At last, winter is graciously falling upon us with layer upon layer of snow. This marks the beginning of many new and exciting activities: skiing and snowboarding, tobogganing, skating and more. However, it is also the beginning of the hardest struggle for families living in poverty. Though it is hard to believe, a report from the Edmonton Social Planning Council states that in 2009, 279,000 Albertans were living in poverty. The number of children that were living in those conditions increased 40% from the past year. Even more shocking is that 47%, almost half of those families, had one or more members working full time all year round.
Although the report is 3 years old, the conditions today are similar. These figures are surprising and saddening, and are why GEOMEER is so determined to provide a solution to the problem. Our charity, staffed entirely by volunteers, works with families, children in the school system, and parents in the work force – all people that are trying their best to maintain a normal life but simply cannot keep up.
Because the hampers that we supply are worth about $2,000 each, we are doing our best to give Albertans hope for the future. Currently, the Helping Hampers campaign is about to kick off in over 100 schools and businesses across the province. It is an exciting year as we have teamed up with even more schools, businesses and community partners in Edmonton, Calgary and rural Alberta. The lists have been upgraded, several new staff have joined the team, and we are making new connections every day. We have high hopes and our new goal is to raise over $215,000 in monies and goods.
These are big goals but we are confident that we can reach them. We are always looking for donations and it is easy to give through our website under the Donate Now tab. Rest assured, that all of the funds raised go straight towards the hampers to make them last as long as possible.
We hope that you will continue to follow us as the campaign gets underway and we will be sure to keep you updated with new reports, videos and anything else in the news about this year’s campaign. We will do everything in our power to help these families get back on their feet, and we sincerely hope that you will continue to join us in this endeavour.