Volunteers of America Alaska is a national faith-based nonprofit providing a ministry of services dedicated to the relief of human suffering and the advancement of social justice. Founded in 1896 by Christian social reformers, Maud and Ballington Booth, we continue to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities. We began providing residential substance abuse treatment for adolescents in Alaska in 1981. Our services have grown to include programs to meet needs of children, adolescents, families and the senior community.
Volunteers of America Alaska's Mission:
Volunteers of America Alaska is a ministry of service committed to reaching and uplifting the human spirit, building healthy life-styles by producing quality service to people of all ages, and celebrating opportunities for people to experience the joy of serving others.
History of Volunteers of America Nationally
On Monday, March 9, 1896 the New York Times reported, that Maud and Ballington Booth stated "after serious thought and careful deliberation we have resolved to inaugurate a new movement". This movement would become known as Volunteers of America.
Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 by social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth. They envisioned a movement dedicated to "reaching and uplifting" the American people. On behalf of the organization, the Booths pledged to "go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand." That declaration has guided Volunteers of America's outreach efforts ever since.
THE EARLY 1900s
In turn-of the-century America, there was no shortage of work to do. The Volunteers moved into tenement districts to care for people in poverty. They organized day nurseries and summer camps, provided housing for single men and women, and established the nation's first system of halfway houses for released prisoners.
The Great Depression of the 1930s stretched the nation's private social welfare system almost to the breaking point. Volunteers of America mobilized to assist the millions of people who were unemployed, hungry and homeless. Relief efforts included employment bureaus, wood yards, soup kitchens, and "Penny Pantries" where every food item cost one cent.
Volunteers of America served proudly on the home front during both world wars. The group operated canteens, overnight lodging and Sunday breakfasts for soldiers and sailors on leave. Affordable housing and child care were provided for defense industry workers. Further, Volunteers of America spearheaded community salvage drives during World War II, collecting millions of pounds of scrap metal, rubber and fiber for the war effort.
Our special mission in housing dates to our organization's founding. Volunteers of America helped accelerate real estate development during the 1960s by taking part in numerous federal housing programs. Since 1968, Volunteers of America has developed 138 affordable housing complexes in 28 states.
In the 1970s, the organization emerged as a major provider of professional long-term nursing care. Today, Volunteers of America offer health care and related services in more than 10 states.
Now in our second century of service, Volunteers of America is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive human services organizations, touching the lives of more than 1 million people in communities across the United States. Planning for the next 100 years, Volunteers of America will continue to prove that "there are no limits to caring."