What Your Donations Are Doing in 2016
January 26, 2016
Our community was exceptionally generous in 2015. You made last year a life-changing year for so many children and for that we thank you! With more children on the path to wellness and success, does this mean our work is done? Unfortunately, it does not. Until there are no children in our community who go hungry, who are feeling isolated, or who cannot envision a bright future, we won’t stop. That is why we continue to reach out to our community to fundraise and continue this important work. You are a champion on this journey and we are so grateful for that.
Each year we carefully review how we can best use your donated funds to offer the most impact to the children who need our help. Here’s how we are doing that in 2016:
Food & Friends
We continue 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. We’ve heard that for many students that come to the programs in high need neighbourhoods, this will sometimes be the only food they eat that day. We are always shocked to hear those stories. In 2016, we 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. Your support is allowing us to provide additional funding to these programs and emergency funding if their attendance or costs increase during the school year.
Future Fund 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. We know that 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 a targeted outreach to inform families about the program. We also know that registration fees are not the only barrier to participation, so we are currently reviewing assistance options for equipment and transportation to ensure that participation is always possible.
Each year we hope that the demand for Adopt-A-Family will decline but once again this year the number of families assisted increased by over 50 families. In 2016, we are committed to working in partnership with our community to ensure that the need is met during the particularly stressful Christmas season.
The funds that you have provided, and continue to provide, are making these supports possible. These children are becoming healthier, more confident and hopeful because of you. Your support 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.