AKvolunteer_HaakensonAlaska volunteer

Amie Haakenson of Anchorage, Alaska, volunteers countless hours at The Salvation Army McKinnell House, a shelter for families experiencing homelessness.

“Her efforts help give kids and parents hope, providing them a special time to have fun and celebrate,” said Dani Maldonado, volunteer coordinator for The Salvation Army in Alaska. The celebration is monthly as Haakenson and daughters Rebekah and Victoriah team up with others to host monthly birthday parties for families staying at McKinnell House, and the parties are for everyone.

In addition, Haakenson volunteers as a bell-ringer during the annual Red Kettle Campaign, and serves on the Anchorage Advisory Board’s Volunteer Engagement Committee. One time she and daughter Rebekah spent six hours delivering food donated by Texas Roadhouse to locations around Anchorage, including Clitheroe Center, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.

The men were overwhelmed—many of them cried—when they realized they’d be eating steaks. “No one ever thinks about us,” Haakenson recalled them saying.

“This is why we do what we do,” Rebekah said. “We’re giving these people—who are trying to rebuild their lives—hope.”

Haakenson added, “Volunteering is a great way to give back. It’s fun to be able to reach out, and The Salvation Army reaches everyone from children to seniors.”

The Salvation Army Alaska appreciates Haakenson’s commitment.

Amie is amazing, one of the most generous and giving people I know,” said Jenni Ragland, Alaska divisional service extension and emergency disaster services director. “[Her] endless enthusiasm, encouragement and vision for making a difference are truly inspiring.”

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