Helping Hampers 2016: A Heartwarming Success

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Photos taken at Queen Elizabeth High School

Happy New Year!

Our largest annual campaign, Helping Hampers, is officially all wrapped up for 2016. With the help of all of our participating schools and businesses, our wonderful GEOMEER volunteers, and everyone else who donated items, time or energy, we successfully put together and delivered 69 hampers! We’d like to thank our 26 fantastic volunteers who organized the entire operation this year, and who worked extremely hard to keep communication lines open and to ensure both collection and delivery processes went smoothly.

Check below for a list of participating schools, for some shout-outs to some of our star volunteers, and for some heartwarming thank-you letters from families who received hampers.

Final List of Participating Organizations: (*23)
*Jasper Place High School
*Queen Elizabeth High School
*Edmonton Christian High School
*Vernon Barford Junior High School
*Harry Ainlay Composite High School
*Aspen Gardens Community League
*RVX Factor
*M.E. LaZerte High School
*Avalon Junior High School
*Dr. Massey Elementary-Junior High School
*McKernan School
*KPMG
*McNally High School
*Lillian Osborne High School
*Old Scona Academic High School
*Golden Bears Football
*Vimy Ridge Academy
*Mount Royal Elementary School
*Victoria School of the Arts
*Dickinsfield School
*Archbishop MacDonald High School
*W P Wagner School
*J. Percy Page High School

Volunteer Features:
A special thank you to some of our star volunteers: Bella King (Project Manager), Daniel Ghods (Program Manager), Ojas Srivastava (Program Manager), Mostafa Abbasi (Project Manager), Ayman Adwan (Project Manager), Abdul Sheikh (Project Manager), Farheen Hope Saleem (Program Manager), Will Comeau (Program Manager), Ayush Chadha (Project Manager), Tyler Engelking (Project Manager), Maha Adnan (Project Manager), Chandu Sadasivan (Project Manager), and our Mentorship trio: Nicole, Olivia and Rabib. All of our volunteers did incredible work this season, but these listed here went above and beyond in terms of organizing and executing the campaign, and maintaining communication and engagement. We literally could not have done it without you!

Thank-you Notes:
We’d like to share a couple of the lovely thank-you notes we’ve received from families who benefitted from our Helping Hampers this holiday season.

*I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the food and other items you offered to my family during the Christmas period. We were taken by surprise to receive such a huge quantity of assorted food items and other supplies. Honestly speaking I had to share with other five families. On behalf of my wife and children and the other five families I shared with, I want to say thank you for the work you are doing. I know what it takes to do what you are doing and its our wish that God should continue to guide, protect and give the strength to more to the community. Keep up with the good work and God will continue to bless you.

*We are overwhelmed with your generosity. Thank you to Westminster School for the many, many boxes and cards for our family. This kindness will keep us going a long while. Though we are without our husband and father, we are blessed to be a part of this community. May you and your families feel the love as we do this Christmas.

One last thank-you to everyone who participated in Helping Hampers 2016. Best wishes for your new year, from GEOMEER!

Inspiring Confidence at Suit Up! 2016

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All of you who are already back at school know exactly how stressful the end of summer can be. For Edmontonians who are already struggling financially, these stresses are multiplied exponentially. And it’s exactly these stresses GEOMEER seeks to help reduce with our August event, Suit Up!

The event took place this year on August 28th, at the Old Navy located in South Edmonton Common. 100 students from across the city arrived at 7 p.m. and each received an $100 gift card. GEOMEER volunteers helped find sizes, fold clothes, and ring the students through when they’d chosen some really swell back-to-school outfits. We’d love to thank all our volunteers, as well as Old Navy for allowing us in their store after-hours! We think the event went spectacularly well, as some of our students & their families agree; we received this message (below) on our website contact form, and received permission to post it here.

Good day, my 3 sons and I wanted to send a very big thank you to your team. We attended your ‘Suit Up!’ event this Sunday August 28, 2016. We are so very grateful to all those who volunteered their time and efforts. Also to those who donated so that my children have a much better start when it comes to school this year. The kids were so excited when they found out they we’re going shopping for clothes. Lol, I have 3 boys so it takes a bit to get them excited about shopping. On top of everything you gave us a happy memory to share! When times are tough those are few and far between so thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you could all feel the love we feel when we receive kind gestures like this.

We wish you all the best!

Thanks so much to everyone who came out, and happy back to school!

 

Helping Hampers: Passionate Project Managers Wanted!

Helping Hampers is a mentorship and social justice opportunity unlike any other. It pairs young adults with local high school and business leaders to fundraise for families in need.

This Fall 2016, we’re looking for energetic and enthusiastic young volunteers to take part in this campaign.

Project Manager

Are you ultra-organized? Do you have a knack for multitasking? Perhaps you’re hungry for the chance to lead a project from start to finish.

Become a Project Manager, and you’ll get to design and implement a multi-week fundraising campaign. You’ll engage students, staff and their communities to donate household goods to Helping Hampers.

If you are interested in this position, please click here to apply.

Deadline: Friday, September 23, 2016, at noon

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What a Blast! Sprint n’ Splash 2016

Here’s a look back on our Sprint n’ Splash event in early June. Thank you to everyone who came out and ran, volunteered and joined us for the post-race party! Hope everyone had a splash and a blast!

A huge shout out again to our sponsors:

 

Call for Applicants!

GEOMEER is looking for a new Mentorship Coordinator! If you are looking for a paid position that would provide leadership opportunities and not-for-profit experience, we’re probably looking for you! Apply here to help make a difference in your community with GEOMEER. Applications close the 22nd of July, 2016.

We’re hoping to hear from you! Happy Summer!

Sprint n’ Splash: Call for Volunteers

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GEOMEER is looking for energetic and passionate volunteers to help us with our annual Sprint n’ Splash 5K race! Volunteers are asked to put in a four-hour shift between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on June 4, 2016, at Aspen Gardens Community League (12015-39A Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T6J 6P7).

Interested? Please complete this short form to register to help with this amazing community event! Or, contact our HR External Coordinator, Meagan O’Shea, with any questions you have.

Announcing GEOMEER’s Sprint n’ Splash 2016!

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Start your summer off with a splash!

This June 4th, you, your family and all your friends can participate in Sprint n’ Splash, Alberta’s only waterfight race. Sign up for our 5K Aquaventure, arm yourself with your preferred water gun, and show up ready for some summer fun. Be sure to brush up on your slip n’ slide moves, too, so that you can dive across the finish line in style.

We’ll be offering $10 water guns for sale at the event, but we encourage participants to bring their own water guns (must use manually pressurized air to shoot water).

After the race, runners can look forward to a carnivalesque party with music, delicious food, bouncy castles, dance performances, field games and more.

The proceeds from the event go to GEOMEER and its charitable campaigns, including Helping Hampers and Suit Up.

To Recap:

When: Saturday, June 4th, 2016
Registration – 10 a.m.
Race Start – 10:30 a.m.

Where: 12015 39A Avenue NW
Aspen Gardens Community League
Edmonton, Alberta

What: Tons of summer fun! A 5K Aquaventure! Post-race food and activities for all!

Sign up here today!

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5 Ways to Give Your Community Spirit a Springtime Boost

 

1. If You Want to Relax:

Now that the hardships of Canadian winters are almost over for another year (cross your fingers!), give yourself a break. Spend time refocusing and figuring out what you want to get out of this spring.

  • * Take a walk in Edmonton’s River Valley! Now’s the time to enjoy our city’s natural beauty without worrying about the sweltering sun. Plus, mindful walking is a proven way to reduce stress.
  • * Blow off steam with some sustainable retail therapy! Invest in your community by supporting unique local businesses. And if you don’t know where to start, here are a couple resources to get you up and running! The Local Good / Edmonton Local
  • * The best way to relax is obviously to EAT. Try Edmonton’s Downtown Culinary Crawl! You’ll get to chow down on tons of tasty food, plus it’s done by bicycle. What a perfect way to indulge while still staying fit.
  • *Immerse yourself in spring by visiting the Muttart Conservatory’s Spring pyramid, open until April 10th!

 

2. If You Want to Explore:

It’s easy to live in a city without really experiencing all it has to offer. Expand your knowledge of Edmonton’s cultural landscape.

  • * Celebrate Edmonton’s history! Starting May 16th, you can wander through Fort Edmonton Park– even if you’ve been before I guarantee you’ll learn something new about our city’s past.
  • * Explore a growing part of our community’s arts scene at the Edmonton Poetry Festival from April 17th to 24th.
  • * If you’re exploring on a budget, pick a neighbourhood you haven’t really experienced and take a walk! It’s the best way to fully get to know a community. You’ll find landmarks, hidden architectural gems and local shops you might miss just driving by in a car. (Here’s a list of Edmonton’s best voted neighbourhoods, in case you don’t know where to start.)

 

3. If You’re Doing Some Spring Cleaning:

It is that time of year! If you’re determined to clear out the extra brick-a-brack you’ve got lying around, consider donating it.

 

4. If You Want to Engage:

What better way to celebrate spring, the season of renewal and energy, than by giving back to your community? There are numerous ways to lend your talents and energies to local organizations, and many require very little in the way of time commitment.

  • * Sign up at the Edmonton Insight Community, and you’ll receive monthly surveys about all sorts of local pending issues. All you have to do is answer a five-minute survey once a month to make your voice and opinions heard!
  • * Help make spring easier for Edmonton’s homeless by donating to the Bag of Hope campaign. Fill a backpack with some essentials, and then drop it off at any of their donation locations. You’ll make a real difference in someone’s life.
  • * You might have some extra time this spring–why not volunteer? Here are a couple great places to find causes that matter to you: Volunteer Edmonton / City of Edmonton. GEOMEER is also always eager for enthusiastic volunteers! Email our Mentorship Coordinator Daniella Batres at dbatres@geomeer.ca if you want to lend us a hand.

 

5. If You’re Already Anticipating The Summer:

By all means, plan ahead!

  • * Browse Edmonton’s list of festivals. Start marking up your calendar for all your personal must-sees!
  • * If you just want to wile away the time until summer vacation begins, consider stopping by a board game café! A relatively new phenomenon in Edmonton, you’re guaranteed to find a wonderful or wacky game to make time fly by. (Check out The Hexagon on Whyte Ave or Table Top Café on 124th.)
  • * Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be announcing the details for GEOMEER’s Sprint n’ Splash 2016 soon! Sunny skies, races, water fights and fun. What more could you ask for?

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Be sure to tweet your own spring festivities at us (@geomeercanada), and enjoy your community this spring!

Vote for Our National Community on Monday

Voting is one of the most basic, fundamental ways you can influence your community. Canada’s 42nd election is taking place this Monday (October 19th, 2015), and any number of outcomes have been predicted. This year, more than 3.6 million Canadians have already voted in advance polls, which is 71% more than the last election. We could be looking at a record-breaking election in terms of voter turnout, so be sure to take five minutes out of your day to vote!

Let's improve those stats!

Let’s improve those stats!

If you’re behind on your research, here is a comprehensive breakdown of the promises various parties have made. If you’d rather find out which party’s ideas you most align with, here is a perfect quiz where you can even weigh how much you care about different issues. You’ll get a complete breakdown at the end of where you and the parties agreed and diverged.

If you’re not sure where to vote on Monday, check your voter registration card that should have arrived in the mail, or visit the Elections Canada website.

If you’re unsure of what you need to be able to vote on Monday, here’s a list of the ID you should bring.

Happy voting!

Suit Up 2015

Back-to-school season is stressful for everyone, when temperatures wind down and activities wind back up again. These stresses are multiplied when you’re also worried about the financial demands of going back to school. Back-to-school shopping can cost families over $600 per child. GEOMEER alleviates this expense by giving local families in need the chance to pick out back-to-school clothing at an Old Navy store.

This year, 45 families came to explore Old Navy and find exactly what they needed, with snack and water breaks in between the demands of shopping. Thanks to the wonderful Old Navy staff, as well as a team of fantastic GEOMEER volunteers, 100 hundred gift cards were issued, and families took home their choices of back-to-school style!

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