Oak Tree 6 is focusing on the ‘now’ and the ‘next’. Click below to read how we are supporting Wellington/Guelph to #RecoverTogether


The Oak Tree Project recognizes the immense pressure charities are facing in spring 2020. Since our beginning, Oak Tree has helped charities with short- and long-term needs. As we listen to our community and reflect on the impact of the COVID pandemic, we want to make the best use of Oak Tree resources to help today and in the future.

The next Oak Tree Project (#OTP6) will have two phases: focused on The Now and The Next.

Focused on The Now, we are working with our friends and partners to raise money that we can give to the Guelph Community Foundation to support The Guelph COVID Fund. This money will be distributed by the Foundation to support charities and their immediate priorities to help those most in need.

Focused on The Next, #OTP6 is partnering with the University of Guelph to connect local charities with bright minds on campus. The University of Guelph, and in particular the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) has a long history of leadership in campus-community collaboration for social change. CESI brings together faculty, students and community through collaborative research partnerships focused on putting knowledge into action. Through CESI, we were able to connect with the ICON course, a hands on and innovative teaching program which uses workshops and team building activities to teach students valuable skills while fostering innovative ideas for today’s most pressing challenges. Local charities will be invited to submit an idea by July 15/2020 about how they can strengthen our community in a post-COVID world. After reviewing all submissions, a team from the broader community and the university will choose three ideas as semi-finalists. Each semi-finalist will be paired with students to create a pitch for the Grand Prize in the fall of 2020. This pitch will be evaluated so the students can receive an academic mark and will be shared with the community in late November for voting. A combination of judge scores and one day of public voting will choose our #OTP6 winner before Christmas 2020.

Our #OTP6 schedule looks like this:

  • Late May:  Focused on The Now funds distributed by the Guelph Communication Foundation
  • Week of June 1: Online launch at oaktreeguelph.ca
  • July 15: Deadline for Wellington Guelph charities to submit their pitch idea
  • Aug 17: Three semi-finalist winners announced
  • After Labour Day: The three winning charities start working with ICON students
  • End of November: Facebook Live event and one day public voting
  • Before Christmas: Grand prize winner announced