Introducing Free to Grow!

The community called and we responded.

In addition to providing financial support for low-income youth to participate in recreational activities such as sports, arts, and camps, Free to Grow, an extension of the Free to Play program, now encompasses life-skill development opportunities, including such things as babysitting classes, first aid & cpr, driver’s training, tutoring, and more. All of these opportunities, whether recreational or life-skill, are beneficial to the well-being of youth and will help:

  • develop their talents, interests, and passions;

  • enhance their personal growth and development;

  • build their self-worth and confidence; and

  • foster the skills they need to reach their full potential.

In 2018, the Children’s Foundation provided financial support for 1,384 kids to participate in 2,215 activities of their choice. However, with an estimated 10,000 children in Guelph and Wellington living below the low-income cut-off, there are still families who may not know that we are here to help.

That's where you come in... 

What can you do?

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You can download our Free to Grow logo by clicking HERE. The Free to Grow logo can be put on your website, promotional materials, and social media platforms. You may want to include a line such as: "The Children’s Foundation Free to Grow Program provides financial assistance for children in need so they can participate in sports, cultural and recreational activities, and life-skill development opportunities. For more information about eligibility and how to apply,  go to".



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Make a donation to support kids to play and learn. For example, you can donate left-over team fees at the end of the season, or collect donations during your registration process (e.g. $2 or $5). It’s a small contribution that individuals can make that collectively will go a long way.





Hold a third party fundraiser with proceeds going to Free to Grow. For more information about hosting a fundraiser, click HERE.



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Partner with us by waiving fees for eligible children through the Children’s Foundation. For more information about our program partners, click HERE.




Reduce Barriers

Make your registration process as accessible as possible. Online registration with credit card payments can be a barrier for low-income families. Another barrier might be fundraising fees for families. Talk to us about how you can create a smoother registration process for families.



Additional Resources:

Please look through the enclosed BROCHURE and LETTER to learn more about the Free to Grow Program and how you support children in our community! 

See "Shining Stars" for examples of what just some organizations in our community are doing to support the mission of Free to Grow.



If you have any questions or would like to chat, please contact Karyn Kirkwood, Program Director at:

Phone: 519-826-9551, ext 28