Holiday Support Program - Frequently Asked Questions

1. When does the Holiday Support Program start?

The online application form is available now! You can sign up to sponsor a youth or family online at Online Donor Registration

If you prefer to give a monetary donation instead of sponsoring a youth or family, please visit Other ways you can give...

Don’t want to sign up online? We’d love to help you! Call us at 519-576-0540 ext.3754


Send us an email at:

2.   I signed up two weeks ago and I haven’t received any information on the family to start my shopping?

We understand that you want to beat the holiday rush and shop for your youth or family. Sometimes it takes a few weeks for us to match you with the family that best fits your application. Please be assured that we will find you a match. Your donation is very much needed and appreciated!

3. Where and when do I drop off my gifts?

You will be given a drop-off date between Dec 1-Dec 16th.

Kitchener/Waterloo: The Family Centre, 65 Hanson Avenue, Kitchener, ON N2C 2H6 Lobby Main Entrance from 8:30a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 9a.m. to 4p.m. on Friday.  We will be open on Saturday December 10th from 10am -2pm.  There will also be extended hours, (until 7p.m.) on Dec 6th and 13th.

Cambridge: Family and Children’s Services, 168 Hespeler Road Cambridge, ON N1R 6V7

4. Can we deliver gifts to the families ourselves?

To protect the identity of our families receiving services, a member of our agency team will deliver your gifts to the family.

5. We are collecting as a group – how do we know the size of the family we should sponsor?

We recommend spending $75 per person in the family (e.g.: family of two = $150, family of three = $225). If you aren’t sure of the size of family that you are able to sponsor, we suggest that you choose a small family that you know you can support. If you happen to collect more donations, you can always sponsor a second small family. We also welcome additional grocery gift cards that could be used to support families throughout the year.

6. Do my gift purchases qualify for a tax receipt?

Yes! All we need are your store receipts, name(s) and address of each contributing donor(s), and the amount given. Please note that we are able to receipt for purchases of $20 or more (excluding HST). Please complete the Tax Receipt Request form attached and drop it off with your gifts. Tax receipts will be mailed out in January and February, 2017.

7. I only want to buy for children. Do I have to support the entire family?

A family unit includes children and adults who are living together. Please understand that anything you purchase for adults in the family also benefits the children as well. Most times the parents ask for items that are needed in the home (ie. dishes, towels, sheets, pillows, etc).

If you only wish to shop for children, we suggest that you consider sponsoring a youth who is living independently in our community.

8. Why was it requested that I not wrap my gifts?

For some families, the only item under the tree will be from you. Please allow the child’s parent to have an opportunity to wrap the gifts and know what is under the tree for their child.

9. Why is the family asking for gift cards? I want to shop for the family I am supporting.

The age of the family member may be the answer. As you know, teens are often particular in their taste and would prefer to pick out their own items to make sure they fit.  Gift cards can also be tucked away by the family and saved for other times throughout the year when they need a little extra help making ends meet.

10. I want to spend more than $50 on the kids. What happens if I do?

We are so thankful for your generosity and for wanting to make sure that children have a little extra surprise during the holidays! However, please understand that we need to set limits to the Holiday Support Program for all parties involved. The value of gifts that each family receives should be consistent. If you spend $100 on toys for a child this year, and if this family was to receive again next year, the next donor may stick to the $50 limit. This could result in some disappointed families. We do not go through your gifts and take out any extras that you include -  what you deliver to us is what is delivered to the family. We truly appreciate your support.