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Individual Alaskans, corporations and other groups donate a combined $1.3 million for pandemic aid

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Alaskans and corporations have contributed $1.3 million so far to the AK Can Do fund to help individuals and nonprofits recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

The fund is a partnership between United Way of Anchorage and The Alaska Community Foundation.

About $350,000 came from individual donors. That was bolstered by corporate donations, like $125,000 from Wells Fargo, $100,000 from Sealaska and $50,000 from Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, among others. The Rasmuson Foundation is giving $360,000 to the fund.

On Thursday, ConocoPhillips Alaska announced a $100,000 guaranteed donation, with an additional $100,000 being pledged as a “challenge” grant, meaning it will be donated if matched by other donations, according to a Rasmuson Foundation statement.

If the challenge grant is matched, that would bring the total up to nearly $1.5 million.

The money goes to individuals and nonprofits, and 80% has already been distributed, the release stated. About 250 Alaska families with a member who has lost a job due to business closures have received assistance to be able to stay in their homes.

More than $215,000 has gone to 25 nonprofits, providing support like child care centers and domestic violence shelters, the statement said. Money continues to be raised, and more will be dispersed in two weeks. Nonprofits can fill out a four-question application to receive funds.

There is no limit to the funds a nonprofit can request in the application process. According to the statement, 308 nonprofits applied, requesting a combined $4.7 million.

“We’ve never seen this level of upheaval, uncertainty and need,” Diane Kaplan, president and CEO of Rasmuson Foundation, said in a statement. “We often feel at a loss during times of disaster. This fund lets everyone do something. We encourage all Alaskans to give what they can to support their neighbors, friends and coworkers.”

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