Neighbors Digest

Posted: Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Big Brothers Big Sisters launches regional recruitment campaign

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Alaska has launched "The Big Campaign," a regional media and outreach effort to recruit more volunteers and showcase the success of its award-winning mentoring program.

The agency is encouraging potential adult mentors from Yakutat to Ketchikan to "Share a little time. Make a big difference." Over 120 children across the region are ready to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister. Male volunteers are especially in demand. BBBS of Southeast Alaska's goal is to serve 633 youth in one-to-one mentoring relationships in 2006 in the communities of Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Yakutat, Hoonah, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Metlakatla.

For more information, contact the Juneau office at 586-3350 or (800) 773-2447 or visit their Web site at

SEARHC holds totem pole raising ceremony for wellness program

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will be raising the Kootéeyaa Project Wellbriety totem pole during a ceremony at 11 a.m. Oct. 14 in front of the SEARHC Community Health Services building in Sitka. The community is invited to attend the raising ceremony for the totem pole, which will have the Tlingit name Yei éek kwa néix, "you are going to get well."

During the carving process, groups of about 10 community members each formed several circles of healing. Each healing circle met to discuss an aspect of Wellbriety, then each person in the circle got to make his or her mark on the pole. Some of the topics discussed in the circles of healing included alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, suicide, the methamphetamine epidemic, multi-generational trauma, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, cancer, nicotine dependency, homelessness, Veterans issues, eating disorders and diabetes.

For more information about the Kootéeyaa Project and the pole-raising ceremony, contact Roberta Kitka at (907) 966-8603 or by e-mail at Kootéeyaa Project coordinator James Diffin can be reached at (907) 966-8879 or by e-mail at

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