United Way

    Tools for School


  Children and Youth

Reach Their Potential

    One Back Pack

        at a Time


This morning at STAPLES in Grande Prairie groups gathered to stuff a Peace Wapiti Bus with school supplies donated by generous shoppers over the past 30 days.
Tools for School recognizes the fact that many children in our community arrive at school without even the most basic school supplies. Without the proper tools, it is difficult to succeed in the classroom.  The goal of "Tools for School" is to ensure that all students have the supplies they need for classroom success. Tools for School supports the full path of development to help children and youth achieve their full potential. Basic school supplies are necessary to ensure the success of students from the early years all the way through to high school completion.
"The demand for school tools increases each year and our community continues to respond generously with contributions of supplies and money. Our community continues to work together; and every year, we are providing more children and youth with the opportunities for success." comments Peter Meyerhoffer, 2014 Campaign Co-Chair.
Contributions have made an impact on the lives of thousands of students within the region. 1202 kids will have school supplies as a result. This year's success equates to $ 18034.89 given back to the community.  The success of this program would not be possible without the help of Staples and Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. who each provided easy access for generous citizens in our region to make a difference.
Corporate donations were also made from businesses as they recognized the need and the difference that could be made collectively. Employees from various workplaces coordinated a Tools for School Drive within their buildings to help make a difference for students in schools in their own neighborhoods.
"United Way is working toward improving lives and building communities by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. This will ensure that we help kids be all they can be." comments Stewart Wilson, 2014 Campaign Co-Chair.
The Grande Prairie Public School District, The Grande Prairie Catholic School District and The Peace Wapiti School Division assist in the distribution to schools so that students attending all district schools will have easy access. Families requiring this assistance should contact their school principals.




 Kickoff August 2014  Copy
















United Way gearing up for new campaign

By Tom Bateman, Herald-Tribune staff

Thursday, June 26, 2014


United Way Alberta Northwest presented cheques worth $575,515 at ceremony to mark the end of the 2013 campaign last week. The figure was distributed amongst 24 local community initiatives including Big Brothers Big Sisters, PACE (Providing Assistance, Counselling & Education), Suicide Prevention, KidsSport and Meals on Wheels.

 "We feel really good, this is what we work for all year-round. We're happy to have it done," said board chair Aleasa Tasker. The campaign was working towards a 'defined need' goal of about $1.3 million. The total revenue for the 2013 fiscal year totalled out at $1,044,592.  An additional $49,315 in donor-directed funds will be proved to 46 charities in places such as Peace River, Fox Creek and Fairview.

 It was a year of change for the charity, which saw former executive director Gladys Blackmore leave in February. Brenda Yamkowy, who spent seven years with HIV North, started as the executive director of the United Way on June 16. "She's already hit the group running, we're very pleased with that," said Tasker, who said the United Way will be releasing the names of new board members through the summer as well.


New co-chairmen

With the conclusion of the 2013 drive comes a new set of co-chairpermen for the 2014 push.  Taking the helm this year will be recently retired entrepreneur Stewart Wilson, his wife Jackie Wilson and Daily Herald-Tribune publisher Peter Meyerhoffer.

The Wilsons, originally from Scotland, play a role in several local organizations including the chamber of commerce, Safe Communities, Muskoseepi Park, Rotary and Travel Alberta.  "Over the years we've been very successful when we've had husband and wife teams or duos, because it's a pretty hefty load, making all the visits and so on. So we were looking for a couple or person in our community that has a ton of energy and would just be an awesome ambassador and that's where we came up with (the Wilsons)," said Tasker.

Meyerhoffer moved to the area in 2010. In addition serving as publisher of the Daily Tribune, Peace Country Sun, Peace River Record-Gazette and Fairview Post, Meyerhoffer is a member of Business Network International and the Sunshine Rotary Club. He's been a member of the United Way cabinet for the past two years.

In that time, Meyerhoffer said he's gleaned some advice from outgoing chairman Mike O'Connor, who served in the role for two campaigns and recommended Meyerhoffer as his replacement.  In particular, he's learned awareness of what United Way does for the community is vital.  "No one individual actually goes to the United Way for assistance, right?

What they do is, if they need food, they go to the food bank. If they are seniors and need Meals on Wheels, they go there. In the background United Way supports all those things."

He said a large part of fundraising is done through workplace campaigns – an area he'll continue to focus on in the upcoming year. That work starts quickly; Tasker said the organization will be meeting with employers in the city through the summer months to strategize about the campaign, which starts in the fall.  Also upcoming is the Ken Sargent Car-B-Que and Show N' Shine, slated for Saturday, June 28.

 "(O'Connor) led two very successful campaigns. We're hoping to maintain that momentum that he created and hopefully equal or better what has been done the past two years," said Meyerhoffer. A big part of Meyerhoffer's pitch will be the accountability the United Way demands from its benefactors.

 "There's a very strict process in giving the money out. Our executive director does the due diligence to make sure that if someone's requesting money, that they do qualify and that is a good process."  "We do such a sorting and a review process to really pick the agencies that are good at spending the money we give them and really have a defined need," added Tasker.

"I really am amazed with the need in our community, in such a rich community. We have such a solid financially base in our community and there are still people who fall through the cracks."