CHILDREN'S FOUNDATION OF GUELPH AND WELLINGTON
The Children’s Foundation Free to Grow Program helps hundreds of kids from low-income homes get in the game every year by funding them to participate in recreational activities like sports, camps, and the arts, as well as life-skill activities like babysitting training and driver’s education.
With so many activities being cancelled this summer due to the ongoing pandemic, the foundation is committed to finding new, creative ways to support the well-being and healthy development of kids in the community.
“The value of play for children, especially during times of stress and uncertainty, cannot be underestimated,” says Karyn Kirkwood, Program Director. “We know how difficult and disheartening these days are with the necessary cancellations of summertime activities, and we want to do what we can to bring some fun into kids’ lives. Our goal is to provide recreational equipment, supplies and resources for home so that kids can get back to the important work of childhood, which is play!”
The Free to Grow at Home initiative will be providing recreational kits for kids that will get their hands and feet moving, spark their imagination, and support their learning and development.
“While children and youth are at home and are lacking the resources they need for physical and creative play and learning, the Children’s Foundation will be supporting them in developing their interests, enhancing their growth and development, building their self-worth, and fostering the skills they need to reach their full potential,” says Emma Rogers, CEO.
“We are planning on having three types of kits available, and families we are supporting will be able to request the kit that best matches their child’s interests, whether that’s arts and crafts, sports, reading, outdoor games, and more.”
Families with children already being supported by the Children’s Foundation through their core programs will be eligible to submit a request for a Free to Grow at Home recreation kit. The Foundation is hopeful that with enough community support it will be able to deliver 1,000 kits in time for summertime fun.
The Children’s Foundation is looking for support from the community in raising the funds needed to purchase the supplies for the kits, as well as sourcing out those supplies. The Foundation is aiming for a win-win scenario, where the raised funds can go back into the local economy by supporting businesses that can provide the supplies.
Any local businesses that are interested in helping with supplying the recreation kits, and anyone interested in finding out how to make a difference in a young child’s life this summer, can visit the Children’s Foundation website at https://www.childrensfoundation.org/ways-to-help/free-to-grow-at-home.