October 7, 2020
 
Once again this year, the Rotary Club of Guelph will “Adopt-A-Family” for Christmas, and is asking for the usual generosity of club members and friends to become the Secret Santa for families in need.
 
Liz Sandals, the club's campaign coordinator, says, "In 2019, our club supported five families, an increase over previous years (two families in 2017, three in 2018). How many families can we support this year? Let's make it a bumper year, because so many families are in need."
 
Adopt-A-Family is a bit different for 2020, 
because of COVID
 
GIFT CARDS  
This year, considering the safety of the Adopt-A­­­-Family team, the donors, the referring social-community workers and the community at large, the Children’s Foundation has changed the gifting model. Instead of donors doing the shopping based on each family’s listed Needs and Wishes, suitable gift cards will be provided to help families purchase what they need for a special holiday with their children, including food. 
 
WINTER WEAR   *** NEW THIS YEAR ***
In addition to the gift card program, winter wear is urgently being collected for distribution to kids who desperately need coats, boots and other warm outerwear. With the weather already turning cold, this Winter Wear Drive is running now, during October. No child in our community should suffer without warm winter wear! 
 
How to help:  PLEASE DONATE RIGHT NOW
Our club’s starting goal is to raise at least $3,000 to support a minimum of two families with suitable gift cards as well as purchase about $1,000 worth of new winter wear for children, in various sizes. With higher donations, even more families can be adopted, or the club can perhaps pay for a child’s equipment for special needs. Club volunteers will do all the necessary organizing. 
 
Preferred option: Canada Helps
Donate through the Rotary Club of Guelph’s CANADA HELPS page: http://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/52654
Tax receipts will automatically be issued by Canada Helps, and it will be easy to track the total amount donated this way. 
 
Alternative option: Mail a cheque
Make your cheque out to Rotary Club of Guelph (memo line: Adopt-A-Family) and mail to:
         Rotary Adopt-A-Family 2020
         1002 – 150 Wellington Street E
         Guelph ON N1H 0B5
Donors will later receive a tax receipt from the Rotary Club of Guelph for donations over $20.
 
Background information about this program
 
This wonderful “Adopt-A-Family” program is coordinated each year by the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington in cooperation with local social agencies that submit details about needy families. The Children’s Foundation acts as the go-between, matching donors and recipients, but maintaining anonymity from both sides. 
 
Adopt-A-Family provides donors (like Rotary) with actual wish lists from children. This year, Rotary will provide gift cards for the appropriate stores and the families will then do the actual gift shopping themselves. Every family will also receive grocery gift cards so they can enjoy a special holiday meal.
 
2019 Facts
  • 2,821 children and youth received personalized gifts based on their Adopt-A-Family needs and wishes, thanks to over 1,000 donor groups.
  • 1,287 family and independent youth referrals were sent to the program by 168 social workers.
  • 51% of the family referrals came from single-parent homes.
  • Read these touching Thank You notes from grateful parents and children, and see more here to appreciate what a difference this program can make.
 
To our Santa:
There is nothing worse for a parent than the reality of letting your children down, seeing their disappointed faces on what is supposed to be the happiest day of the year. To say that it keeps you up at night is an understatement. This year, I truly believe that the Spirit of Santa lives inside of all of you. Your kindness is overwhelming and brought me to tears. I have been told to add that whomever made the stunning red blanket, my daughter tells me it is like sleeping wrapped in a warm hug. From the bottom my heart, and my children’s happiness,
“Thank You” 
 
- - - -
 
Thank you, Donor, for taking my little girl in, at this time of year, as though she were one of your own! Once again, thanks to all involved in this much needed program and all the wonderful people that make it happen.
 
 
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