Strengthening Our Military Family TM      |      Armed Services YMCA Alaska



Armed Services YMCA Alaska

Armed Services YMCA of Alaska operates more than 20 programs and services throughout Alaska to ease the burden of military families and single service members, with an emphasis on junior enlisted personnel. We work with military leadership in Alaska to ensure our programs and services are customized to meet the specific needs of Alaska's military communities.

soldier with wife and son
Mom and son with Operation Hero diploma

Welcome Centers

The Armed Services YMCA of Alaska’s Welcome Centers offer our military community a central place to find support and assistance. All of our Welcome Centers offer coffee, tea, and snacks, as well as friendly staff to help answer their questions and offer them guidance.  Each of our ASYMCA Welcome Centers are equipped to provide a comforting atmosphere for members of our military community to relax, socialize, or seek information or assistance.

Our main Welcome Centers on JBER and Ft. Wainwright also serve as the foundation from which many of our programs are operated from, including: Food Pantries, After 5 Boutique, Operation: Giveaway, Operation: Kid Comfort, and the Guardian Angel Program.

ASYMCA has two welcome centers on JBER and a satellite office on Ft. Wainwright.

Little girl with kid comfort quilt

Operation Kid Comfort

We strive to make deployment as easy as possible on the children. Upon request, Operation Kid Comfort provides every child, age six and under, with an original quilt made from photos submitted by his or her parent. For children seven and older, a pillow is made. Each keepsake is hand-made by a volunteer and donated with love and good wishes for the recipient child. The finished quilt or pillow, filled with pictures of family, provide military children with warm memories that help carry them through their parent’s deployment.

Operation: Kid Comfort also provides a rewarding volunteer opportunity for anyone who loves to quilt or sew. The ASYMCA of Alaska is always seeking creative volunteers interested in donating their time and skills toward bringing comfort to a child of a deployed parent. If this sounds like a good fit for you, please do not hesitate to  email us to inquire about volunteering for this program.

Access the Program or Learn More >

soldier embracing mother

Operation Ride Home

For many service members and military families, the holidays can be a lonely time. Thanks to a powerful partnership with Jack Daniels, Operation Ride Home helps to reunite service members with their families during the holidays. This reconnection with family provides our young service members, E4 and below, with an opportunity to bolster mental resiliency and strengthen family bonds.

Learn More about Operation Ride Home >

Moms and sons in front of Specer Glacier with banner

Mother Son Adventure

Through our Annual Mother Son Adventure, the ASYMCA of Alaska offers a unique opportunity for mothers and their sons to bond and enjoy one-on-one quality time together. This event provides a variety of hands-on, physically active games and activities designed to appeal to boys of all ages. The Mother Son Adventure focuses on strengthening family unity by encouraging mothers and their sons to work and play together. This event is held annually in one of the best adventure locations you can ask for—the Great Alaskan outdoors.

The Mother Son Adventure is held each summer, timed to be a final blast prior to the beginning of the new school year. The ASYMCA hosts two Mother Son events annually in order to serve both JBER, and Ft Wainwright/Eielson military families.

Check back for registration information.

Military father dancing with laughing daughter

Father Daughter Gala

This annual event is a highly anticipated formal dance we’re very proud to host in the Anchorage and Fairbanks areas. It’s an opportunity for fathers to spend precious time with their daughters, strengthen the father-daughter bond, and create memories that last a lifetime.

Check back for registration information.

airman selecting a can from food pantry

Food Pantry

Our food pantries, located on Ft. Wainwright and JBER, are where military members and their families can come get food in times of need—with no questions asked. Many times, military families who move to Alaska are unprepared for the harsh cold of winter and the increased cost of living. Many families find themselves needing to buy costly items such as school supplies, and cold weather gear. This can be especially difficult during the relocation process because pay is often times delayed or issued incorrectly. When a military family finds themselves with too much month as the end of the money, they can be sure that our Food Pantry will be there to fill the gap.

Donations are always welcome!

Our Food Pantries are always accepting donations of food, toiletries, and other basic necessities. Donations can be dropped off at any ASYMCA office near you. If you are not able to access our facilities, please let us know! We’ll be happy to come pick up your donations.

Contact Us  >

little boy playing at teddy's child watch

Teddy’s Child Watch

For military parents, it can often be difficult to focus on their own health and well-being when their attention is divided between their care provider and their children. Teddy’s Child Watch is a free child care program that provides a safe, nurturing environment for children ages six weeks (JBER) or six months (Bassett) to 12 years while their parents attend medical appointments at the JBER Hospital, or at the Bassett Army Community Hospital on Ft. Wainwright.

Teddy’s Child Watch provides up to two hours of free child care during appointments to approved clinics within the Installation’s Hospital. To participate in the Teddy’s Child Watch program, parents must pre-register and provide a current vaccination record for their child prior to their first appointment. Reservations are strongly encouraged in order to guarantee that your child can be accommodated during your appointment time.

For more information, to schedule an appointment, or to inquire about the pre-registration process, please call or e-mail: 
JBER: 907-580-6455  |
Ft. Wainwright: 907-361-5612  |

newborn baby being snuggled

Baby Bundles

In partnership with the Richardson Spouses Club, we offer this popular program to first-time parents to assist in preparing them for the exciting changes a newborn will bring to their lives. In addition to providing useful information and helpful tips, we are happy to include a gift basket “bundle” full of everyday baby care items.

Interior of Thrift store at Ft. Wainwright

Thrift Stores

The ASYMCA Alaska manages the ASYMCA Thrift Store on Fort Wainwright, and the ASYMCA Bargain Shop on JBER. As prices skyrocket and the economy seems unpredictable, military families can still rely on the sensible comfort of a good bargain at ASYMCA of Alaska’s Thrift Store and Bargain Shop. Here you’ll find a great selection of gently-worn clothing and used items. The ASYMCA Thrift Store and Bargain Shop are provided to all branches of active duty, the National Guard, Reserves, Retired Military Personnel, their dependents, and anyone with access to the Ft. Wainwright and JBER installations. Special deals are available to DoD ID card holders, and at our Ft. Wainwright location, Military Wear is always free for active duty and currently serving military. Our thrift stores features weekly deals, monthly Bag Day sales, and special giveaways designed to help military families’ dollar go further.

The ASYMCA Thrift Store and Bargain Shop accept donations year-round of household goods, apparel, military uniforms, furniture, and other serviceable items that thrifty families can use. This regular influx of donations also creates flexible volunteer opportunities for those who’d like to donate their time toward helping to make military life easier.

For learn more, coordinate a donation, or to inquire about volunteering:

Contact Us  >

Exterior of Military Lounge at Anchorage Airport

ASYMCA Airport Military Courtesy Lounges

The Armed Services YMCA Alaska provides a safe place for service members and their families to relax while waiting for their flights. Frequently, travel can mean a long layover for those flying to remote areas of our state. Our courtesy lounges provide television, free snacks, hot beverages, and comfort to those using the facility. Both Courtesy Lounge locations also include a quiet room for those in need of privacy, a short nap, or some respite from the stresses of travel. It’s easy to enjoy the comforts of our Courtesy Lounges—just stop by and present your valid Military ID to the volunteer on staff. Our Airport Lounges are open 7-days a week in both the Anchorage and Fairbanks international airports.

Our Airport Courtesy Lounges remain open through the extraordinary efforts of volunteers. You can help keep our lounges open by participating in our Adopt-a-Lounge program. Your military unit or booster club can adopt a lounge and receive and honorarium for providing volunteers.

Soldiers helping an injured soldier

Guardian Angel Program

When tragedy strikes, the emotional, physical, and financial burden can be unbearable. The United States military offers a wide range of resources to help shoulder the burden during crisis—but sometimes, unusual circumstances cause these resources to fall short. When all other avenues of help have been exhausted, the Armed Services YMCA Alaska’s Guardian Angel Program (GAP) assists military families by providing transportation, housing, and other necessities during times of crisis. This includes emergency trips for serious injuries, illnesses, or funerals. The Guardian Angel Program also brings family members to Alaska to support an injured service member or to attend a memorial for a loved one killed in the line of duty. Operating with the utmost discretion, GAP is administered solely by our Executive Director to ensure that participants in the program receive complete confidentiality and prompt response to needs.

volunteers with soldier at snack attack

Operation: Snack Attack

Operation Snack Attack provides snacks and drinks to the troops just before they board flights for deployment or debrief upon return. Our staff and volunteers are often the last faces troops see as they are waiting to deploy, and the first they see upon returning. While troops are waiting, we are there with drinks, a wide assortment of snacks, personal care items, and warm smiles that help make their departure or return a more positive experience.

Alaska Railroad train

Y on Rails

The Alaska Railroad and the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska proudly offer free train rides for our military.  Names are selected annually by lottery, and winners are awarded two free round-trip passage tickets to places like Seward, Denali, Fairbanks, and Talkeetna. The Y on Rails program provides service members with an opportunity to explore their surroundings through a unique Alaskan experience that can be shared with their loved ones.

Volunteers packing care packages

Operation: Frosty Warrior

Operation: Frosty Warrior was established in 2013 by BP Alaska, to provide care packages to Alaskan-based troops deployed overseas during the holidays. In 2014, the ASYMCA of Alaska formally adopted this annual program, and seeks to brighten spirits by providing approximately 250 care packages to Alaskan troops who are deployed during the holidays. These heroes have to spend the holidays overseas, away from their family—Operation: Frosty Warrior is one small way in which our community can show our troops how much their service and sacrifice matters.

Donate to Operation Frosty Warrior >

Toys on display in ASY welcome Center

Holiday Joy

In partnership with Women’s Day Magazine, Operation: Holiday Joy aims to provide military families in crisis with the means to ensure that the holidays truly are a joy for their family. This program identifies families who are facing tragedy and crisis, and surprises them with everything they need to make the holidays a warm blessing during cold times. Operation: Holiday Joy is one of the most rewarding programs for the staff at the ASYMCA of Alaska to administer—it never fails to serve as a reminder of the power of giving.

Y on Wheels Shuttle van

Y on Wheels

Y on Wheels helps ensure service members and their families have access to all the facilities on their military installation. To prevent long-term exposure to Alaska’s inclement weather, we provide door-to-door shuttle van service within the installation. Available on JBER, Y on Wheels offers military families, of any rank, service branch or status, the freedom of to take care of errands or enjoy recreational activities for just $1 per ride. To catch a ride, give us a call at 907-384-3733.

two Young women dressed in formals

After 5 Boutique

The After 5 Boutique loans out dresses in a wide range of styles and sizes to fit all ages and body types—from petite to plus. We also stock a limited supply of accessories to complete your ensemble, ensuring that your date, event, or formal occasion is truly special.

The Armed Services YMCA of Alaska operates After 5 Boutiques at our main office on JBER, and at our Ft. Wainwright Office. Our free lending closet is available to all the ladies of the Armed Services, as well as dependents—regardless of rank, service branch, or duty status.

The After 5 Boutique also offers a second chance for the formal wear or accessories in your closet to shine. We always welcome donations of your formal or semi-formal attire and accessories to help keep our selection fresh—and you’ll feel good knowing that your gift will be appreciated by the ladies of our military community.

military golf team posing with golf clubs

Golf Tournament

Our annual golf tournament is held in Fairbanks and helps us raise funds to provide programs and services for military stationed in Alaska. Each year, corporations sponsor military teams to compete against their corporate teams for 1st place bragging rights. Our golf tournament begins early in the morning and wraps up in the afternoon with awards, door-prizes and a BBQ feast.

Service persons of the year posing with awards

Annual Salute to the Military

The Salute to the Military is an outstanding example of a program that promotes awareness of military performance and service through the combined efforts of the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska and the Anchorage community. The local Navy League originally started the program in the form of multiple Service Balls. In 1977, the Navy League, struggling with community support for these multiple events, worked with the ASYMCA to create one annual event to honor all service branches. Since that time, the Annual Salute to the Military has become one of the longest running annual events hosted by a non-profit organization, thanks in large part to the support of the Anchorage community and military leadership.

Each year, twelve exceptional enlisted service members, representing each of the Active Duty branches, the Guard and Reserve, are recognized for their outstanding achievements. The representatives are hosted for three days and attend the Salute banquet with over 500 guests.

The Salute to the Military event has received numerous awards, including the 2007 Outstanding Program Achievement Award from Raytheon.

Purchase tickets for the Annual Salute to the Military >

service member reeling in a halibut

Combat Fishing Tournament

The Combat Fishing Tournament was established to give thanks to our brave young men and women of the United States Armed Services who served our nation with honor and courage in theaters of war by taking them deep sea fishing. In just a few short years the ASCFT has garnered huge success and notoriety and is now considered the largest military appreciation fishing tournament in the United States.

Learn More Here >