Volunteer Spotlights

Experiencing New Joys: Leah Dube

September 17, 2019 — We often hear stories about the positive impact that our Food & Friends student nutrition programs have on the many students that we feed, however these positive benefits can often reach beyond the children and also support our many volunteers who give so generously of their time. Leah Dube is the program coordinator and parent volunteer of the JD Hogarth...

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Sunshine Squad Superstar: Gillian Cuthbert

April 15, 2019 — Gillian Cuthbert has been a member of the Sunshine Squad for 3 years as an Ambassador for the Children’s Foundation. In this role, Gillian represents the Foundation at community events by promoting its programs and services. She is passionate about increasing both public awareness of the Foundation and understanding of its goals. She also volunteers at many of the Foundation’s...

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Stacey Jennings, One Woman Show

February 15, 2019 —  Stacey Jennings is a busy mom of three and volunteer extraordinaire. She coordinates the Food & Friends morning meal program at Minto-Clifford Public School in Harriston, volunteering every school day to bring healthy food to hungry minds. “Four years ago Minto-Clifford's morning meal program was almost non-existent. I saw an opportunity to help the students within our school and knowing...

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Claire Jackson: A True Holiday Hero

January 18, 2019 — Volunteer, Friend, Grandma, Dog Lover, Nature Enthusiast, Golfer, Chef, Hostess Extraordinaire - sounds like a pretty amazing woman! Introducing Claire Jackson. Claire first came to the Children’s Foundation nine years ago through the Adopt-A-Family program. She was working part-time and filled her spare time with volunteer commitments. She eventually gave up her paid job and devoted her time to volunteering...

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Difference Maker, Game-Changer and Hand Raiser- Luke Berzins

November 20, 2018 — Around the holidays, when most university students are gearing up for final exams, Luke Berzins generously donates his spare time and energy to helping our Trees for Tots committee.   His efforts have made a big difference to the initiative and he says the work comes with its own rewards.  On that cold January day, over 200 volunteers come from all...

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The Spooky Souls of the Children's Foundation

October 30, 2018 —       The staff at the Children’s Foundation know all too well how important volunteerism is. The programs and events at the foundation just would not be possible without support from the outstanding volunteers who donate their time. It is interesting to know, however, that the reach of this terrifying team goes far beyond the programs offered through the Children’s Foundation....

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Kate Bryan - whose impact is multi-faceted

September 12, 2018 — Kate Bryan is a very dedicated volunteer of the Food & Friends Program who enhances the excellent work of the Children's Foundation. She is invaluable to the Foundation as well as to the community in which she serves. Four years ago Kate was asked to take over the role of Student Nutrition Program Coordinator for the Food & Friends breakfast...

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Flying Higher than Ever Before.

June 20, 2018 — The SOAR Race Directors!   The only way to know how far you will go in life is to spread your wings and SOAR! The Southern Ontario Amazing Race (SOAR) is Ontario’s Longest Running Adventure Race fundraiser. It is a 3rd party fundraising event to support the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington. The event raises between $70,000 - $80,000...

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Pam Wakefield, Making Play Possible

March 20, 2018 —   With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. Pam Wakefield has made her commitment to volunteerism a priority in her busy life.  Pam started volunteering with the Children's Foundation in October 2016. She originally took on the role of Office Volunteer,...

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Tara Armstrong

February 20, 2018 — Tara's volunteer service at Victoria Terrace Public School started as an Educational Assistant in a Grade 1 and 2 class when her two children were attending the school; she then became a Food & Friends Program Coordinator and has now been involved with the school's student nutrition program for five years. She also sits on the parent council and has organized...

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The Truth About Our Youth

January 30, 2018 — Did you know youth make up a quarter of the world’s population today and that is the highest percentage in recorded history? The youth we mean people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old. Our youth represent an extremely valuable resource. Equipped already with energy, good will and creativity they are the key to our future. Volunteering and...

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Adopt-A-Family is making a difference.

December 4, 2017 — As we approach the busiest week of the year at the Adopt-A-Family site, we still have over 400 families' gifts to come in. It is easy to forget when we have our nose to the grindstone, just how hard everyone is working. We want to take a moment to recognize a wonderful and amazing group of volunteers.        ...

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A Family of Support

November 1, 2017 — Marni Struyk was asked by her friend and Chair of the Gala Committee to volunteer three years ago, and she has never looked back. The first year, she brought her son, Tyler, and her husband, Jeff, along. The following year Marni's daughter, Jessie, joined them and the rest is history - Marni has recruited her whole family to volunteer at...

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What You Do Makes A Difference - Many Thanks to Our Volunteers

September 26, 2017 —  Volunteer opportunities abound with the Children's Foundation Volunteer Program, and volunteers are treated as valued members of the organization with their own individual needs. Whether you're feeling socially isolated, want to hone up on your skills, want to learn new skills, or are looking to enhance your resume, there are opportunities for you to fulfill your goals and to feel...

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Jan Craig: Part of our History

August 15, 2017 —   Jan's volunteer work with the Children's Foundation began many years ago through the breakfast program at Tytler Public School, originally funded by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Driven to the program through her work as a nutritionist with Public Health, Jan continued volunteering for the program even when funding later came from the Canadian Red Cross Society. Jan's daughter eventually joined her...

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Anu Saxena is a Volunteer with a Heart for Giving

June 20, 2017 —   Anu remembers when she first heard about the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington throughout the community. She remembers seeing its programs advertised in local newspapers and, with a heart for helping those in need, she was drawn to the organization. Her first involvement volunteering with the Foundation was in 2011 when she became the Children’s Foundation Food &...

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Grace and Mark Evans: Volunteers AKA Angels in Disguise

April 13, 2017 —   The Food for Thought Breakfast Program started in 1999, when the principal at the time noticed that students were going into the cafeteria looking for food that was a day old or going to be discarded.  The Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute staff members realized there was a real need as students did not seem to have enough food in...

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Jane Vander Velden

March 22, 2017 — Meet Jane: Jane is a teacher and volunteer coordinator with the Children’s Foundation Food & Friends Student Nutrition Program at Centre Peel Public School. Jane was the driving force behind the development and growth of this school’s morning meal program. She started the program 10 years ago, seeing a real need at the school. “The children were coming to school...

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Mike Pecora, It's A Family Affair.

February 21, 2017 —   Mike Pecora originally learned about Trees for Tots when he read an article in the local newspaper.  Mike was impressed with the work that Children’s Foundation is doing locally, and felt inspired to get involved.  Having equipment that would be of benefit to Trees for Tots, and strong belief in volunteering for the community, he signed up as a...

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Michael Douglas

January 26, 2017 —   . Michael Douglas started volunteering for the Children's Foundation in 2015, in the years he has been involved in the organization he has become instrumental in the planning and organization of Trees for Tots.  Michael has taken this event on in a profound and very personal way.  It is with certainty that we can say this event would not...

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Adopt-A-Family Volunteer Team.

December 20, 2016 — The volunteer team Christmas spirit abounds this year at the site of Adopt-A-Family (AAF) on Huron Street in Guelph. Claire is a volunteer editor and she works in the office ensuring that every detail of the donor and recipient paperwork for AAF is accurate and complete. Claire loves her position and states that "what keeps me here is the people", meaning...

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Cindy Copeland

November 17, 2016 — When Cindy Copeland moved to Guelph over 10 years ago from Toronto, she wanted to get out and meet some new people and get involved in the community.  She decided volunteering would be a great way to do so.  Cindy found the Children’s Foundation Adopt-A-Family program and has now been with the program for 11 years. Since she first began...

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Nicole Debeyer

October 19, 2016 — Nicole has always volunteered in the community, she believes that it's everyones calling to provide service. "It just makes sense to me to share my cooking skills, to teach students to cook and to provide other students with nutritious meals at little or no cost. "The fundraising activities for the breakfast program at my school have provided a valuable networking...

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Vikki Palmer

September 14, 2016 —       Vikki is relatively new to our team of volunteers here at the Children's Foundation, and what an asset she has become! Vikki volunteers on a weekly basis, coming to the office by bus. We are so impressed with her dedication; no matter what the weather holds, heat or rain, she will be here smiling and ready to...

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Dawn Kelly

August 30, 2016 — Dawn was looking to volunteer in an office position which she felt would help her to both maintain her current administrative skills as well as help her learn new skills while looking for paid employment in her field. The Children's Foundation helped me fund my children's soccer and camp fees and so I felt that volunteering with this organization would...

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Patti Schopp

November 10, 2015 — It is no exaggeration to say that Patti Schopp is one of the Children’s Foundation’s most enthusiastic volunteers! For this enthusiasm and dedication, Patti was recognized as our 2015 Volunteer of the Year. Patti doesn’t only coordinate one Food and Friends student nutrition program, she coordinates three at Waverley Drive public school - a breakfast, snack and lunch program. She...

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Jason Clattenburg

November 18, 2014 —      (Jason working on the Children's Foundation's Santa Claus parade float in 2013) "We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give"   - Winston Churchill Jason Clattenburg makes a living by working at Toyota Manufacturing but that is such a small piece of who he is.  Jason has been an...

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Joanne McCombie

November 8, 2013 —   We were honoured to present our Volunteer of the Year award to Joanne McCombie at this year's gala. Adopt-A-Family is an impactful and successful program that would not be possible without the commitment of a dedicated team of volunteers. Each of these volunteers was a critical part of the program being able to assist 750 families in 2012. One...

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Mandy Morrison

March 15, 2013 — Tell us why you decided to become a Food and Friends volunteer and the impact the position has had on you. "The classic stereotype of a volunteer is someone who has lots of time to spare and is looking for something to do. For me, this is not the case! Despite my busy schedule, I do my best to arrive...

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Nancy Revie

December 12, 2012 — I love volunteering for The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington. Why? Because it’s a place where I can use my gifts and skills to bless others and nothing feels better than that! My association with this organization is quite by accident. It’s one of those – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know! One of my most...

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Linda Ghent

November 12, 2012 —   Linda Ghent was presented with the award for Volunteer of the Year in 2012. Linda has shown true dedication for the JD Hogarth nutrition program by being the program coordinator for over 6 years. The program at JD Hogarth makes healthy snacks available to its 570 students all five days of the week. To make this happen, Linda spends...

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Tara Bernard-McCabe

October 3, 2012 —   Tara Bernard-McCabe was presented with the 2011 Volunteer of Year Award. Tara fulfills the very demanding job of program coordinator for not just one but two student nutrition programs in Shelburne. She has managed these programs with efficiency and creativity, making one of the programs financially self-sustainable with her incredible ability to garner support from the community and businesses...

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Jessie McConnell

September 11, 2012 — On behalf of the Food and Friends team and The Children's Foundation - congratulations to Jessie McConnell on the well deserved nomination for the Women of Distinction awards. Jessie, Breakfast Program Coordinator at the GCVI Breakfast Club, has been nominated in the Volunteer Category. Ann Murray, Rector’s Warden, from St. James Anglican Church who host the program wrote this great...

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Jessica Haylow

November 29, 2010 — Jessica Haylow is an inspiring young lady who goes above and beyond by giving her time to support our Food and Friends Program. Two years ago, Jessica agreed to take on the responsibility of enhancing the Sacred Heart School Snack Program. She has excelled at volunteer management, menu planning, financial accountability and most of all the amazing way she connects...

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Jeanne Forsythe

June 26, 2009 — "I am proud to be involved in an organization like the Children’s Foundation that makes a difference in young people’s lives.” Jeanne Forsythe has played a significant part in the phenomenal growth of The Children’s Foundation. In 1976, while she was an employee for Family & Children’s Services, she was involved in the establishment of the Stephen Promoli Memorial Fund. The...

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