6th annual Trees for Tots raises over $55,000 to help build opportunities

January 8, 2018

TFT 2018 Crew

The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington’s 6th annual Trees for Tots event raised a record-breaking $55,024 this Saturday, January 6. All funds raised through the event go directly to helping support local children and youth living in low-income situations. The Foundation’s four core programs are designed to work together to provide opportunities to build hope for lifelong change and break the cycle of poverty.

“Trees for Tots is a brilliant event model,” says Kasia Rusiniak, Children’s Foundation Events Manager, noting the event was in full swing long before she came on board. “By providing a necessary service to thousands of people city-wide, it benefits from the amount of donors engaged so that even if people feel they do not have a lot to give, they can be part of a truly incredible impact.”

That impact is felt by over 20,000 children each year yet each year, the Foundation is faced by a funding gap between the thousands of local children living in low-income situations and the children it is currently able to support. “We make great strides with what we have,” says Laurie Lantaigne, Finance & Operations Manager. Last year, the Children’s Foundation was independently audited by Financial Post Magazine and ranked as one of the 23 top children’s charities in Canada based on transparency, putting fundraised dollars to work quickly and keeping overhead costs low.

Kasia Rusiniak credits the strength of community support with allowing the Foundation, and events like Trees for Tots, such great success. “We say it all the time, but we literally could not do it on our own.”

Trees for Tots is made possible through the dedication and commitment of volunteers assisting with outreach initiatives, planning logistics, taking registrations and picking up and chipping over 3,200 trees. Guelph residents register to have their discarded Christmas trees picked-up for a minimum $10 donation. All trees are collected, chipped and used in local naturalization projects at Ignatius Jesuit Centre. “It really is win-win-win,” says Rusiniak.

Collection routes are generated by the City of Guelph IT Department and chipping stations throughout the City are made possible by industry partners and equipment donors: ADV Equipment Services, Battlefield Equipment, Baum Professional Tree Care, Bob’s Towing and Recovery, Cooper Equipment Rentals, Davey Tree Service, Dozr, DP2 Design & Photography, Fred E. Prior & Sons Ltd., Hersey Bins, Impact Mobile Signs Guelph, Jamie’s Lawncare, JL’s Tree Service, M&T Printing Group, Premier Equipment, Sloot Construction Ltd., Universal Rental Services and the Wellington Catholic District School Board. Volunteers are kept warm and fed with clean trucks courtesy of local Tim Hortons’ store owners, Valet Car Wash on Gordon and Zoup!

Despite best efforts, some trees get left behind. Registrants whose trees may have been missed are asked to contact the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington Trees for Tots hotline at 519-826-9551 ext. 25 or by email at trees4tots@childrensfoundation.org.