We just had Thanksgiving, but we’re now entering a whole season of giving including the November 30 commemoration of Giving Tuesday. That’s still about a month-and-a-half away, but for the next several weeks on this podcast we will highlight some of the organizations working locally to give back, and how you, as the generous person you are, might be able to help out.
This week, we go to the Onward Willow neighbourhood, which is one of the most diverse areas of Guelph thanks to the large number of new Canadians that settle in the area. About 20 per cent of households fall below the Low Income Measure, and is often subject to higher levels of unemployment than other areas of the city, but Onward Willow has a built in advantage: the Shelldale Family Gateway, which celebrates 30 years of community service this year.
Established in 1991, Shelldale has had a couple of different names over the years, but the mission has always been the same. It’s a community hub using an integrated services model, which is a fancy way of saying it’s a one-stop shop for services a growing and vital community needs including EarlyON childcare programs, summer camps, a breakfast club, and a community garden. The term “essential” comes to mind, which is why the Shelldale Family Gateway is going to start our countdown to giving.
Shelldale’s executive director Diana Boal joins us this week to be your gateway to the Shelldale Family Gateway. Boal will talk about the Shelldale she knows, and how its programs help this diverse neighbourhood. She will also talk about the ongoing issues to secure more funding, and what kinds of things that neighbourhood groups can do that other non-profits can’t. And finally, she will discuss the effect of the pandemic on Shelldale programs, and how they’re recovering with some normalcy this fall.
So let’s start the countdown to Giving Tuesday on this week’s Guelph Politicast.
You can learn more about the Shelldale Family Gateway, it’s various services and programs, and how you can help out with your time or your resources by visiting their website here. Our “Countdown to Giving” miniseries on the podcast will continue next week with a conversation with Barb McPhee from the North End Harvest Market.
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Photo courtesy of Shelldale’s Facebook page.