previous Years

From the Families

“Thank you. And thank you doesn’t begin to say what I felt when I saw those boxes of gifts for the boys. I was all at once overwhelmed, overjoyed, stunned and just plain happy. I am still overcome with the feeling of gratitude and love. The feeling that the boys and I don’t deserve this is there as well. I do not accept help well. I was approached by a staff member from the shelter to apply for help for gifts for the boys. I was assured that the individuals would not know who I am, and that they would purchase a few simple gifts for the boys, perhaps one for myself. Your generosity is completely overwhelming! So although I don’t like to accept “help”, your gifts helped to make Christmas a happier occasion. The look on the boy’s faces was amazing, and I have no words to describe it. They are SO HAPPY. I cry writing this. So again I say a huge “THANK YOU!!” I hope that your Christmas holidays were filled with lots of love and laughter, and know that your generous gift fills my heart. I will ALWAYS remember this first Christmas on my own with the boys, and you will always be in the story.”

“I honestly don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to express the feeling I had when my Mom told me where all these gifts came from. That feeling of joy and happiness, how do I put it on a piece of paper? Yet the relief on my Mom’s face I haven’t seen in a long time. I can’t find the right works to tell you how much this warms my heart. What you have done, for me and my family is beyond me. To see tears from my Mom caused by joy was unbelievable. You gave me the ultimate gift of seeing my Mom happy again. Therefore what you have done, knowing and not knowing makes me feel like a thank you is empty in meaning. I want to find a better word to use but it is not possible to do so. Since all I can do on paper is write thank you I just want you to know what you’ve done means so much more than that.” ~ 16-year old son

"Thank you for providing my family with the best Christmas we've had in a long time. Christmas morning was so exciting for my children. Thank you for the grocery cards - the food was hearty and our hearts were full."

"Words cannot express how thankful I am for your help and generosity. This year has been very challenging with my health which has affected me financially. Your gifts are more than presents for my family. You have given me the gift of unloading some of the stress that often comes with Christmas. You have given me the gift of time with my children. You have given me the gift of seeing them smile on Christmas Day. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much."

"To the family who helped us get through the holidays and helped make sure our children had presents under the tree - thank you from the bottom of our hearts. When I saw the gifts, I started to cry. We need more people like you in the world."

"As a parent, we try to do our best by our little ones. Sometimes we can't control life's plot twists. This year was a bad series of events. I tell you this so you truly understand the depth of my gratitude, and happiness we feel. Words cannot express how thankful we are. How much joy I will feel when my kiddo opens her gifts. After the year we've had this act of kindness means all the more to us. Especially me. I hope the coming years bring you peace, happiness and many blessing."

"There are no words to describe how grateful I am for everything you have done for my family. You have made this Christmas where it wouldn't have existed otherwise. I send your family more love than your hearts can handle."

"I am humbled by the generosity of people who do not even know us. Thank you for making my son's Christmas wishes come true when I could not. It leaves me with mixed feelings - both happy and sad and wishing I was in the position of giving rather than being on the receiving end."

"We have no words to express our gratitude. You are so kind and you put so much love and effort into the presents. We had so much excitement! Everything was perfect. My son slept last night with the (stuffed) lion tugged tight to his body. When he saw the yoga mat that will be just his, he said "this is mine!" Everything looks like a dream. This was amazing! Thank you for making this magical Christmas!"

"There are no words to describe the feelings of gratitude upon receiving your gifts for my daughter and myself. The blessings were overwhelming and I wept and wept. It was everything we needed and so personalized for our family. I was not expecting such love and kindness."

"To our generous donor(s): Thank you so much for all the presents we received. You helped to put a smile on my daughter's face on Christmas morning. We will always remember your generosity. You are an inspiration for others to do good in the community. I hope to one day be able to give back to other families in need, as you have inspired me to do so."

"We don't know who you are but we are super grateful for all you did for our family! Thank you for supporting the program because you saved my family when we were at our low!"

"Thank you so much for making a little girl's Christmas so wonderful. Without the kindness and warmth from Angels like yourselves, I can't imagine what a sad Christmas children would have."

"It was if you knew our granddaughters personally.  It goes without saying it is a big help financially, but I also appreciate the time, care, thought and energy that went into it!  It is so true that 'It takes a village to raise a child.'  Thank you for the Tim Horton's gift card for us too - we don't often go so I'm looking forward to going in some time soon on a whim. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!"

 "Thank you so much for all the wonderful gifts.  When our daughter opened the gifts she screamed with happiness. The pillows were a big hit.  We all sleep great.  You made our Christmas brighter."

"To the wonderful family that made my family's Christmas so special - I would like you to know that your generosity was so appreciated by myself and my children.  I was amazed at the amount of gifts and how you so carefully picked them out for my five chldren. My children have gone through and experienced so much hardship this past year that it was wonderful to forget all that over Christmas and see their reactions of joy when opening their presents.  Sending you a HUGE thank you shouted from the roof tops - you have impacted my family so much!"

 "To our Sponsor Family - This Christmas was awesome due to your generosity! My daughter squealed with delight over her book set, my son has not stopped with his magic, and my youngest is completely lost in his lego. The grocery and Shoppers gift cards kept us fed and got us through the winter bug.  My fuzzy blanket was the best! We constantly fight over it. With much appreciation - your 'adopted' family. P. S. - I cried a little."

"Both my children and I appreciate the effort that was made during this busy and often stressful time of the year. We appreciate not only the generous gifts but the time which was taken to drive from store to store in order to purchase the gifts we received."

"We were in shock with your generosity with all the gifts....My son really enjoyed getting the bus tickets, all of the school supplies and the gift cards. The grooming items were a huge help. For a teenager trying to fit in, any little bit helps. He is now fully prepared for the next semester at school and having a new binder is a godsend."

"Honestly, I cannot put into words how grateful we are to you for reaching out this hoiday season and making our Christmas a wonderful and memorable time. My husband and I had a difficult year financially and it would have been a sad Christmas for our three children if it weren't for you. "

"Thank you also for the grocery gift cards. We were able to purchase a chicken, some sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables and pumpkin pie. I also managed to purchase some snacks that we enjoyed during the day. We were able to enjoy Christmas like other people, it was a wonderful day."

"The thought of whether I would be able to make Christmas happen was a debilitating stress. Thanks to all your thoughtful gifts, that stress was replaced with tears of joy. You made a difference in our lives and I am eternally grateful."

"Thank you for your kindness in helping me give my daughter a Christmas and a chance to continue to believe in Santa and the magic of Christmas."

“Thank you for adopting our family.  I would like you to know a bit about our story. You helped a fifteen year old boy, who moved out of an abusive home this past summer with only the clothes he could put into his backpack.  He is kind, caring loving, honest, a good friend and the Best Grandson.  We want to tell you how fantastic the gifts are, when I asked our grandson which gift was his favourite, he said they were all his favourite.  He was quite interested in the pillow, just the right height and thickness, a pillow of his very own.  He lay on the bed with it for a try-out and yes indeed, it was the perfect pillow. The very best gift you have given is the knowledge that there are people who are kind and caring towards others, and they care about our special boy and his family, even when they do not know us. I have explained to our grandson that these gifts came from people who have big hearts and who wanted another family to be able to have a very Merry Christmas too.  Also a big THANK YOU for the gift cards for our family.  All of the generous gifts were beyond our greatest expectations.  Hope your Christmas was as memorable as ours.  Thank you for caring about our boy and us.”


“I would like to Thank You from the bottom of my heart for your kindness and generosity to my family.  I have been a single Mom for 10 years and this is the 1st time I have asked for help.  I have always struggled to provide for my children.  This year at my place of employment hours were cut because business was slow.  After paying the bills, there wasn’t anything for groceries.  I finally broke down and went to the food bank.  I thought because I worked these services weren’t available to my family. I was so overwhelmed when I got your gifts - I cried.  My children are old enough to understand, and I explained we had a family adopt us for Christmas.  I wrapped their gifts and wrote from the Adopted Family on the tags.  My son, loves his new bedding, says he is warm and snuggly.  My daughter likes her new boots; her feet are warm and dry.  The kids truly appreciate your gifts. Thank you for the grocery gift cares they helped provide a delicious Christmas dinner.  Turkey dinner is my daughter’s favourite.  Both my parents have passed but my Dad taught me how to cook a mean turkey! Someday my children and I would like to help a family the way your family helped ours.  Thank you so very much for your kindness.”

“I need to thank you all for making my 10-year old daughter’s Christmas a very happy one.  You could see her eyes light up as she opened each present.  She saw the colour and design of the “Bed in a Bag.” – I never saw a kid go gaga over bedding, but I too, was very impressed. It is people like you and your family that make a huge difference for a child like mine.”

“To the family who adopted our family at Christmas, THANK YOU.   Your gifts for our daughter made such a difference and Christmas became magic again.  She loves to play doctor and build houses with her blocks.  Her polar bear book is one of her favourites and she tries to read it to me.  She carries her new blanket around everywhere and loves how bright and soft it is. I love her new pyjamas and your help with the gift cards turned a stressful time into a happy one.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.”

“Thank you for your kind help during this difficult time of year.  It means so much to us being able to watch our boys open presents Christmas morning.  Our younger son loves his car. He plays with it whenever he can.  I’ve almost stepped on it a few times because he drives it around our kitchen/living area while I’m cooking.  Our older son wears his headphones everywhere.  He would sleep with them if he could.  His pants fit to a ‘t’ and they also look really good on him.  Thank you for giving us a date night.  It has been years since we’ve had one without the kids.   Our family would like to wish you a wonderful and healthy year.  Thank you again for everything you have done for us.  We could not have done it without you.”

“Dear Santa: We would like to thank you so much for the generous gifts you gave us this year.  With a rough couple of years behind us, my health declining and low spirits, we were all amazed with what Santa brought. There were constant smiles on my 15-year old son’s face with each gift and a new game with his gift card.  My daughter loves her toys and had mastered her train already. I was happy to get gifts as well, some Epsom salts, and candles which added to a couple of nights where I could relax in a hot bath. I have seen how one person can cause so much pain to a family and bring them down.  Now I’m so glad for people like you that are able to remind me of the good that is out there.”

“Thank you – these two small words are not sufficient to convey the gratitude I feel for such a gracious giving of generous gifts.   These two words don’t even come close at how it made me feel to see such large smiles dance across the faces of my children.  I never thought I would find myself in a position where I had to reach out for support – emotional, yes but financial, no.  I can only hope that I will be in a positon again where I can bring magic into the lives of some beautiful family at Christmas, as you have done for us.”

From Referring Agencies

"My client asked me to write the thank you that she dictated and she could hardly put words together as she was so moved. Her son had been asking for weeks if we thought he might get a new blanket. Those of us who refer families get as much joy from seeing our families receive unexpected gifts as they do. You are a gift to us too." ~ a worker from Guelph Community Health Centre

"I just wanted to send a BIG thank you for all you do. When the (parents) received the gifts, both had tears Kids Drawings Collageof joy and gratefulness for this." ~ a school teacher

"Adopt-A-Family is a reminder of the larger community that connects us together. Adopt-A-Family brings to light the care that we have for one another in Guelph-Wellington. The generosity in this community is overwhelmingly touching. The thoughtfulness and careful planning that goes into each families gifts would bring tears to your eyes to see. As a worker, you become the face of Adopt-A-Family to those you are referring - receiving the wish lists and delivering the gifts. When the gifts arrive, we feel like elves delivering on behalf of donors. I've received many appreciative hugs from parents who are so grateful for everything that the program provides for their families. Being part of the Adopt-A-Family program as a worker is such a rewarding experience." ~ Kristin Hunter, CMHA

"Christmas can be difficult for those without family or those experiencing family conflict. It is wonderful to see the tremendous support the community provides to ensure we have gifts and holiday treats for all our youth." ~ Wyndham House

"I am writing to thank you so much for the wonderful gifts you gave to Suzy. Everything you picked out for her was perfect. You would have loved to have seen the smile on her face when I came to the door with all the wrapped gifts. She could not believe her eyes and could hardly wait to open all of the packages. She loved that she got a new blanket and towels. She said she had never had brand new and always had second hand things. It is so heart warming to see a young adult be so excited about Christmas. Suzy is really still a child inside and the gifts you gave allowed her to have a Christmas she would otherwise not have had. Thank you for caring about the youth in our community and giving from your heart!”

"I would like to sincerely thank you for your generous donation of holiday gifts to our students. When we opened the gifts, things started off normally, with kids chattering and talking, then all of a sudden: stunned silence, then just a quick, hooting and hollering of excitement! We had some kids with tears in their eyes, honestly." ~ Teacher at Youth Moving Forward 

From Donors

"You have the hard work: caring for Guelph's needy families all year, and especially at Christmas when expectations are high and so many have so little. Thank you for all the work you do, to make this foundation work. Our own family has been blessed with good fortune. We gave ourselves a different gift this year, the gift of giving to others. More importantly, our personal Christmas spirits were revived this year when we were able to give to those who wished for something and really needed it. Again, thanks for all you do for this community. We will continue to support The Children's Foundation of Guelph and Wellington.”

"Instead of giving gifts to my immediate family this year, we chose to be donors for Adopt-A-Family. We enjoyed this experience so much, we have decided to make it a tradition every year! As a family, we planned a shopping day together on a Sunday afternoon in December and so enjoyed picking out the gifts from the families' list. We felt being donors was a win-win: instead of going to the mall individually and buying gifts for each other, we got to spend time together to make someone else's holiday a little brighter. The reward that we all felt from participating in this program was overwhelmingly wonderful. I would highly recommend to any family that is looking for a way to give to be part of the Adopt-A-Family program. It's such a joyous and well-organized program that makes a difference in the lives of so many."

 "My husband and I each have lived through poverty and deprivation at certain times in our lives. I was born in a very poor family in Greece and until I turned 11 and immigrated to Canada, was crowded with my parents in one room which had no running water, and no heat. We have been very fortunate in recent years with careers and family life and even though we are not rich, we have enough that we wanted to help a family at Christmas. When I called to find out about the program, I was told that they had one family left which was rather large – 1 mom and 5 children! My husband came home from work, we discussed it, and even though we weren’t sure if we could manage financially, we decided to go for it anyway. We thought, well, we’ll just have to give our kids less, so that another family can have a good Christmas. Well, when my 83 year old mom heard about it, even though she lives only on her old age pension, she insisted that she contribute towards the gifts. We visited a friend who was diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t sure how long she has. She too, wanted to contribute towards the family. My husband, for the first time that year, received a monetary bonus from work. By the time we finished shopping for this family, I was so grateful to the universe. Surely, there must be forces greater than us working to make these things happen."

- Maria & Steve Chovaz