Why I Give to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada: Sharon Lee Williams

Sharon Lee Williams

Why do you donate to support children, youth, and families involved in child welfare? And why specifically do you donate to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada?

As someone who was in the system many decades ago, I understand the importance of financial donations. I was given vouchers to buy my shoes and clothes. At that time, that is how the system worked. Although sometimes embarrassing, it was necessary and very much appreciated. While things have changed, the need for shelter and resources like school supplies, food and clothing for children and youth has increased. We need families who are willing to share their homes with kids in need so we can ensure every child grows up in safe, secure homes. We need to provide supports and resources to families who are struggling. Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada funds so many programs and resources and are consistently looking for new ways to support families, children and youth.

Why do you believe it is important to support families, children, and youth involved in child welfare?

I believe in supporting this group because if we want to have to have a stronger society, we need to be part of the solution. Helping families stay together or supporting children and youth in care is part of our duty as community members and Canadians. As someone who was also in the system, I know how important it is for children in care to know they are part of a community and that people are looking out for them.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue impacting these populations that Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada helps tackle?

I believe that the most important issue is mental health. Many children and youth from care experience mental health challenges because of their lived experiences and these challenges can affect every aspect of their lives, including education, employment, housing, etc. It’s really important to fund services and programs that address mental health and support them.

What would you say to someone who is considering donating to the Foundation to help children, youth, and families?

Every dollar is well spent. The Foundation is very transparent about the way they spend donor dollars and strategic about maximizing the impact of every dollar. By giving to the Foundation, I know my money is going to make a tangible difference in the lives of children in care.

Looking ahead, what else would you like the Foundation to do and how do you see your continued support contributing to that?

I would like the Foundation to support more programs that can help inspire and encourage youth, especially those aging out of care.  Workshops that encourage youth to become leaders and know that their past does not determine their future.