their gift, and we know our young people will love it!

Thank you, GCI!

What GCI demonstrates is a true devotion to uplifting all Alaskans. We could not be more honored to work alongside them in pursuit of this noble goal. 

If your organization would like to know more about partnering with Covenant House Alaska, please contact Chief Development Officer Joe Hemphill at jhemphill@covenanthouseak.org.

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