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Helping get out the vote for Gambell, Alaska

Helping get out the vote for Gambell, Alaska

(left to right) Jeremy Schimmel, Hoala Greevy, Sam Schimmel, Michael Bebenita, Gina Doan, Lisa Lerud

Whether it's passing out 100, 500, or 1000 spam musubi, serving meals, sorting clothes, or cleaning up streets and beaches, the community service we've done at Paubox usually involves helping other people.

Since being around humans is now a nebulous proposition, I've struggled to find ways to give back during the pandemic. For the past three months, my fiancé Lisa and I have been avoiding Covid by living in Alaska.

As luck would have it, a community service opportunity came about via our new Alaskan friends, Jeremy and Sam Schimmel.

Sam recently obtained a grant from the Center for Native American Youth to help Get Out The Vote (GOTV) for the Alaskan town of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. Sam's family is from Gambell and he spearheaded an effort to send GOTV materials to its entire population of 150 homes and 750 people. In addition, he included ramen, PPE (two masks), and a bar of soap to each resident.

With help from our friends Gina Doan and Michael Bebenita, Lisa and I helped the Schimmels package up the materials for shipment. As it turns out, shipping to Gambell is expensive, so time was of the essence to get the boxes sent on time for the election.

I'm happy to say the boxes arrived this weekend, in time for the November 3rd election.

Sam Schimmel: Helping Get out the Vote for Gambell, Alaska

Sam Schimmel getting an action plan together


Ursus Alaska: Jeremy and Sam Schimmel

Jeremy and Sam Schimmel: Helping Get out the Vote for Gambell, Alaska

Jeremy Schimmel is the founder of Ursus Alaska. He has been guiding in remote Alaska for 30 years, sharing his passion extensively with visitors and peers alike. He has also been instrumental in leading the industry in bear viewing and fly-in fishing excursions.

For example, he was the inaugural Bear Viewing representative for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

There are few, if any, guides in the state of Alaska that have grown up fishing and exploring in the multitude of places Sam Schimmel knows since childhood. He is Alaska Native and has spent his lifetime committed to and influenced by tradition and community.

Sam has worked with the entire Alaska Congressional Delegation as well as the Governor on many issues that impact Alaskans and Alaska. Sam serves on Alaska Native Youth boards locally and nationally. He is currently a student at Stanford University studying Earth Systems and Political Science.


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