Wrangell, Alaska Relief Efforts

Wrangell, Alaska just went through a similar landslide to that of Haines, AK, on Nov. 21st 2023. Twelve days away from the Haines’ three year landslide memorial. To say their loss shook our remote town is an understatement. Trapped tears – frozen inside our bodies, too shocking to re-feel, tending to our nervous systems entrapped in unconscious pain. Our numbness was helpful to get us through this, but now reawakened, this time more mature, seeing where we’ve grown because of it. Our Southeast (Inside Passage) Alaskan brothers and sisters need us, all of us, just like we did a short time ago. 

There’s a breath of consciousness to this horrific state of happenings and that is, “compassionate knowing” in what it’s going to take to get through this, sanely. Their landslide has completely swiped their lives, altering their reality forever. And those that were lost, some maybe not ever found, harbor the brutal heartache, experiencing the unconscionable. Nothing can replace their experience of loss on so many levels. It is not comparable, not even to each other, as each experience will be vastly different from another’s. Given that, WHEN you donate, we ask you to be inclusive of all people, all walks of life. These types of *natural disasters, fall under the term, ‘an act of God’, thereby it won’t matter if they purchased their house out right, or still have a mortgage, it’s likely no insurance coverage will be covered. IF the survivors had life insurance, and their spouse died then maybe they’ll have something, but there’s a HIGH chance that they will not. Note, just recently Alaska is starting to offer landslide insurance from what I’ve learned. But this is a little too late in my opinion. 

When I say, survivors’ lives are decimated, even if they made it to being alive, it doesn’t feel valuable at all. So, when you donate, this is where your money is going…

YOUR DONATION helps the survivor grieve, properly, and in their own time. They might get emergency aid, mental health therapies, which I strongly advise to access, but grief doesn’t happen right away. They’re in shock. Grief comes as an aftershock… if it’s given space to. Most cases, a few months out, as survivors we think we’ve processed our feelings, picked ourselves up out of our puddle of tears and can start again. That’s not grief, that’s after-shock effects. Grief, comes in quietly when you’re washing hand-me-down dishes and realize you’re blessed with the offers of others and saddened that your not in *your own kitchen. Grief comes months later when you turn right automatically to go ‘home’ from the store only to realize that’s no longer your route toward peace. Grief isn’t there to shock you, it just wants your ear. It has a story, filled with a realm of feelings, some too oppressive to feel. So we must make space for grief, so it doesn’t get stuck in our closet, harboring mold. 

YOUR DONATION helps the survivor process the logistics of disaster recovery. The physical asset recovery takes enormous amounts of critical-creative thinking and trying to do so when the body is in a state of fight-or-flight feels insane. There’s a lot of process, procedures, and options when it comes to claiming emergency aid. I remember just the simple task of trying to remember when meals would be served in the ‘disaster muster station’, was anxiety ridden. You’re on a schedule, respectfully, but grief isn’t. Much like a wake, you’re lucky if you have the brain cells to eat, heaven forbid figure out how to clean up without a sponge or soap. 

YOUR DONATION helps the survivor pause work/balance their work requirements. Survivors may still be on their own two feet, walking around as if semi-normal, but a bomb just went off in their lives. Nothing ever again will be normal. When you donate, your financial aid helps cover costs of pausing their work. Many times they won’t get coverage as this is no vacation. Some folks will be fired. Some folks will have to quit. Some folks will be self-employed having no disability or salvation. And some will try to overwork, blanketing their feelings as if it all didn’t affect them. However it is, when we give money, it takes off the pressure of performance so they can do the same for themselves.  

Where YOUR DONATION helps, is where it’s not covered by emergency aid. Emergency aid is exactly what the title states, believing an emergency has a timetable. It’s a remarkable resource and I highly suggest donating towards it. But, please know that when you give to these sources, the money is banked in a pool. This is why it works. If you are trying to reach directly a disaster specifically, then you’d want to donate directly. This is where GoFundMe’s or direct deposits work really well. Emergency funds won’t cover what they deem a frivolous need, but to that survivor, nothing is frivolous. To one it might be firewood to stay in their friend’s dry cabin for temporary housing. Have I mentioned how cold one gets when in a trauma situation, for quite a time? For us personally it was a carseat. That was not covered by emergency aid. In the book I’m writing I also note all the things I ‘needed’ and I cringe when I say the word ‘need’ because as survivors we’re proficient in ‘making do’, but our needs transcend wants and everything is of value, personally and not to be questioned. And then someday as a survivor, we’ll soon thaw out of our frozen state of trauma, and there’s nothing kinder than things that we can call our own. No longer borrowed and having to be returned, or used. Something that’s just ours. It’s so vital for our belonging and healing. 

This is your offering when you give. This is the true value of money and its healing. Thank you for being the light in this unforeseeable time for so many, creating space within this womb of a new beginning whether warranted or not. This is how you make a difference. 

Here’s specifics on where to donate. This is will be adjusted, when we know more.

This GoFundMe is ONLY for the lives/homes lost:
(Nov. 27th 2023: confirmed 4 ‘crossed over’, 2 still missing.)

Survivors (displaced):
There are about 70-80 households who’ve been displaced = homelessness. About 50% of those are staying put, regardless of the environmental dangers. When you have an *option, it’s not that you jump at the chance to leave everything behind indefinitely, rather it comes with a great weight. So no matter what they choose, survivors NEED help. People who stay in their homes that are still in tact, don’t have utilities, nor heat, so their expenses are going towards all different needs than just daily living. People who left (becoming homeless), did so with incredible challenges. Staying with friends (as most family don’t live in their remote area), or having to temporarily get out of their village, by way of plane, leaving everything including their jobs, pets, etc. Just keep in mind, your dollars count!

(Online) Donations for SURVIVORS: https://harborlight.church/give
Harbor Light Church has established a fund through First Bank of Alaska.
Go online to: https://harborlight.church/give
**In “notes” please type: Wrangell, AK LANDSLIDE AID for Survivors.**
(If you miss doing this, please contact/email them directly! Asking to note it.)
All donations are tax deductible.

An account has been set up at First Bank of Alaska for the benefit of those directly impacted by the landslide – the Victims AND Survivors. An email has been sent to all First Bank branches so any out-of-towers should be able to walk into any branch in Southeast Alaska to donate. Those further away, and wanting to donate by credit/debit card, can call our Electronic Banking Department at: 1-888-220-4446 or the branch at: 1-888-540-8585. Please NOTE which group account you want your money to go towards: Victims (loss of life) and/or Survivors (displaced).
*First bank also has an account for Wrangell’s Search and Rescue efforts.
First Bank of Alaska
224 Brueger St, Wrangell, AK 99929
Local number: (907) 874-3363

Thank you for your help. 

Bio: I am a seafull of mountains always seeking the truth, a mystic-called dragon, a psychic phenomena(l) goddess who births stars and makes wishes on their dust. I just love being me. And you being you.

I live in remote, pristine, Alaska and also the regenerative healing waters of Florida, discovering how life is meant to be loved. My husband and two children are my entire universe in which we frolic about, living out this dream. “Live on purpose”, I say!

Vanessa Wishstar, Psychic Medium, Spirit Guide, Supernatural Writer