Expanding the Commitment to Serve our Children and Youth


Thousands of families throughout Waterloo Region and beyond can attest to the life-changing services and support that KidsAbility Centre for Child Development provides. This year KidsAbility is celebrating 60 years of serving children and youth with special needs ranging from communication, physical, general and developmental delays, to more complex diagnoses such as autism and other rare medical syndromes. In short, KidsAbility helps children and youth realize their full potential.

In 2003, KidsAbility Foundation decided to set up an endowment fund with The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.

“We decided to set up a fund as an alternative way for individuals to support KidsAbility,” explained Lisa Talbot, Executive Director of KidsAbility Foundation. “The endowment fund helps us with our long-term needs for the organization. It gives us an additional base of funding that we can rely on every year.”

While they receive donations from generous supporters throughout the year, establishing an endowment fund ensures there are resources available in perpetuity.

When speaking with donors, KidsAbility Foundation explains all of the options for supporting their programs and services. Some donors want to make annual donations, whereas others want to ensure their funds contribute to more long-term efforts. The endowment fund held at The KWCF is an excellent opportunity to ensure that a donation to KidsAbility keeps giving year after year.

In order to ensure that donors’ contributions stay within the community they wish to support, KidsAbility has also set up endowment funds with the Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation and the Guelph Community Foundation. That way, the earnings from each fund remain within each specific community.

The majority of the funding goes towards direct therapy. “We have over 900 kids on our waiting list,” Talbot continued. “The endowments at our local community foundations give KidsAbility the flexibility to use the funds where they’re most needed, including direct therapy.”

Ensuring that children, youth and families receive the support they need as close as possible to where they live, learn, work and play are key priorities for KidsAbility.

As KidsAbility celebrates their rich history, they are looking to the next 60 years to grow and meet the changing and evolving needs of children, youth and families of Waterloo Region.

“KidsAbility has successful centralized hub locations in both Kitchener and Waterloo, allowing us to serve children and youth close to home,” shares Linda Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of KidsAbility. “This fall we will celebrate a new hub in Cambridge — the next chapter for this growing community. KidsAbility is very fortunate to be able to build and expand upon our current facilities at 887 Langs Drive, assuming the entire ground floor of this facility.”

This expansion will allow KidsAbility to introduce a wider range of programs to serve both preschoolers and older youth, bringing together the organization’s general and autism programs, as well as KidsAbility School’s two classrooms in Cambridge.

Last year, KidsAbility served over 1,600 children and youth from two sites in Cambridge. With an emphasis on client and family-centred care, KidsAbility’s new Cambridge Hub will provide accessible, seamless and integrated care by bringing services as close as possible to Cambridge families.

“The new Cambridge Hub will allow KidsAbility to effectively respond to the emerging needs of our staff, clients and families today and tomorrow. We look forward to further cultivating potential in Cambridge,” says Ms. Kenny. To learn more about KidsAbility and how you can help make a difference visit www.kidsability.ca.