An annual holiday support program which matches donors with families in need will continue this year, says organizers, but instead of shopping for gifts the Adopt-a-Family program will move to a gift card model.
Adopt-a-Family is organized annually by the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington and program director Karyn Kirkwood said the need may be even greater this year and at the same time the capacity of the community to give may be strained.
Last year a total of 1,222 families were referred by the deadline and every one of them was helped through the program.
“We are pleased that we will be able to continue providing holiday support this year; although, it will look different than how our program usually runs,” said Kirkwood.
The program is moving away from the gift shopping model due to the impacts of COVID-19.
“The safety of our team, our donors, and the community at large has been forefront in our planning,” said Kirkwood.
Instead of asking donors to shop from a list of requested gift items, the program will move to a gift card model for 2020.
Donor sign-up for the Adopt-A-Family Program begins Oct. 5. People interested in contributing can vitis www.childrensfoundation.org or call 519-829-0855.
Donors will also be able to participate in a Winter Wear Drive beginning in early October, in partnership with HOPE House. The drive will collect new and gently used winter wear to be distributed to children in need in time for the upcoming winter weather.
HOPE House is excited to be running its first ever Winter Clothing Market, supported by the Children's Foundation of Guelph Wellington,” says Jaya James, executive director of HOPE House.
“In current times, it’s imperative we all stand together and support one another. To assist with alleviating some of the stress of purchasing winter items, this market is designed to provide what is needed, at no cost, for those who need the help. We are thankful for the support from the community in making this market a reality.”
Tthe Children’s Foundation also plans to continue distributing new winter wear to families via the social agencies who refer families to Adopt-A-Family.
“We know many of our donors love the opportunity to shop for kids, and this is the perfect time to show them the warmth of the season with a new winter coat or boots,” said Emma Rogers, CEO of the Children’s Foundation. “We’re really happy to collaborate with HOPE House as we launch our Winter Wear Drive, and hopefully with community support, we’ll be able to continue right into December with providing what kids need to stay warm this year.”