cartoon children enjoying unspecified holidayThe annual Adopt-a-Family program collects holiday gifts for local children in need.

Campus campaign a chance to spread holiday cheer

For more than 30 years, contributions from the UWindsor community have helped the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society bring holiday joy and delight to thousands of area children and their families.

As she plans to launch this year’s campaign for the Holiday Program, known on campus as “Adopt-a-Family,” co-ordinator Sabina Howell says the rising cost of essentials and basic necessities means the need is greater than ever.

The program collects clothing, food, gift cards, toys, and personal items for families serviced by the Children’s Aid Society.

“UWindsor employees have always gone above and beyond to ensure no child goes without during the holiday season,” says Howell. “Last year faculty, staff, and students helped 76 local families in need. Without their generous support, many of these families would have little to celebrate.”

She notes the tradition of departments teaming up to sponsor a family. Some individuals participate by offering a donation or purchasing a gift for a child in need.

“You can choose to sponsor a small family of a single parent and child, or a large-sized family of two parents with four kids, or even a youth aged 16 to 23 living independently while attending school and trying to manage on a very limited budget,” says Howell. “We can match the recipient to the sponsor.”

To participate, email Howell with a request at and receive a profile of the adopted family and their wishes. Collected items must be delivered to the Welcome Centre on Dec. 7.

Friday, Oct. 27 is “Dress Purple Day,” when Children’s Aid Societies across the province raise awareness about the role that individuals and communities play in supporting the right of every child to safety and well-being. Organizers call on all Ontarians to wear something purple to share the message that help is available and no one is alone. Learn more on the campaign website.