Togiak Puts Love in Action

The Togiak Church had a clothing giveaway on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. Togiak is a small village in southwest Alaska with a population of just over 800 people. While there are stores in the community, prices are high and, for many, travel to Dillingham, Alaska, a much larger community of about 2,300, is not an option as the only way to get there is by airplane.

But members of the Togiak Church family were prepared for the challenge, and by God’s blessing, had lots of warm coats and snow gear on hand, many of which were generously donated and shipped to the church by friends in the Portland, Ore., area. Donated items included new jackets and snow pants as well as other "gently used" clothing.

The Togiak community responded as well, and combined with donations from the Lower 48, the church was ready with more than 40 boxes and totes of clothing and household items for the giveaway. John and Lynette Goude, lay leaders for the Togiak Church, have worked to develop a strong relationship with teens in the community who, along with church members, helped wash, fold and prepare the clothes for distribution. 

The morning of the giveaway, the teen helpers arrived early at the church to enjoy breakfast with the Goudes, after which the group went right to work setting everything out, grouped by sizes and gender. As opening time drew near, a line of people stood by waiting for the doors to open. It was wonderful to be able to share with the village family and see the smiles as they found items to add to their sacks to take home. Two young brothers, Kingston and Evon Togiak, were extremely excited to receive new matching coats. 

The Togiak Church family would like to thank the many who helped make this event possible through their hard work and donations of winter clothing. Although everyone who donated is not known by name, your generosity made our village a warmer place this winter.

April 30, 2018 / Alaska Conference