Press Release from July 13, 2020 (Year 5. Meeting 3.)

100 WWCG Provides COVID-19 Support to the Children’s Foundation

Tough times call for creative solutions, and these are indeed tough times. When our society was put on lock down, local charities saw an immediate increase in need, and yet had many of their usual fundraising events cancelled. 100 Women Who Care Guelph created a virtual meeting format for July, and is delighted to offer their latest donation to the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington to help fill that gap.

The goal of the Children’s Foundation is to nurture the well-being of the whole child – physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. They have created two new programs to address issues made even more urgent by COVID-19.

Many children rely on food programs at school as a primary source of nourishment for the day. With schools being closed, and those nutritious meals off the table, the Children’s Foundations created their Fresh Food for Kids program, which delivers 540 family food kits weekly to over 1,400 children and youth. Due to urgent food insecurity needs, this vital program will continue through the summer months.

There is no doubt the social isolation we are all feeling is even more potent for children. With so many recreational programs cancelled this summer, the Children’s Foundation has created a Free to Grow at Home initiative, providing kits comprised of books, games, puzzles, arts and crafts, and outdoor games to bring fun, creativity, and learning to kids this summer.

With this donation from 100 WWCG, the Children’s Foundation plans to provide 150 recreational kits, significantly reducing their waiting list, as well as to bring nutritious food to 100 kids this summer.

Visit www.100womenwhocareguelph.com for more information or to join 100 WWCG and help support those in need in our community.

Food4Kids Guelph Says “Thank You!” for our January 2020 Donation

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.

Sincerely,

Terrie Jarvis

Program Coordinator

Food4Kids Guelph

Children’s Foundation of Guelph-Wellington is the Recipient of Our Second Donation of 2020!

Our July Virtual Meeting Was a Great Success!

100 Women Who Care Guelph may not have been able to meet in person this quarter, but we weren’t deterred from finding a way to give to a deserving local charity.  As part of our “virtual” nomination and selection process, three charities selected in our nomination draw have made written presentations and members have reviewed them and voted. The process was remarkably smooth and feedback from members has been positive.  It’s great to know that in these difficult times, 100WWCG can still “go the distance” to make positive change within our community. 

The three charities nominated were:

Children’s Foundation of Guelph-Wellington is the Recipient of our July 2020 Donation!

The contribution from 100WWCG will be used to support their Free to Grow at Home initiative, providing kits that will get kids’ hands and feet moving, spark their imagination, and support their learning and healthy childhood development, while also providing some respite for parents who have been parenting and teaching 24/7 during the COVID shut-downs.

Our donation will be put to work immediately through the purchase of supplies from local retail partners, to bring nutritious food, fun, creativity and learning to kids this summer.  For more information, follow this link to our most recent press release.

Carol Dilworth of 100WWCG presents our donation to representatives of Children’s Foundation of Guelph-Wellington.

Food4Kids Guelph Says “Thank You!” For Our January Donation


As is the tradition at our quarterly meetings, the winning charity which is the recipient of the previous quarter’s donation, addresses the meeting and updates the group and provides an update on how the funds received have been used.  Terrie Jarvis, the Program Co-ordinator of Food4Kids, has provided a written transcript of her expression of thanks.  

Follow this link to see the text of her presentation.

What’s Next?

Like everyone else, the steering committee of 100 Women Who Care Guelph is working hard to plan for how the group proceeds in the future, given the changing situation related to COVID-19.  We are in discussions with the Delta Hotel, to firm up our meeting dates for 2020-21.  As soon as we have information about “in person” meetings, we will notify everyone by email and post information on the Upcoming Meetings page on our website.

Meanwhile, we would like to thank all of our members for their patience and support during this incredibly challenging time. The Guelph community is the major beneficiary of your commitment to give generously, even when life is complicated.

Thanks for all you do,

Sharon, Tannis, Miriam, Lisa, Carol, Peggy and Dianne
The 100 Women Team

July 2020 Brings Our First “Virtual Meeting”

Our Three Nominated Charities Make Their Pitch!  

Due to ongoing COVID 19 concerns, 100 Women Who Care Guelph decided to replace our “in person” July meeting with a “virtual” nomination and selection process. To that end, we invited nominations for local charities to make presentations to our group. New nominations were vetted and previously qualified charities were also considered.   Sharon and Tannis drew names from a hat and created a video announcement which was circulated to members. 

Just in case you missed the opportunity to see the nomination draw, you can follow this link. 

We may not have a meeting room or a microphone for this meeting, but as part of our “virtual” nomination and selection process, the three charities selected in our nomination draw have been invited to make a brief written presentation to describe the work they do and how they would make use of a donation from 100 Women Who Care. 

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Karyn Kirkwood presents on behalf of 

Children’s Foundation of Guelph-Wellington

Follow this link to see Karyn’s written presentation.

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Cyndy Forsyth presents on. behalf of

Guelph Community Foundation’s Youth Hub Flow Through Fund

 Follow this link to Cyndy’s written presentation.

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Lorna Ronald presents on behalf of 

Lakeside Hope House

Lakeside HOPE House

Follow this link to Lorna’s written presentation.

July 2020 Brings Our First “Virtual Meeting”

Our Three Nominated Charities Make Their Pitch!  

Due to ongoing COVID 19 concerns, 100 Women Who Care Guelph decided to replace our “in person” July meeting with a “virtual” nomination and selection process. To that end, we invited nominations for local charities to make presentations to our group. New nominations were vetted and previously qualified charities were also considered.   Sharon and Tannis drew names from a hat and created a video announcement which was circulated to members.

Just in case you missed the opportunity to see the nomination draw, you can follow this link. 

We may not have a meeting room or a microphone for this meeting, but as part of our “virtual” nomination and selection process, the three charities selected in our nomination draw have been invited to make a brief written presentation to describe the work they do and how they would make use of a donation from 100 Women Who Care.

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Karyn Kirkwood presents on behalf of

Children’s Foundation of Guelph-Wellington

I joined the Children’s Foundation team six years ago, and in that time I’ve had the privilege of seeing first-hand the profound impact donors have on the lives of thousands of children and youth living in poverty in our community. Life can be challenging when there is barely enough money to cover basic human essentials like housing and proper nutrition. For many families in Guelph and Wellington, the reality is that ‘barely enough’ seems like a luxury. 

Thanks to donor support, our four core programs nurture the well-being of the whole child – physically, mentally, socially and emotionally – by giving kids equal opportunities to be nourished with healthy food, to play and develop valuable life skills, to be educated, and to have the hope and inspiration they need to not only dream of a brighter future, but to have the building blocks to achieve it for themselves.

When COVID-19 first hit, our immediate concern was for the kids who rely on food support through our Food & Friends student nutrition programs. For many, the food they receive at school is their primary source of nourishment for the day. To respond to this emergency, we created a new initiative called Fresh Food for Kids which is currently delivering about 5,400 family food kits weekly to over 1,400 children and youth in Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin. This food support is continuing into the summer months due to the urgent food insecurity that needs to be addressed beyond the usual school year.

Now, we are providing even more support by adapting our Free to Grow program to bring physical and creative activities, learning, and fun to kids’ doorsteps this summer. Normally, our program helps kids participate in recreational programs and life-skill activities, but with so many cancelled this summer, our Free to Grow at Home initiative is providing kits that will get kids’ hands and feet moving, spark their imagination, and support their learning and healthy childhood development, while also providing some respite for parents who have been parenting and teaching 24/7 during the shut-downs.

As a potential first-time recipient of 100 Women Who Care, the timing couldn’t be better as the need is significantly increasing while our fundraising through signature events has been negatively impacted with COVID restrictions. Your donations would be put to work immediately by purchasing supplies from local retail partners to bring nutritious food, fun, creativity and learning to kids this summer. 

What gets me up in the morning is making a real difference in the lives of kids and their families. But what keeps me up at night is the thought of having to say ‘no’ to any child because of lack of funds. We currently have 423 kids on a wait list to receive a recreation kit. With your donations, you would be reducing our wait list significantly, saying ‘Yes!’ to bringing books, games, puzzles, arts and crafts, and outdoor games to 150 kids, as well as bringing nutritious food to 100 kids.

Beyond the crucial, tangible support provided during this time, your donations would also show the kids and their families that there are 100+ women who care about them and their health and well-being. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, I would be happy to speak with you.

Karyn Kirkwood

For more information regarding Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington, follow this link to the original written presentation.

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Cyndy Forsyth presents on behalf of

Guelph Community Foundation’s Youth Hub Flow Through Fund

A serious problem for youth in our community has become a crisis, and it needs our collective support.

The basic problem is this. Canada’s health care system is a jigsaw puzzle with many different pieces that can be very hard to navigate – even for health care professionals. For youth seeking help, navigating the system can be a nightmare, and it often fails them. This was a serious problem before Covid, but now with the added mental distress from lockdowns and uncertainty, it has become an even bigger and more urgent problem in helping our young people to cope.

But there is a solution at hand, and our 100 Women Who Care Guelph team can help move it forward with our donations.

The solution is most simply described as having “Youth Hubs” where young people can access a range of services through one place. More technically, here in Guelph Wellington we’re building an “Integrated Youth Services Network.” The intention is to provide INTERVENTION and PREVENTION services utilizing the service providers we already have in our community, so we are all working together. In fact, over 30 community organizations have already come together in this shared vision. The Youth Hubs are being designed to be welcoming spaces that provide help to young people in navigating the system, both physically and virtually. Youth Hubs are not a magic bullet that will solve our youth crisis, but they are a piece of the puzzle that will make it easier for youth to access services.

Here in Guelph Wellington, we’re building on successful Youth Hub experiences from other Canadian cities and regions, and we’ve enhanced the local model to have not only one centre but SEVEN locations in Guelph Wellington where youth between the ages of 12 and 26 can have immediate access to services, including tutoring, housing support, employment counselling, primary care, mental health and substance abuse. The seven micro-sites will be networked together so service providers can access files, and youth will not have to repeat their story each time they request help. Furthermore, youth will be deeply engaged in the design of these sites to serve them in the most meaningful way.

This Guelph Wellington Youth Hub program is a highly significant new development for our city and county, partnered with CMHA-WW (Canadian Mental Health Association – Waterloo Wellington) for health care and the Guelph Community Foundation to help raise funds.

I am asking 100 Women Who Care to invest our collective donations so we can immediately provide virtual care to 70 youth in our community. These funds would be used to provide youth with activities in helping to design the Youth Hub space they want to see, for access to the services that are often out of reach. This will also help us determine the necessary steps to scale up across all of our micro-sites.

Our community needs this, and our young people need it, now more urgently than ever. Please help the program move forward with our donation.

Cyndy Moffat Forsyth

Member of 100 Women Who Care Guelph
I began working on the IYSN concept in November 2018 as a Rotary volunteer. In July 2020, I accepted a fulltime role as the IYSN’s first director.

For more information regarding Guelph Community Foundation’s Youth Hub, follow this link to the original written presentation.

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Lorna Ronald is presents on behalf of

Lakeside Hope House

Lakeside HOPE House

Lakeside HOPE House is a well-established poverty relief organization and care provider in the Guelph area advocating that poverty, food insecurity, inequality, health and community are all interconnected.  They currently offer services and programs to over 1100 households per year and have assisted over 5100 households since their inception in 2012.  They challenge stigmas surrounding poverty and allow community members to maintain dignity while providing them with tactical skills developed in a community environment.  The focus is not about “hand out, but hand up” by creating long term skills to facilitate self sufficiency.  Approximately 30-45 new household intakes are received each month and are community funded.

The Community Backpack Project, in partnership with the Guelph Neighborhood Support Coalition. is a program in need.  Children in our community have been under additional stress and challenged during the pandemic and starting school is something they look forward to.  Whether the school year begins virtually, live or a combination of both, HOPE House would like to provide needed supplies to children in poverty across the community to assist them to thrive and learn.  New this year is an online application form and additional supplies to support at home learning.  There have been 895 registrations as of June 30th.  The goal is to provide 1500 new, fully stocked backpacks to children at a cost of $45,000.  HOPE House receives NO government funding for this project and relies on community sponsors in order to provide students with confidence, excitement and readiness to learn – HOPE!

I visited HOPE House in downtown Guelph and was impressed with the volunteers and staff who provide a caring, respectful atmosphere to those in need.  I was introduced to the organization through a client who volunteers at the centre.  The environment at HOPE House is a friendly, positive and caring one in a family setting.  Children in poverty are especially vulnerable to stress and judgement.  I believe that education is critical at an early age and giving children more opportunity to achieve their goals will benefit our community as a whole.

I learned of a few stories from recipients who spoke of the benefits of the Backpack Project: 

One parent was speaking of how she was trying to manage the clothing, shoes, boots, etc. and how much it meant to her children to be able to choose a new backpack for school that contained needed supplies for school.  

Another mom is starting a new job, stressed about the demands of working and household tasks plus preparing children for school.  Without the support of HOPE House, she would not have been able to provide her children with a new backpack.  She was worried her children would be stigmatised by other, more privileged children.  With the children receiving their backpacks and her starting a new job, they are ready to begin a new year together and have a fresh start.

A young lady spoke of how HOPE House helped her family when she was younger and how happy she was when she received a new backpack.  Now she visits HOPE House to volunteer and give back.

It is documented that youth and children living in poverty have poorer educational outcomes compared to wealthier peers leading to struggles with truancy and dropout.  We can change that by giving children HOPE in our community and contributing to an excellent cause.

Thank you for your consideration and interest.  

For more information regarding Lakeside Hope House, follow this link to the original written presentation.

100WWCG Recipients

For every gift given, there is someone on the receiving end. We are all in this together, helping each other as best we can.

Some of our members have been the recipient of  the thoughtfulness and generosity of others. Here’s a shout out to them!

Carol Dilworth – “100 Women Who Care Guelph member Wendy Fletcher bought my groceries until I got onto the Zehrs drive through system. Steven Faehrmann, my cruise consultant, treated me to two dinners, delivered to the house. And yesterday there was a beautiful bouquet at my front door, anonymous.”

100WWCG Helping Angels

There are so many different and wonderful ways to reach out and help. See what some of our members have been doing.

Lisa Hood got her whole family involved in the effort by:

  • checking into neighbours who live alone
  • buying groceries for families in isolation
  • dropping off food for friends who had a new baby two weeks ago
  • raising money to keep the student food bank open
  • donating blood (along with fellow member Tannis Sprott)

100WWCG Giving Angels

Some of our members were able to continue with their contributions in spite of our cancelled meeting, picking their own favourite charities to receive their donation.

Eleanor Langdon gave to the Guelph Food Bank. (Thanks Eleanor, I’m sure it was much needed and gratefully received.)

Heather Coles – “I donated $200 to Food Banks Canada, which my generous employer is matching, resulting in a $400 donation!” (Now there’s a great idea, getting your employer involved, well done Heather.)

Carol Dilworth – “I gave to the hospital.” (Wonderfully done Carol, I’m sure it was greatly appreciated.)

100WWCG Sewing Angels

Michelle Lowther has made a significant contribution through the use of her sewing machine.  “In my spare time I’ve made 10 gowns for the Elliott Centre, caps for MSW workers in Cambridge, 60 masks for vet hospital and making batches of masks for Guelph General Hospital.  At times when you feel helpless it’s good to pitch in and support those on the front line anyway you can.”

Tannis Sprott – “While our 100 Women meeting may have been cancelled for this quarter, I know many of us are finding other ways to give. My contribution this week (drum roll please) – 12 home made fabric masks for Guelph Hospital, helping meet their goal of providing every discharged patient with two masks. Hey, even I can sew a rectangle, although the pleats caused a little consternation!”