The United Way of Mat-Su is helping families impacted by the McKinley Fire get ready for winter.

Outreach coordinator Michele Harmeling said the organization is working with about 20 families. Each has specific needs for winter clothing like jackets, snow pants and boots.

Harmeling said they’d like to match each family with a sponsor, like a church or business, to meet the need.


“Whether it’s smoke damage or a complete loss — meaning the home was destroyed by fire — [they’ve lost] winter gear, which out in the areas we’re dealing with is pretty crucial. It gets pretty cold pretty quick. We have some request for things in specific sizes that might be a little hard to find,” Harmeling said.

She said the goal for the next year and a half is to find families stable housing or help them rebuild.

The United Way of Mat-Su has up to date information on its Facebook page. People interested in donating can also contact Harmeling at 907-745-5824.

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