Thank you to all the donors who rallied together in 2017 to provide a special Christmas for 1,186 families in Guelph and Wellington County. It would not be possible to meet the growing need in our community without your help!  

The Adopt-A-Family Program has now wrapped up for the 2017 season. Donor sign-up for 2018 will begin in October.  In the meantime, we do accept gift cards and monetary donations all year long to prepare for the upcoming giving season. You can read below about the ways you can support in 2018. Please note: this information will be updated in the fall for the 2018 season. 

How You Can Help in 2018

There are many ways you can provide support and hope for local families in the Guelph and Wellington County (Ontario) area during the Christmas season. Below is some information to help you decide what option(s) would be best for you. We are also happy to speak with you to help you decide what would be best to do. Call us at 519.829.0855 or email

1. Adopting a Family or Independent Youth

When adopting a family, our expectations are that you provide:

  • A selection of items from each child's needs and wishes lists that are within your budget. Based on past experience with donors, we estimate the average spent per child is $150 in order to provide a selection of their needs and wishes. Note: this can vary depending on the age of the child.
  • A $25 grocery gift card per person in the family, if requested (i.e. $100 for a family of four).
  • A small, token gift for parent(s)/guardian(s) (approx. value $25 per). 

For example of the range: estimated average spent when adopting a single-parent with one child is $225 and a larger family such as a two-parent family with six children is $1,150.

We define an Independent Youth as "someone up to and including the age of 20 years old who is living on their own without family ties and with limited support and resources."   We estimate, based on past experience, that the average spent when adopting an independent youth is approximately $300.

2. Purchasing Grocery and/or Gift Cards

Gift cards for groceries, drugstores, shopping malls, and department stores are very much needed and are another great way to support the Adopt-A-Family program in an easy and convenient way. We are happy to accept the donation of grocery and gift cards at any time through the year to prepare for the upcoming season.

gift card

CLICK HERE for more information about purchasing grocery and/or gift cards.    

3. Making a Cash Donation 

Cash Donation Sunshine

Cash donations help us to off-set funds spent to ensure that every child receives gifts for the holidays and that every family has the grocery cards they need to enjoy a healthy, holiday meal. This includes emergency last-minute family referrals that we are not able to adopt out to a donor due to the timing. Cash donations also help to pay for "Santa's Supplies", because Santa also needs wrapping paper and bows! 

CLICK HERE to donate securely online (select Adopt-A-Family on the drop-down menu for donation allocation). If you would prefer to make your donation in person, via mail or over the phone, please contact us at: The Children's Foundation of Guelph and Wellington - 87 Waterloo Ave - Guelph, ON - N1H 3H6.  Email:  or call 519-826-9551 ext 26.   

4. Purchasing a Special Item

This is a great option for donors with less time to shop. These are much-needed and special gifts for a family or child, such as bikes and items for infants like car seats, high chairs, etc. An online registry of special item gifts is available in late fall for sign-up. See Price Guidelines for special items.  

5. Holding a Gift Drive

Businesses or community groups (e.g. church group) may be interested in holding a gift drive, which helps us to stock our "Santa Shop" so we can make sure every youth receives a good selection of their needs and wishes and that the family's caregiver (e.g. parent) has something to open on Christmas morning. A well-stocked store also means we can meet the urgent needs of last-minute referrals. In 2017, we filled 19 emergency referrals in the week leading up to Christmas. Registration for holding a Gift Drive will begin in the fall of 2018. 

6. Stocking Stuffers

Like a toy drive, but for individuals!  You can purchase a small wish gift (or gifts) that are needed to make sure every child receives something special at Christmas. This is especially helpful for family referrals that we cannot 'adopt' directly to a donor, such as late, emergency referrals. An online registry of stocking stuffers is available in late fall for sign-up.


Donor FAQs

Your outstanding questions may be addressed in our FAQ section.