Children’s Foundation needs ‘urgent help’ with Adopt-A-Family campaign

GUELPH – The Children’s Foundation Adopt-A-Family programs create a sense of belonging and inclusion for thousands of local children. 

Adopt-A-Family helps more than 3,000 kids in Guelph and Wellington County “feel they are loved and cared for, and community is there to support them,” said program director Megan Harron.

The program also addresses food security by distributing grocery store gift cards to families in need, “making sure families are fed and nourished during the holidays.”

The foundation relies on the generosity of local families  brighten the holidays for families facing tough times. 

“This year, we’ve already received 1,464 family referrals from local social agencies,” Harron said, and as of Nov. 27 there are 120 families who have not yet been matched with support. 

“With the escalating cost of living, many folks in our community are feeling the strain even more this year,” Harron said, noting the organization has seen a significant spike in need over the last couple years. 

Many of the families have compounding factors piling up and making it hard to afford life’s essentials. 

“Adopt-A-Family strives to reduce financial burdens giving families the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with renewed hope, joy and dignity,” Harron said. 

Children’s Foundation executive director Karyn Kirkwood noted the program “aims to be a beacon of hope. 

“The collective effort of our community is crucial to ensuring every family feels the warmth and joy of the holidays. Behind every family waiting for support, there is a unique story of hardship.” 

There are a few ways donors can support the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington Adopt-A-Family program:

  • sign up to shop for one family individually;
  • connect with friends, family, neighbours or coworkers to collectively shop for one family; or
  • make a cash donation. 

To make a cash donation or register to adopt-a-family, visit the Children’s Foundation website. 

Donors are asked their budget and details around their participation, and the Children’s Foundation matches them with a family (or multiple families).

Within a few business hours hours of submitting the registration, donors will be matched with a family. 

Donors are given the names and ages of the children they are matched with, and each child’s gift wishlist (for a maximum of $150 per child). 

When possible, donors are asked to purchase a grocery store gift card for $100. 

The program also includes a $25 gift for each parent. Harron said sadly many parents ask for their gift to be a grocery store gift card. 

Cash donations are used to purchase gift cards and other things needed to ensure that all families receive the essentials and gift wishes for a happy holiday season.

Donors receive charitable tax receipts for all contributions, as long as they provide purchase receipts. 

“As we approach the holiday season, the urgency of our mission grows,” Kirkwood said. 

The Adopt-A-Family continues to receive emergency family referrals right up to the holiday break and relies on the community’s collective effort to wrap around all the families to bring them comfort, relief, and the gifts of happiness and hope that children need to thrive. 

For more information visit or call 519-826-9551 x 136 to find out how to give the gift of hope and joy this holiday season and beyond.

Adopt-A-Family is grateful for program support from Fusion Homes, Wood Development Group and Magic 106.1/CJOY.