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Children's Foundation to tackle barriers for local children in need

Donors helped 2,053 children that were referred to the Children’s Foundation Adopt-A-Family Program at Christmas
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NEWS RELEASE

CHILDREN'S FOUNDATION OF GUELPH AND WELLINGTON

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Our community was in awe as the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington raised a record-breaking $200,000 at its 2015 Around the World Gala.

The year also saw donors step up to other needs including helping the 2,053 children that were referred to the Children’s Foundation Adopt-A-Family Program at Christmas.

It was a life-changing year for many children and their families thanks to this incredible support.

Unfortunately, life can change dramatically for a family when a job loss or illness happens, bring new children to the Children’s Foundation for help.

To continue to meet the current and arising needs, the Children’s Foundation carefully reviews how best to use their donated funds to offer the most impact to the children who need their help. Here’s how they are doing that in 2016 through their four programs:

Food & Friends

Our community continues to see an increase in the cost to operate student nutrition programs due to the rising cost of groceries and the lower Canadian dollar.

Many schools struggle to operate five days a week or to include fresh fruits and vegetables on their menu. Picturing any child in our community going hungry is tough.

For many students that come to the programs in high-need neighbourhoods, this will sometimes be the only food they eat that day.

In 2016, they are working to ensure that the programs that operate in these neighbourhoods are operating five days a week as “best in class”, by providing sufficient funding and volunteer support, and by exploring more ways to educate students on healthy eating.

Ongoing community support is allowing Food & Friends to provide additional funding to these programs and emergency funding if their attendance or costs increase during the school year.

Scholarships

For many youth, attending post-secondary education is just not feasible. The Future Fund Scholarships are awarded to one student from each high school in Guelph and Wellington who have overcome difficult life situations to succeed in graduating high school.

As you can imagine, the scholarship award of $400, while helpful, doesn’t go too far to cover the costs of post-secondary education.

In 2016, these scholarships will be increased to $1,000 in order to provide even more impact for students pursuing educational opportunities.

Free to Play

Free to Play provides financial assistance for children from low-income families for registration fees for sports, arts, and summer camp.

In Guelph and Wellington, 4,500 children are financially eligible for this program but currently only 1,000 are being assisted.

In 2016, additional funds are being made available to increase this number, along with targeted outreach to inform families about the program.

The Foundation also knows that registration fees are not the only barrier to participation, so they are currently reviewing assistance options for equipment and transportation to ensure that participation is always possible.

Adopt-A-Family

Each year the Foundation hopes that the demand for their Adopt-A-Family Holiday support program will decline but once again this year the number of families assisted increased by over 50 families.

In 2016, they are committed to working in partnership with our community to ensure that the need is met during the particularly stressful Christmas season.

“It is our hope that one day our work will be done. But until there are no children in our community who go hungry, who are feeling isolated, or who cannot envision a bright future, we will continue to help these kids build a better future for themselves. We will continue to reach out to our community to fundraise and continue this important work,” said Glenna Banda, Executive Director

The funds that donors have provided, and continue to provide, are making these supports possible.

These children are becoming healthier, more confident and hopeful.

Support through events like the Around the World Gala, Trees for Tots and Brush Off is instrumental in laying the foundation for each child’s journey, so no matter the individual path they take their destination is the same – a bright and promising future.  

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