Week of Caring 2022 Applications are now OPEN!


Week of Caring is our largest annual volunteer effort, and we are so excited to bring it back this year. Local nonprofits who need a helping hand pair up with Valley businesses with an affinity for service, to get things done both large and small, that may otherwise go unfinished. Each year, dozens of volunteers from around the Mat-Su fan out around the Valley to assist a variety of agencies in completing spring projects.

In 2022, we are also accepting projects on behalf of Rotary’s Youth Leadership Academy. This one-day event will take place on April 16, 2022. If your agency would like to receive volunteers from RYLA, please let us know when filling out the form!

Visit our Volunteer page to apply to receive assistance, or to register as a volunteer!


2022 Volunteer of the Year and Dorothy A. Jones Awards Nominations OPEN!

Nominations for the 2022 Volunteer of the Year and Dorothy A. Jones Lifetime Achievement Awards are now OPEN!
The United Way of Mat-Su Volunteer of the Year Award is intended to recognize the outstanding work of a volunteer during the last year. To be eligible, nominees must be a Mat-Su Borough resident and must have served as a volunteer in education, financial stability, or health within the Borough. Nominees are judged by a distinguished panel of community leaders, according to the impact of their contribution on the community, leadership and initiative, and service above and beyond.
The Dorothy A. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award is intended to honor individuals for exceptional volunteer service in health & human services in the Mat-Su Borough over the course of their lifetime. To be eligible, nominees must be a Mat-Su Borough resident and must have served as a volunteer in education, financial stability, or health within the Borough. Nominees are judged by a distinguished panel of community leaders, according to length & breadth of service above and beyond their professional career, leadership and initiative, as well as how the nominee’s volunteerism has impacted the quality of life for Mat-Su residents.
Nominations must be submitted by April 15 to be considered. Be sure to let us know if you have photos, articles or other media depicting your nominee’s contributions to our community.
Visit our Volunteers page to submit your nominations!

Resource Guide Update

The UWMS Mat-Su Valley Resource Guide is a staple for Mat-Su residents, businesses and nonprofit agencies alike. We are happy to see it being used so widely and effectively to assist in resource-sharing throughout the Valley.
After a challenging past year, we have decided to print only very limited quantities of the hard copy Resource Guide.
In lieu of a high volume of paper copies of the full Resource Guide, we encourage everyone to download their own via our website, as well as the wallet-sized Pocket Guide.
These can be saved to your desktop for quick access when handling resource needs, or printed as needed. Tip: when working with callers or clients, have a meaningful conversation to determine the resources they most need, then print only those pages that will be most helpful.
We occasionally can send the Resource Guide via email, but it is not recommended or preferred, as this is an extremely large file that may “clog” your email inbox.
Thank you all for bearing with us as we continue to adapt and overcome!
For questions or suggestions regarding the Resource Guide, please email admin@unitedwaymatsu.org or call 745-5824.

Community Impact Grant Application Period Open!

United Way of Mat-Su is proud and honored to be able to provide support for critical programs and services in the Mat-Su valley that contribute to our community’s health, wellness, safety and development.



United Way of Mat-Su is seeking grant requests to support important and necessary programs and services for individuals, families and the community.


Please submit a Request Letter to Stephanie Allen via email by August 9, 2021. Email: sallen@unitedwaymatsu.org


Overview Information:

  • Requests are limited to $10,000 per agency.
  • FY 22 Funding support (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022)
  • Include Name of Agency, Key Contact Information, and detailed Budget Request
  • Five page limit
  • Describe the project/program, the difference it makes in the community, and how the funding will be used to support the project/program.
  • If a recipient of past UWMS funding, please describe how past funding was used, the success of the project, and any testimonials from those served.


Thank you for all that you do to strengthen our community.

Questions? Please call (907)745-5821.


Play 60 is ON in 2021!

Volunteers are needed to lead activity groups for this year’s Play 60!
Questions? Email Becky Stoppa at impact@unitedwaymatsu.org or call (907)745-5827
Registration is limited to the first 225 youth, ages 6-13 this year, so don’t delay!
Parents/guardians MUST complete liability and COVID-19 waivers before event day.
Questions? Please call the Mat-Su Sea Hawkers at (907)232-5921.
REGISTER TODAY: www.matsuseahawkers.org

Phase 38 Awards Announced

Emergency Food & Shelter Awards Announced:


United Way of Mat-Su is pleased to announce funds recipients who were selected during Phase 38 of the Emergency Food and Shelter grants program. Recipients are selected by a local board consisting of national, community and borough representatives, and faith-based partners.

  • Wasilla Area Seniors $10,000                    Served Meals
  • Family Promise $18,750                              Served Meals, Shelter, Rent/Mortgage Assistance, Utility Assistance
  • Frontline Mission $13,051                           Served Meals
  • Upper Susitna Food Pantry $5000            Food
  • Connect Mat-Su $4950                                 Shelter, Rent/Mortgage Assistance, Utility Assistance

Phase 38 represents the most recent round of EFSP funding made available in the Mat-Su. Phase 38 funds will help to defray costs associated with the COVID-19 crisis as well as provide funding for programs related to COVID-19 assistance.

2021 Volunteer of the Year Award: Sabrena Combs

We are thrilled to present our 2020 Dorothy A. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award to…
Sabrena is a lifelong Palmer resident whose work in building a better Mat-Su can be seen from the ballfields to City Hall. Sabrena is a tireless advocate for sustainable change, social justice and equal opportunities for all, while also being a mother to two energetic boys, and serving on numerous boards and committees.
We were privileged to have Sabrena as a member of the UWMS Board of Directors for a number of years, and have so many fond memories of her hard work there, and fun presence at events like Puttin’ On the Glitz.
Sabrena continues to pour her energy into making Palmer the best it can be, for everyone. We love being able to collaborate with her during our Week of Caring, where MEA partnered with UWMS and local schools to help bring new life to the Babb Arboretum. In addition, we can count on Sabrena to bring joy to Colony Christmas Merry Movies at the Moose, the Colony Days and Colony Christmas parade, and any event that brings us together to celebrate all that is Palmer.
It gives us great pleasure to present this award to Sabrena, but with one caveat: Even though this is an award honoring a lifetime of service, we expect many more years of philanthropy and advocacy out of her! It’s not time to retire just yet!
We know we will continue to see great things from Sabrena and are fortunate to have her time, talents, energy and integrity benefitting the Mat-Su.
Thank you for all you do, Sabrena!

Week of Caring Update 5.11.2021

Week of Caring will run May 17-21, 2021!

Please note that we have CLOSED applications for nonprofit projects. We will be contacting all nonprofits to complete scheduling soon!

If you ae a VOLUNTEER, you are still welcome to apply! Please head to our Volunteer page to send in an interest form: unitedwaymatsu.org/volunteer.

Week of Caring is back!

Week of Caring is back! It’s our biggest annual volunteer collaboration, and we are so excited to bring it back.

WHAT IS WEEK OF CARING? Week of Caring engages volunteers from local, community-minded businesses in providing volunteer assistance to nonprofits in the Valley who need a helping hand. Past projects include spring cleaning and repairs at the Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center and Girl Scout Camp Togowoods, park and playground clean-ups, donations sorting at turn-a-leaf, grounds work at Family Promise, and more! Our business volunteerism partners have come from establishments across the Valley, like Wells Fargo Bank, MVFCU, First National Bank Alaska, and other energetic volunteers who give their time to assist.
We recently expanded from a single day of activities to an entire week, to accommodate our partners’ schedules. Now, more than ever, our local nonprofits need a helping hand to accomplish projects that may otherwise go unfinished.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED? Fill out our online application to get started! You will be asked if you are an agency in need of volunteer help, OR a volunteer/volunteer group wishing to provide assistance. Please select only ONE. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and a UWMS staff member will contact you to continue the partnership. Questions? Email Jason Ortiz or call (907)745-5822.
Visit unitedwaymatsu.org/volunteer to access the Week of Caring application.