Yulista Hosts First Annual Back Pack Campaign for St. Mary’s Community Schools in Rural Alaska

The Back Pack Campaign will begin June 30th and will convene on July 23rd. This campaign helps to provide rural Alaskan children with a back pack and school supplies, so family funds can be spent on other necessary purchases for the family household. The high cost-of-living is reflected in the price of gasoline at $7.54 per gallon and over $6.00 for a gallon of milk. During the winter, there are many requests for pay advances to buy stove oil to heat the home and other essential items. Families all over the delta have to make difficult choices and do without to provide only the bare necessities in rural Alaska. Providing backpacks and supplies for our students would be a tremendous help.

St. Mary’s School City District (SMCSD) is located on the Andreafski River in Southwestern Alaska. The population estimate of 544 (July 2014) is mainly Yupik Eskimo. The school has 120 Elicaurvicaur Elementary students (pre-school through 6th grade) and 81 Andreafski High School students (7th through 12th grade). Crow Village Sam School has a total of 40 students from K-12 and 2 teachers that split the students pending on their grade levels. One teacher teaches K-6th grade and the other teacher teaches 7-12th grade. They teach not just one subject but, all subjects: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Pretty impressive, for teachers that come from down states and only teach one specific subject.

For the past 25 years, the St. Mary’s Community has hosted a back to school potluck to show its support for the students. Community businesses, tribal governments, families, and individuals all work together to provide for the students. The community is very grateful for the generosity within the community to meet the needs of each student. The companies and communities involved are: The City of St. Mary’s, St. Mary’s School District, St. Mary’s Native Corporation, Algaaciq Tribal Government, Nerklirmute Native Corporation, Yupiit of Andreafski, Pitka’s Point Village Council, Calista Corporation, Alaska Commercial Company, Raven Alaska, Boys and Girls Club, and Parent Committee. Individuals within the community present gifts, introduce new teachers to the community, and have an Eskimo dance. St. Mary’s works together and no matter the size of the donation, it all benefits our future leaders.

Throughout all of the Yulista Family of Companies Buildings, you will see donation boxes. We are encouraging our employees to set aside donations for these children. We are asking for basic school supplies such as: back packs, pencils, rulers, calculators, crayons, pens, colored pencils, pencil holders, glue sticks, notebooks, folders, paper towels, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, pencil sharpeners, construction paper, post-its, loose leaf notebook paper, scissors, Clorox wipes, pink erasers, washable markers, note cards, highlighters, 3-ring binders, and etc. If you prefer not to donate items, we are accepting monetary donations which will provide any missing items for these children.

Around the middle of August, we will present our donations to the students at the 25th Annual Potluck. Let’s rally around our shareholders, and create a great learning environment for our future leaders.


Josh Herren

President, CEO of Yulista Holding, LLC