March Break

Hello Friends!

Onward Willow NG will be closed over the March Break with the exception of Friday March 15th: we’ll be open between 10am-3pm. On Monday March 18th, we’ll be re-opening with regular hours. Looking forward to seeing you all again!

Mondays: 10:00am-3:00pm

Wednesdays: 10:00am-3:00pm

*Thursdays: by appointment Only

Fridays: 10:00am-3:00pm

Tax Clinics at Shelldale Family Gateway

Tax clinics are being held at Shelldale Family Gateway, in partnership with Onward Willow NG & the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, on the following dates. Appointments are required and can be made by calling Shelldale directly at 519-824-8498.

Please see tax clinic dates below and requirements for accessing this no-cost program.

Qualifications to attend a free tax clinic:
Simple tax return within the following income levels:

Family size          Total family income

1 person              $35,000

2 persons            $45,000

3 persons            $47,500

4 persons            $50,000

5 persons            $52,500

more than 5 persons      $52,500 plus $2,500 for each additional person
The following dates are available for appointments. These fill up quickly!
Saturday March 9th – 10:00am-3:00pmmust be a resident in the Onward Willow neighbourhood.
Saturday March 23rd – 10:00am-3:00pmmust be a resident in the Onward Willow neighbourhood.
Saturday April 13th – 10:00am-3:00pmthis is a city-wide clinic that anyone within Guelph can access with an appointment.

Seeking Participants for the Decent Work Project (paid positions)

Hello Friends! We are looking for committed people to participate in the Decent Work Project and to apply by March 15th. These are paid positions (up to 50 hrs) through an honorarium and offered through the Guelph Wellington Poverty Task Force. Transportation, food and childcare will also be provided. Please see details below. If  interested, please e-mail This is a great opportunity for those who wish to receive valuable training in and become community advocates for fair & decent work.
Program Details:
The Decent Work Peer Leader Program is a free training for 8 people from Guelph and Wellington who are impacted by:
• Low wages
• Unfair work conditions
• Part-time work
• Temporary work
• Contract work.
Participants will attend training sessions that will cover a variety of topics including, but not limited to:
• Workers’ rights
• Advocacy
• Outreach
When training is done, participants will have the chance to advocate for decent work through:
• Outreach
• Community meetings
• Other training during the spring
Participants will receive an honorarium for their time (up to 50 hours).
The Decent Work Peer Leader Program is part of the Guelph-Wellington Decent Work Project led by the Poverty Task Force in partnership with the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition with funding from the Atkinson Foundation. This project aims to build the decent work movement in Guelph-Wellington by giving chances for people to:
• Build skills
• Gain new skills
• Grow relationships
• Advocate for fair wages
• Advocate for fair working conditions
Who can apply to participate in the program?
You can apply for this program if you are:
• Living in Guelph or Wellington
• Dealing with:
o Low wages
o Unfair working conditions
o Part-time work
o Temporary work
o Contract work
When does it start?
Participants will attend training in March and April. The first training will be offered twice. Participants are required to attend ONE of the below times. The training will take place at a location in downtown Guelph and meals will be given.

OWNG Temporary Closure

Onward Willow Neighbourhood Group Centre will remain closed next week from Monday March 4th through Tuesday March 15th due to unforeseen circumstances. We anticipate opening back up as soon as possible. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Please reach out to for more information. To make an appointment to visit the clothing cupboard, or any of the centre’s services, please reach out to Unfortunately, we’re unable to accept any donations during this time without an appointment. If you require a food hamper, some additional options include Hope House, Chalmers United downtown, and The Salvation Army on York Road. We look forward to seeing you upon reopening!

Exciting News!

A huge thank-you to ETFO (Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario) and to ETFO Local for selecting Onward Willow Neighbourhood Group as a funding recipient to support anti-poverty work in Guelph and for the special funding bonus from our local ETFO. What a great surprise! We’re so grateful for the support!


Donations for Onward Willow NG

Thank-you to all who thought of us over the holiday season and arrived with warm clothing, food, and other household goods! Please know you brightened the season for so many.  As many of you know, we operate our centre out of a townhouse and have limited space. Due to our community’s generosity,  we are operating at full capacity.  Currently we are accepting the following donations during business hours only — Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 10am-4pm:

***Regretfully, we cannot accept stuffed animals or linens***

Food: we’re always in need of non-perishable food items before their Best Before date. Some of our most needed items include: soup, peanut butter, crackers, cereal/oatmeal, kid’s snacks such as apple sauce & granola bars, pasta sauce, dry rice and noodle packs, soup stock and canned fruits & vegetables are most appreciated.

Furniture: due to space constraints, we cannot accept large furniture onsite and we do not have a vehicle large enough to move large items. If you have large furniture you wish to donate, please call us at 519-824-6892 or e-mail We can check our Wish List to see if the item is needed, and connect you directly with the community member in need for delivery.

Clothing in good used condition — most needed includes ladies plus sizes, men’s & youth clothing & kid’s indoor shoes in good shape

Household items including dishes, cutlery, mugs/glasses, small & clean appliances etc.

Books: we are happy to have books that are ten years old an newer due to the very large volume of books we receive year-round

Toys that include all pieces and are in clean and working order

Household decor including small paintings, ceramics, and other knick knacks







Seeking OWNG Homework Club Volunteers!

Volunteer opportunity!
The Onward Willow Homework Club (OWHC) is looking for volunteers to join their tutoring team!
OWHC is a weekly club (Thursday’s 5:30-7:00 at Willow Public School) that pairs tutors with underprivileged youth in the Willow area of Guelph. Kids range from grade 4 to high school . We also provide a healthy snack, and game time after tutoring. No past tutoring experience required!
We have two types of volunteer opportunities available:
  1. Volunteer Coordinator 
Working alongside the program coordinator, the volunteer coordinator will help to recruit, train and organize volunteers for club. You will also help to run the snack program.
  • available Thursday nights during club
  • Commit to 2-3 hours a week of volunteering (includes club night)
  • Access to internet and email to keep in touch with volunteers
  • Excellent organization and communication skills
  • No past formal training required (you will be trained by program coordinator)
  • Priority given to coordinators that can commit to full year
  • Clean vulnerable sector check
  • Training will begin mid September
  1. Volunteer tutor 
Help teach kids basic math, English, reading and writing! Enjoy your time shaping the minds of the future!
Qualifications include:
  • patience to work with students whose second language is English
  • Excellent oral and communication skills
  • Ability to commit to every Thursday (we need tutors who are consistent)
  • Clean vulnerable sector check
  • Training will begin end of September
If you would like to join our team, please email the program coordinator Liz Vardon at and state what type of volunteer position you are interested in

Clothing Donation Needs

Hello Friends! Cleaning out your closets? Onward Willow is seeking fall clothing donations for kids, men, women, and plus sizes. We’re also starting to collect winter boots and warm fall and winter jackets. Please visit us at 15 Willow Rd, Unit K45 Mon & Wed-Fri 10am-4pm or give us a ring! Also, please note that our clothing closet is accessible to all residents across Guelph. We also accept household goods year-round for those of you who are downsizing including kitchen items, decor, toys, sports equipment and more.