Neighbourhood Group Update


Onward Willow NG is hosting a back-to-school clothing drive! Please support our community with your donations of gently used, seasonal clothing for school aged kids. We are also accepting backpacks in good shape.

WHAT: gently used, seasonal clothing & shoes for grade school kids JK-8

WHERE: drop off at 15 Willow Road, Unit K45

WHEN: Fridays 11am-1pm or e-mail onwardwillownsw@gmail for alternate arrangements


Hello friends, as per instruction from the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, Onward Willow Neighbourhood Group (and other neighbourhood groups) will be closed to the public until further notice. This is to decrease our risk of spreading COVID-19 as cases continue to rise in Ontario. This is a trying time for everyone but please know we are here to help as we can. As of today, the Guelph Food Bank will remain open until further notice. (please see their link below). If you require help with food, please reach out to Lynne or Shauna (contact info below).

***PLEASE NOTE: we are not accepting donations until further notice – thank-you for your understanding.

If you require support of any kind, please reach out to the following people by text, email or phone call:

Lynne Kloostra, Parent Outreach Worker, 519-803-9072,

Shauna Brown, Neighbourhood group Assistant, 519-824-6892

Susie Stauffer, Neighbourhood Support Worker

Food Bank Updates are here:…/…/

Public Health Updates are here:…/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

The SEED Emergency Food Home Delivery Program:

The SEED Emergency Food Home Delivery


Take care friends!

Welcome to Onward Willow!

Hi Friends,

Just a few updates around some of the things happening so far this year and some updates on programs. If you’d like more information about any updates, please feel free to e-mail or

We are accepting seasonal clothing and footwear in good condition during our operating hours Mon-Wed-Fri 10am-3pm. We also appreciate household goods including small appliances, decor, newer books, sports equipment, toys (with all pieces) and much more. If you have large items to donate, please call and we can try to make a donation directly to someone in need – we cannot accept large items at the centre. We operate out of a townhouse and space is limited!

We are thrilled and excited to announce that there is a new Parent Outreach Worker, Lynne Kloostra, from the Guelph Community Health Centre who will be supporting families within the Onward Willow Neighbourhood! This is an incredibly important addition for our community and an exciting move forward.  Please get in touch for more info.

Homework Club will be starting up again this coming Monday March 2nd at Willow Road School between 5:30-7pm. There are some awesome folks who can help your child with a wide variety of subjects. A big shout-out to Rachana and her amazing team of volunteer for their care and dedication!

Enjoy community yoga with Sabrina every Thursday evening 7:00pm-8:00pm at Paisley Road School. PWYC (suggested $5-$15).

Just a reminder that we will be partnering again this year with Shelldale for the annual, free tax clinics for low income families. There will be an update on dates/times once they’re confirmed: two dates in March for neighbourhood folks and one city-wide date in April. Stay tuned!

There are free science workshops happening at Willow Rd. School once a month from January through May! This is in partnership with the amazing folks at Scientists in School. Please e-mail us to register your child up to the age of 12 yrs.

January 14th – Please Play with Your Food – 6:30-7:30pm

February 11th – Obey Newton – It’s the Law! – 6:30pm-7:30pm

March 10th – Colour Me Curious – 6:30pm-7:30pm

April 14th – Good Clean Fun – 6:30pm-7:30pm

May 12th – The Planet Digs Bugs – 6:30-7:30

We will be hosting our annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny Saturday April 4th. This will be an event to register for. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for the link.



OWNG Backpack Project-Registration Open

Hello Friends! Don’t forget to sign your child up to receive a backpack and school supplies for the next school year! The cut-off date to sign up is Friday August 2nd.  You can pick up an application at Onward Willow Neighbourhood Group or Shelldale Family Gateway.

Backpack pick-up day is Thursday August 22nd between 2pm-5pm.

Neighbourhood Group Updates

OWNG has received an amazing amount of support this year! The neighbourhood group was the recipient of the $500 Acorn Prize from the Oaktree Foundation in April and to quote them we “won by a landslide!” Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to vote for us.  A very special thanks goes out to the wonderful folks at Willow Road RBC who have helped in supporting the centre with RBC Team Grants and all their volunteer time at our community events. This year we also celebrated the very first free community fridge in Guelph, located at OWNG! This was made possible by the generous people from Road to Zero Waste, who continue to supply our neighbourhood with fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Staff at Onward Willow have joined forces with the Shelldale Outreach team so we can better support our community members — we’re all pretty excited about this as it helps provide more collaborative support to those in need. 

One of the most exciting things that happened so far this year is that we wrote a grant and won the $5000- Seedling Prize from the Oaktree Project! The funds will be used to start programming around a clothing/textile recycling and re-purposing project where we’ll be making new items out of old fabric. This will help alleviate the landfill disposal of the 1000s of pounds of unusable fabric we receive each year. We hope to begin programming in the Fall. Anyone interested in being part of this can e-mail:

Sundae Fundae was a great success this year with almost 100 people coming out to enjoy sundaes, the Inflated Ego Balloon Entertainer, caricatures from Taylor’s Tunes, a slip and slide and a fun community get-together! There were tons of happy kids! There is also an ongoing craft day every Wednesday through the summer months onsite at OWNG with Shauna, our Neighbourhood Group Assistant. There will be a fun craft happening between 11am-1pm for kids ages 6-13 yrs. Come out and get creative!

Finally, many, many thanks go out to Homelife Group for the Easter Food Drive; Wild Rose Consignment Boutique for their ongoing clothing donations; to Apple Salon for raising more than $2000- for OWNG through their annual cut-a-thon fundraiser; Kelly Caldwell for the generous sponsorship of our kid’s activities at the Marketplace & Fair and a HUGE thanks to all our dedicated volunteers! You are the heart & soul of the neighbourhood group!

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.

Onward Willow Homework Club 2019

Homework Club at Willow Road P.S. Library

This is a FREE program with light snacks available.

Tutors available in a variety of subjects including :Reading – Writing – Math –Science – Geography – History – French homework skills

For more information, please contact Coordinator Liz Vardon at 519-767-8642

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.