It’s Official! Guelph and Wellington Holiday Heroes have saved the day for the Children’s Foundation Adopt-A-Family Program

December 12, 2018

Selfie booth

The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington’s Adopt-A-Family elves have been hustling and bustling over the past two months, matching families referred to them by social workers with  generous donors in the community. With a wonderful outpouring of support from the community, they are overjoyed that all 1,134 families referred are being helped!  

“Every year, tears flow as we hear the families’ stories of hardship as it is always heartbreaking to hear about the struggles they are going through,” says Adopt-A-Family Program Director, Karyn Kirkwood. “And then when the donors respond with an abundance of love and support, tears flow again as we see how much care has gone into their shopping for their ‘adopted’ families. When donors tour the Santa’s workshop and see the depth and breadth of the program, they themselves are overwhelmed at the magnitude of need in the community and also moved at how generous donors have been.”

One of the beauties of the program is when someone who used to be a recipient is now in the position to give back. One donor who signed up this year requested an Independent Youth as he used to be one himself and he really wanted to help a kid who was in the same circumstances he used to be in.  A social worker’s response was beautiful: “This is so incredible! We honestly feel so fortunate to have such lovely donors. Some of the new youth with us are having a hard time making a wish list because they have never had gifts before and don’t know what to ask for. We feel so grateful to have this opportunity for them and I can’t thank you enough.”

While the Children’s Foundation is wrapping up the regular program by Friday, December 14, they are still preparing for late, emergency referrals as they are committed to helping families as best they can up to the holiday break. “Last year, we helped an additional 19 families in the week leading up to Christmas,” says Kirkwood. “Donations of grocery and other gift cards, plus cash donations helps us to be well-prepared for the end. Critical supports for families in need continue throughout the year through the Children’s Foundation. Year-end donations following the Adopt-A-Family period are also needed to meet the increasing needs of both the Free to Grow and Food & Friends programs.”

 To find out how you can join the team of Holiday Heroes for families in need, visit  or call the Children’s Foundation Adopt-A-Family Team at


Karyn Kirkwood

Program Director

Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington