The Snowsuit Fund

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Editor's Note

This profile originally appeared in the 2020-21 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

The Snowsuit Fund purchases and distributes more than 16,000 snowsuits annually to low-income children 15 years and younger in Ottawa, bringing dignity and hope to families struggling with the necessities of life. Our core mission is to ensure that Ottawa’s most vulnerable children can have warm snowsuits to play outside in winter – without their families having to sacrifice other priorities.

Ottawa winters are cold, yet year-round outdoor play contributes fundamentally to mental health, active and healthy lifestyles, as well as learning and development. 

A grassroots organization, we receive no government funding and rely on the generosity of caring groups and individuals who give their time, money and talents to help those less fortunate.

Snowsuit Fund 1
The Snowsuit Fund relies on the generosity of individuals and businesses who share their warmth through donations of time, talent and financial resources.

At a glance

Year founded: 1981

Geographic region of focus: City of Ottawa

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $1,167,017

Top Funding Sources:

  • Corporate: 40%
  • Individual: 35%
  • Other Charities: 10%
  • Endowments: 5%
  • Other: 10%
  • Government:  0%

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How you can help

Give

Financial support received from corporate and individual donors directly contributes to the provision of snowsuits for Ottawa children from low-income families. Annual volume purchases and long-standing relationships give us the power to negotiate the best possible prices with Canadian suppliers. Our average cost to purchase, warehouse and distribute each high-quality warm snowsuit is just $50. 

Volunteer

Historically, from September to February, up to 750 volunteers including corporate and community groups help with snowsuit distribution at our Depot. Group volunteering has been paused for 2020-21 due to COVID-19. However, we welcome volunteer support to help produce and promote our various seasonal fundraisers. 

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Events and fundraising

Annual Gala

The Snowsuit Fund Gala has been a must-attend event on Ottawa’s social scene for decades. In February 2020 SnowBall – A Cool Winters Eve welcomed more than 300 guests for an all-inclusive, multi-level, multi-chef cocktail party experience. 

This season a re-imagined "Gala-in-a-Box" will include curated cocktails, wine and beer, chef-prepared meals, delectable desserts, online auction, streamed entertainment and many fun surprises – all beautifully packaged delivered to your door for safe enjoyment at home.

Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Sales Campaign

Every September since 2004 Tim Hortons Ottawa restaurants have donated the full $1 from freshly-baked Smile Cookies sold to The Snowsuit Fund. Corporate orders by the dozen can be delivered to multiple addresses.

Annual Snowsuit Drive (October - January)

Become a corporate supporter by hosting or sponsoring an event, giving donations in lieu of launching a sales promotion to raise money in $50 increments to buy snowsuits for disadvantaged Ottawa children. 

Be a Snow Angel

This coming February, the business community along with families, schools, community and sports groups are invited to create snow angels, gather pledges and share images and videos to win prizes.  This activity has children, adults and teams playing and having fun safely outside while raising money for needed snowsuits. The initiative also underscores the importance of being warmly dressed to be able to participate outdoors during Ottawa’s winter season. Event details will be posted at www.snowsuitfund.com.

Board members and executives

Joanne and Trina
General manager Joanne Andrews (left); Chairperson Trina Fraser

Mark Ford (Past chairperson)
Ottawa Police Service

Andrew Watson (Treasurer)
KPMG

Danny Kingsbury (Vice-chairperson)
Rogers Media (retired)

Martin Masse (Second vice-chairperson)
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Susan Dennison (Secretary)
Tim Hortons

Jon Stewart
Communications director, Digital Consulting

Don Masters
Mediaplus Advertising

Taryn Gunnlaugson
BMO Private Banking

Krista Ferraro
Ottawa Police Services Board

Lise Clement
Lansdowne Technologies

Fiorella Di Nardo
Salon Fiorella

Ian Burns
David Burns and Associates

Sahada Alolo
Multifaith Housing Initiative

Steve Monuk
Ottawa Venues

Daljit Nirman
Nirman’s Law 

Amanda Young
Rogers Media

Fundraising priorities

We anticipate that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will cause an increased number of families to turn to the Snowsuit Fund for help this season. At the same time, costs are rising and COVID-19 economic challenges could negatively impact donations. We need your support now more than ever. 

Get in touch

134-225 Donald St.
Ottawa, Ont.
K1K 1N1

joanne.andrews@snowsuitfund.com
Snowsuitfund.com

Twitter: @snowsuitfund
Facebook: /snowsuitfund
Instagram: @the_snowsuit_fund