As the Cold Wind Blows

In the city of Edmonton, 28% of females and 24% of males are living in poverty. This encompasses all age groups living under harsh conditions. Especially now, in the winter season, these individuals, couples, and families have to make decisions on whether to pay the heating bill or to put food on the table. In 2009, just two years ago, Statistics Canada reported that in the greater Edmonton area one in eight people and one in five children are living in poverty.

In a rich, modern, and well-established city such as Edmonton these numbers are shocking. The poverty in our local community needs to be addressed and we have the ability and the responsibility to help our neighbours overcome their difficulties and continue to make our community thrive. While international aid is important, we can help members of our community change their lives for the better and move further along the road out of poverty and despair. Do what you can to get involved to help to make our communities stronger, better, and happier places for all our citizens.

http://www.ccsd.ca/pubs/2000/up/b4-38.htm
http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/06/15/poverty-in-edmonton-hitting-kids-hard-stats-canada

The Dawning of A New Season

Did you know that the world’s largest snowflake was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick!? Whether we want it or not, winter is fast approaching which means that the days are getting shorter and there is more time for reflection. Temperatures in Edmonton can easily fall to 40 below and many families do not have the ability to keep warm and well-fed in such a harsh climate. Now is the time to think of them. Now is the time to take action.

As a local charity our mission is to help families in our community receive the items that make daily living less difficult. We have witnessed the poverty that exists in our local community and we know that winter can be especially hard on families that cannot afford necessities such as coats and winter shoes. Our campaign is in full swing now and Helping Hampers is well on its way! This year we are expanding to help more families in bettering their quality of living.

Consider donating to GEOMEER to help us help families survive the winter. Every donation counts because it is through our combined efforts that we make a difference in the lives these families. Just like the largest snowflake, we want to make history, and to make a long lasting impact in our community. The time is now to become involved, connected, and to create change.

Back to School in Style

We hope that you have had a wonderful summer! The beginning of the school year brings many stresses for families in need: paying school fees, buying new clothes, and getting the right school supplies are just some items on the to-do list of the season.

Our latest venture, Suit Up! was specifically created for this occasion to help relieve those stresses. We gave the children of disadvantaged families gift cards to use at an Old Navy store for their very own shopping spree. It was our first time trying this innovative event and it was a rousing success! The store filled up within minutes; the children, alongside their guardians, had a wonderful time shopping for new outfits and finding some great accessories. Each child was assisted by volunteers and they were able to choose items that they loved. You can read the Edmonton Journal article about this event by clicking here.

With Suit Up! now completed, we would like to invite you to begin thinking about our next initiative, the Helping Hampers campaign! This event will take place towards the end of December and will require much preparation and fundraising. We are expanding the project this year to more schools and more cities! We hope that in our efforts to expand this project, we will see increased success and have a meaningful impact on a larger community. You can read more about Helping Hampers under the projects tab on our website.

From everyone here at the GEOMEER team we wish you a wonderful start to your school or work year and we remind you to always take the time to think of those in need.

It’s time to Suit Up!

Ty Pennington took time out of his busy schedule to visit us with Extreme Makeover: Charity Edition (in our dreams!). Seriously, GEOMEER has undergone some great changes including a revamped website, the addition of a new staff member, and our motto: because community matters. We are working to improve our organization every day because we want to serve our community in the best way possible. One of our biggest new events, the Suit Up! clothing campaign is almost upon us.

For Suit Up! GEOMEER will give Old Navy gift cards to families in need. These families will be able to shop for back-to-school clothing after hours on Sunday, August 21st . The goal of this initiative is to relieve the stress in families caused by the enormous costs that occur as students go back-to-school. What’s really great is that in Suit Up! it is the students, with the input of their families,  who get to choose their own outfits. For a more detailed description of the event, check out the Suit Up! page on our website.

Does this sound like something you want to be a part of making happen? Then join us by donating at: http://geomeer.ca/?page_id=31. Every dollar of every donation goes directly to improving the lives of local families struggling to overcome poverty. Why should you become involved? Because community matters and together we can build a stronger community.

New logo, slogan, and a warm welcome to our newest member!

Hey everyone!

Today has been a big day for GEOMEER… We’re pleased to announce some big changes that we’re very excited about!

First of all, we have officially unveiled our new logo and slogan! GEOMEER Logo

We wanted our refreshed logo to represent our biggest goal of bringing a community together to help those who need it. As you can see, it features a household surrounded by a “starburst” of individuals. We’re very happy with the new logo, and we hope you love it too! We also decided that it was time for a new slogan, and decided that “because community matters” best describes what we believe in!

Second, we are so pleased to announce that we have added a new member to our executive committee: Kaytlyn Beakhouse!

KaytB

Kaytlyn brings a ton of enthusiasm to our group, and we know she is going to take excellent care of the rural schools that will be picking up the GEOMEER project later this year. Check out Kaytlyn’s bio here!

The final countdown for Suit Up! has officially started… Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Geoff

Suit Up! Press Release

GEOMEER PRESS RELEASE

GEOMEER, the Edmonton-based charity behind the “Helping Hampers” project, is pleased to announce a new campaign entitled “Suit Up!” Suit Up! will be running on Sunday, August 21st.

GEOMEER was founded by University of Alberta student Sameer Dhar and his former high school leadership teacher George Heidt. Sameer and George wanted to get the youth of Edmonton more involved in the betterment of their communities, so in Sameer’s grade 12 year, the pair initiated the “Helping Hampers” campaign to collect long-lasting hampers of food and household goods for needy families. The program has since expanded, and the 2010 campaign raised approximately $100,000 worth of donations through the coordinated efforts of 41 Edmonton Public School Board elementary, junior high and high schools.

Sameer was recognized as one of Canada’s 2011 Top 20 Under 20 young leaders for his efforts with GEOMEER, and was invited by His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada to represent Canadian youth and meet the Royal Couple during their recent visit to Rideau Hall.

Suit Up! is GEOMEER’s newest campaign to help local families in need. The back-to-school season is financially very difficult on many families with low incomes. Through a partnership with The Way In project, GEOMEER has identified almost 100 children who will need new clothes for the 2011/2012 school year, but whose families would struggle to meet that need. Each of these children will be given a gift card to Old Navy South Edmonton Common. The store will be opened for them after-hours so that they can find and purchase clothing. This will give the children the clothing that they require to start the school year off right, while at the same time, allowing their families to divert resources towards other needs.

Media organizations with any questions about GEOMEER or the Suit Up! project can contact GEOMEER’s Public Relations director Geoff Casey by email at gacasey@geomeer.ca. Some information about the project is also available on GEOMEER’s website, www.geomeer.ca. Please note that, out of respect for those taking advantage of the program, the media will not be permitted inside Old Navy while the event is in progress, but any media organizations who wish to talk to any of the GEOMEER executive members or members of the Old Navy staff can make arrangements through Geoff Casey.

Sameer Dhar Named to Canada’s Top 20 Under 20!

The GEOMEER team is proud to share that our co-founder Sameer Dhar has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20! An annual event organized by “Youth In Motion,” the panel of outstanding Canadian leaders choose the 20 young Canadians that they believe have made the biggest impact in the areas of “Innovation, Leadership and Achievements in their life, school, community, province or country” (quote from the Top 20 Under 20 website). Sameer was chosen as a recipient thanks to his hard work and dedication to the GEOMEER project.

We are extremely proud of Sameer’s accomplishment, and look forward to seeing the innovation and leadership that he will continue to bring to the project over the coming years. Great job, Sameer!

For more information on the award, check out Youth In Motion’s Top 20 Under 20 website. To read what the press had to say about Sameer, visit out “In The Media” section!

New Site/Blog

Welcome to GEOMEER’s newly designed website and blog. We will be keeping this blog regularly updated with the newest GEOMEER news and information… Check back for updates!