Don and Elaine Geake have been giving to YESS annually for over 20 years, but their story with YESS begins long before that. Get to know these incredible members of our community and how they have taken action on their lifelong beliefs to help those who need it.
I [was born] two days prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Even though growing up during WWII and early post-war time wasn’t always easy for our family, my three brothers and I were made aware of the need to help others less fortunate. This philosophy is one that my wife Elaine and I passed on to our children who have continued this practice in both career choices and daily life.
I focused my high school courses on a career in engineering, but in Grade 12 I felt an urge toward a “helping” occupation. I enrolled in education instead and worked with the Edmonton Public Schools for 34 years as both teacher and principal.
My first contact with YESS came in the mid-1980’s when I was principal at Mill Creek Elementary School. At Christmas, the school community would donate [gifts] of non-perishable food items which were given to YESS.
As an educator, I recognized the importance of providing children with a sound base in a safe and encouraging environment for a happy and fulfilling life. In addition to meeting their basic needs for food and shelter, it is also necessary for mental and emotional support.
My wife and I have continued to contribute to YESS because it plays an important role in supporting youth in crisis with not only the necessities of life, but also in achieving mental and emotional stability.
A big thank you to the staff at YESS for their dedication in providing their clients with hope, healing and safety as well as educational and occupational opportunities.
By Don Geake
Don’s work with students demonstrates the importance of engaging young people in their community. YESS values working with schools to empower students to support their community and practice leadership. We continue to help with this in the online teaching and virtual worlds, as well as in-person.
If your school is interested in learning more about YESS and our work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780.468.7070.