100 Women Who Care Guelph
When the 100 Women Who Care Guelph team entrusted Food4Kids Guelph with its quarterly donations in January 2020, our volunteer-run charity was over the moon. While the funding was extremely valuable for our small charity, your support and encouragement was, too.
Receiving the extra money from 100 Women meant that we could immediately enroll more children in our weekend food bag program and reduce our waiting list. In fact, our 180 enrolled children soon grew to 200 by March and we were on track for even more growth. Then Covid-19 struck.
With schools closed, we were unable to deliver our weekend food bags and we immediately switched to mailing grocery gift cards to the children’s caregivers, in the amount of $15 per child per week.
Sadly, the Covid closures also forced us to cancel our signature fundraising event of the year, our “Closing The Weekend Gap Breakfast” that was already well planned and scheduled for April 28. Ouch.
We were also “stuck” with a lot of pre-purchased, shelf-stable food on our shelves which we donated to Guelph’s wonderful Chalmers charity to supplement their free food bags. We also lent some of our equipment like freezers and delivery trolleys to other agencies providing food deliveries during Covid. The response of Guelph agencies for food-security has been remarkable.
It soon became clear that Covid was making family struggles even more dire, so Food4Kids Guelph made a difficult decision. That was to “blow our budget” by dipping into funds already raised for the next school year so that we could provide grocery gift cards to our families throughout the 2020 summer months as well. We realized that this decision would deplete our carefully planned budget by some $40,000 and that it could mean starting the 2020-21 school year supporting fewer children. However, we felt it was the right thing to support families when they needed it most.
And then our little team of volunteers got to work, as hard as we could. We applied to every possible grant program and reached out to our donors.
With great relief we are happy to report that since April we have raised $40,000 and then some. Our program is back on track financially and now aims to support up to 300 children in the next school year. Our hearts are happy, and we are sleeping much better!
Thank you so much for supporting Food4Kids Guelph. As I am a regular member of our 100 Women Who Care Guelph team, I will gladly share updates at future meetings.
Family & Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County Children First Fund
It is my pleasure to speak to you about the work of our organization and to thank you for your generous donation to the Children First Fund.
Jean Vanier said “One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.”
100 Women Who Care is a marvelous example of community coming together to support programs and services that the members of our community benefit from.
A compassionate and caring community is vital to ensure children and youth are safe and nurtured and to ensure that much needed services and supports not provided through government programs or funding are available to help fill in gaps that exist, and they do exist.
The Children First Fund, through generous donations such as yours, provides tangible support to youth who are transitioning to adulthood with very little support from family, material assets or access to financial resources.
Let me tell you a couple of stories:
Tom (not his real name) achieved a goal he didn’t think possible with the support of the Children First Fund.
As an older youth, Tom moved out on his own and worked as a security guard to support himself. A hard worker, he kept to himself
He was holding his own but felt unable to move beyond what he had achieved and certainly not towards his dream of becoming a law enforcement officer.
In his own words:
Education Support “showed me a way out of a rut that could have damaged my life for quite some time. It opened a world of opportunities that I had never event given thought to and showed me that there was so much more out there for me. It also showed me that there are people who care a tremendous amount about the well-being and success of others.”
“I had never fathomed that [going to college] was possible. Learning that [there was Education Support] gave me a huge push to go back to school and not waste the chance. It made me realize that I could afford to make a career choice and pursue something that could really get me somewhere in life.”
“It is hard to measure this kind of impact on people but just speaking from my experience I can say that this [Education Support] has opened my eyes to so much more and put me on a path that I am really excited to continue down. Supporting programs like this are supporting the hopes and dreams of individuals.”
Tom was able to reduce his work commitments so that he could attend college. He successfully completed his program and has moved closer to achieving his dream, recently accepting his job as a law enforcement officer with the RCMP.
The Children First Fund opened a door to possibilities for Mindy (not her real name) which can be pursued at any time. Growing up, Mindy had an interest in photography which with support developed into a passion. Supported by our organization to pursue this interest, the CFF provided her with access to a summer program. Her work caught the eye of a local photographer who mentored her. Mindy’s creative drive found an outlet and after high school she enrolled in a college program specializing in photographic arts.
Mindy found the adjustment to college life challenging and with continued support from her worker problem solved to overcome the challenges to successfully complete the first year. With the increased workload of the second year, the challenges increased triggering past trauma issues – all of which significantly impacting her ability to cope so she took a break from her program.
In her words:
“It’s scary out there in the real world, with remembering to pay bills and do taxes. It’s not something I’m amazing at yet. It’s like learning to swim in a pool of salt water with a whole lot of paper cuts. What made it easier for me to overcome these things is that I know I have people waiting to bandage up the areas that I can’t.”
When Mindy works through her trauma issues enough, she knows that she can return to college with our support. The children we assist are not always ready to follow transition pathways at the same time as their peers. They may do so at a later time. Through the CFF we are able to continue to assist them to pursue their dreams when they are ready to do so. The CFF opens doors to the potential of opportunity that our youth often do not know existed.
Donations to our Children First Fund really do make a difference in the lives of the children and youth we support and we thank you tonight for your donations. We know that opportunity is often the difference between success and failure. With donations from generous individuals like yourselves, we are able to resolve barriers and create community solutions. Ultimately those solutions help children, youth, young adults and families to not only survive but thrive.
On behalf of Hospice Wellington, we would like to thank 100 Women Who Care for exactly that, caring. Thank you for your generosity and for your thoughtfulness. Your generosity has brought improved sunlight to our residence at Kortright and Scottsdale in Guelph. Your thoughtfulness shows you are aware of the fact that many people within our community need our services, supports and our compassion.
Helen Keller once said, “Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”
Sunshine does something for us…it does something to us. It makes bad days a little bit better…and it makes good days, great. Sunshine grabs our attention. How often have you been sitting somewhere and the sun comes out from around a cloud and shines a beam of light through a window. Often times you turn and look to appreciate that beam of light, even just for a moment.
Morris West said, “If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.”
That is what this solarium is all about. Moments created, laughs remembered, a place to be in the moment. These residents know that the storm is coming, but this renovated solarium gives them the ability to appreciate that sunshine.
So what have the funds allowed us to do in this sacred space that overlooks the beautiful Gosling Gardens…
We replaced all window coverings. Even the beautiful sunshine can be a little bit too much sometimes. We upgraded all of the furniture to ensure comfort for loved ones, while leaving enough space to wheel a resident’s bed into the room also. We updated the room with a fresh coat of paint in a calming colour and will soon be adding a fan to the room, as the sunshine can make the room quite warm at times.
We thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for making such an impactful decision. This solarium means so much to so many.
“The moment won’t last forever. The memory will.” – Michelle A. Homme
Thank you 100 Women Who Care!
From all of us at Hospice Wellington
Since WWC kindly donated money in April, we have given away 15 single beds and 5 double beds. The St Vincent de Paul store pays part of the costs from the revenue at the store, so St. Joe’s covers $1,712.50. Extrapolating from there, the donations from 100 WWC will cover 21 or 22 months of beds!
Another benefit from 100 WWC is the increased exposure. We have had more referrals from other agencies, such as someone from Family and Child Services who reached out to refer a young family. It is why we volunteer, to be able to reach those who need some extra help. One lady who moved to Guelph with her family with hardly anything and no support network in town, was referred by her new neighbour and we were able to supply beds and some other necessities. What a great way to show how generous Guelph is.
We are very grateful for the ability to serve those who find themselves in need, thanks to the generosity of our parishioners and the 100 WWCG.
Thank you for having me here this evening – it is an honour to be a recipient of such an incredible donation.
Although you probably think you know what a difference this money will make to our organization, you probably don’t REALLY know. The gratitude I feel is difficult to put into words.
We run a very traditional day camp – we do crafts, play games, break out in song (a lot!), run around, make music, have spontaneous dance parties, decorate cookies and the list continues. All of this is done in a very nurturing, welcoming, diverse and loving environment. 20-25% of our campers have special needs of varying degrees. Some need just a bit of extra support while others need full one-on-one support from a trained counsellor who is there to ensure they are as successful as possible during their time at camp. Success at camp is measured in many different ways – sometimes it’s achieving a goal like jumping off the diving board or putting one foot in the water while other times it can be as simple as a camper asking for his parents 10 times during the day instead of the typical 100 times! All successes are important and one is not better or more important than the other.
As with many other groups who work with children with special needs in our area, we have been dealing with cuts to grants, autism services and our families are dealing with losing many of their financial supports. More than ever, we are delighted to be able to offer the things we do – supporting kids at no extra cost to families. It is an extremely expensive program to run but we feel it is an integral part of the work we do, not only for the kids using support but for typical kids as well. It is incredible to see how much all the kids learn from each other.
We typically have 5 inclusion counsellors per week at Rainbow but this year, after many funding cuts across the board, we were looking at having only 2. The almost $14,000 from 100 Women Who Care will pay for 3 inclusion counsellors for the entire summer. The word INCREDIBLE comes to mind.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. The impact that these funds have on our camp are immeasurable – the ripple effects can and will be felt for years.
Stay tuned to this page. We are expecting to publish these comments by January 20, 2019.
Here at Shelldale we provide preventative programs for vulnerable children and their families living in the most marginalized neighbourhood in Guelph.
Many of the families experience food insecurity and financial hardship, there are many single parent families and we have the most percentage of families living under the Low-Income Cutoff. As well, many of the new Canadians settling in Guelph come to the Shelldale Area. For this reason many of the children attending our programs experience financial, cultural, language and transportation barriers when attempting to be involved in any sport or recreation programming.
Being located in the heart of this community with diverse staff we are able to help remove many of these barriers. For the past 25 years we have been designated as a Better Beginnings, Better Futures site which has allowed us to help strengthen this community through preventative programming including:
· promoting the healthy development of children
· intentionally supporting and promoting activities to reduce the poverty gap for children and their families
· strengthen the partnership with service providers and schools to support families to navigate the systems easier (many of these partners are located in the Shelldale Centre Hub which allows us to walk families down to other supports and services such as Family and Children’s Services, Lutherwood or Immigrant Services)
We use a holistic approach which sees the child in the context of the family and the family in the context of the community. This means that if family is not thriving (poverty and other related stressors) then the family can be less able to focus on their child thriving. If the community itself is not thriving (poor housing conditions, poorly lit areas, crime etc) then the family is less able to thrive. This approach means that we support capacity building and community building events and programming, we provide programs for the siblings, youth, teenagers and parents in order to best support the whole family.
In January 2018, the Ministry of Education amalgamated all of the Better Beginnings, Better Futures sites into one single EarlyON program for children 0-6 and their caregivers. The new guidelines mean that we are now unable to be spending our Ministry funding on the types of programs that support this holistic approach. We know the value of these programs and so have chosen to continue to fundraise in order to support these programs.
When 100 Women Who Care Guelph contacted us, it gave us the space to be able to continue to run these programs in a way that is meaningful for our families. This means that we feed children in programs (this helps the entire family), it means that we can buy shoes for children accessing our programs, it also means that we are able to pay more staff to be in program to help with the cultural and language barriers our children face as well as bring in more children to the program because we have more staff to supervise them.
It has made an incredible difference for our organization. This is why this model of giving is so impactful, you can do so much more with a lump sum of money rather than $100 coming in here and there from donors. We are so grateful to have been chosen and we can’t thank this group of generous, community minded women enough.
Executive Director – Shelldale Family Gateway
(formerly Shelldale Better Beginnings Better Futures)
519-824-8498 ext. 123
I want to thank you for inviting me here so that I can tell you about how your generous donation will be used within our organization and to give me a chance to thank you. A special thank you to Cathy and her husband Bob for nominating the VON to be the recipients of this donation. I would also like to thank Tannis who has been wonderful to work with over these past few months. We are absolutely beyond delighted to have been chosen to receive this overwhelming and generous donation.
As many of you may know the VON is Canada’s oldest Health Care Organization. Last year we celebrated 120 years of service.
Started by a woman in the late 1800’s (I always like to stop and acknowledge that fact), the Victorian Order of Nurses was brought about to address the lack of health care in rural areas of Canada where isolated citizens were often dying unnecessarily due to the lack of accessible Heath Care Services. Lady Aberdeen, the wife of our then Governor General, saw this inequity first hand and set out to address it. Over the century that followed, the VON became synonymous with home care and were instrumental during tragedies such as The Great Halifax Explosion, WW 1, the Influenza Epidemic and the Great Depression.
In the 1960’s the VON started to provide Community Support Services to provide further support at home. Focusing on seniors and adults living with disabilities, Community Support Services endeavor to provide independence and dignity to those who need it.
Our VON site, known as WWD, serves all of Wellington County and has an Adult Day Program in Orangeville. Tonight however, as yours is a Guelph Organization, I will focus on what programs your generous donation will be supporting.
In Guelph our main programs are Meals on Wheel, Transportation, SMART Seniors Exercise, Friendly Visiting and Telephone Reassurance and our newest and most unique program, the Senior Supportive Living Program. All of which provide much needed support to the seniors and adults living with disabilities in your community.
Because of the dollars raised by your empathy, we will be able to extend service to more clients and more importantly increase our accessibility and equity by providing subsidized rides and meals to those who are extremely marginalized. This has been an important pillar in the VON’s mission and your help allows us to strengthen that commitment to this community.
I always use the analogy of bricks and mortar when explaining Community Support Services. I see Health Care delivered at home as the Bricks of home care. These are the clinical necessities to address the immediate needs of a patient due to illness or an adverse event.
I look at the Community Support Services that we provide as the mortar that keeps those bricks in place. The rides to medical appointments, a hot meal, assistance navigating a health care options or a chance to improve someone’s mobility are all integral parts in care that allow those people to remain at home safely as long as possible and when most effective, they limit further preventable suffering. Community Support Services are not always seen as necessary, but when you experience their effect first hand, you see they are invaluable.
Thank you to all of you for recognizing the value in what we do and giving us the resources to do more.
Thank you for inviting me to your meeting and giving me the opportunity to express how much everyone at the library appreciates your kind and generous donation. I want to give special thanks to Lisa Hood who nominated us and must have given a convincing argument for our case. I cannot thank each and every one of you enough!
I’ve been at the Guelph Public Library for over 30 years and it’s a terrific place to work. We pay special attention to programming for children and I think that’s why we are so successful. We have the highest per capita circulation rate among libraries our size. It’s hard to believe, but we are now considered a ‘large’ urban public library!
One of our main commitments is promoting literacy. Reading is the most important tool a child can use to succeed in today’s complicated world. Our objective is to help as many children (and adults) in the city achieve that goal and one of our most popular methods is known as the Early Literacy Station. Actually, it’s a computer for children ages 2 to 8. Its interactive software holds over 70 programs with over 4,000 activities. The content spans all components of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education including reading, writing, phonics, math and problem solving, science, and social studies.
It’s hard to believe but many children still don’t have access to a computer in their home. But they can come to the library and use one of ours. The Early Literacy Station allows children to attain early literacy and school readiness skills. We now have two stations in each of our six library locations. They get an abundance of use and happy abuse from their users. They cost approximately $4,000; that means your generous contribution has allowed us to purchase three new ones!
As curious individuals I know you’ll want to drop by any of our locations to check them out