Provide Immediate Help and Get Your Way Paid!

September 10, 2013

Ice from the Yukon River encroaches on the town of Eagle, Alaska, on Friday, May 17. NPS photo by Pat Sanders.
Have you always wanted to do a great volunteer trip but could never afford it? Here is a two-week paid adventure in the Alaska Yukon - that's right, expenses paid - and you would be filling a very urgent need! 
Huge ice flows cascaded down the Yukon River this spring in late May, jamming up river bends and causing massive ice dams and flooding across the Alaska tundra and into the villages along the river. Homes in Alakanak, Emmonak, Galena, Ft. Yukon, Circle and Tok were heavily damaged by the fast moving water and huge blocks of ice. By early June, the Alaskan Governor declared the flooding a disaster leading to a Presidential Declaration for Individual Assistance and engaging FEMA with the process of recovery.
The response, to the appeal for United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) volunteers to provide support in Galena, Alaska, has been fantastic. The UMVIM office in Seattle has taken lead and has been able to fill six teams, of ten volunteers each, within a very short period of time. The volunteers have come from all across the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas.
Four teams have now completed their two week rotation and two more are in place. The responder support camp has been completed and supplies are arriving in larger quantities. The work is progressing and houses are being completed. Read the latest on the project Facebook page (
However, FEMA has now asked for teams through October 15th in an effort to get more villagers back in their homes before winter. The original agreement was through October 1. Skilled volunteers are needed for:

  • Team #7 to deploy: 9/23-10/9 and
  • Team #8 to deploy: 9/30-10/16.
The average high temperature in Galena in October is 29 degrees and the average low is 17 degrees. Snowfall can begin in mid to late September but doesn't usually accumulate until late October. There is a small risk that the team's return to Fairbanks could be delayed due to weather.
For detailed information about the deployment, download frequently asked questions here.
Interested in being part of this mission this year? Contact (immediately):
Jim Truitt
UMVIM Disaster Response Coordinator
PNW Conference United Methodist Church
23441 147th Ave SE
Kent, WA 98042
253-630-1268 (H)
253-797-1680 (C)  
Persons interested in joining a team to the Yukon next year can register at