NEEM is a 501(c)3 organization that invites adults to have a life-changing experience combating malnutrition around the world.
NEEM was created by Marisa Christensen, a Registered Dietitian, and her husband Tanner Christensen, an Industrial Hygienist. The idea started with Marisa in the summer before her senior year of college. Marisa has always had the dream of using her skills and knowledge to help others around her, and was confident in the idea of starting a humanitarian trip to India. After much research, Tanner and Marisa realized that taking volunteers internationally was a bigger project than expected, so Marisa reached out to her closest friend in the Dietetics program, Taylor Hale. Together they combined their love for service with their knowledge of public health and nutrition education. They contacted colleagues, past directors of their programs, and other professionals who had experience volunteering internationally. Tanner and Marisa knew they didn’t want this trip to be a “one-and-done” kind of thing. So, they met with an attorney and started the process to become a non-profit organization.
The end result is a program that allows participants to make a sustainable difference through malnutrition assessments and nutrition education, and experience the country and culture in an affordable way. Tanner and Marisa want their volunteers to interact with local people and form real relationships in the country where they go. Because of their values, they know the best way to get to know people is by serving.