About Us

The 2019 Polar Bear Dip for Childcan and Access County Community Support Services will celebrate its 19th anniversary on March 23, 2019! Funds raised by our Annual Polar Bear Dip will continue to provide the much needed funding for programs and services provided by Childcan and ACCESS that assist the children, youth, adults and families living in our region. 

Childcan is an incorporated, registered, community-based charity which has been supporting children and their families through childhood cancer since 1974. Located in London, Childcan serves children who have been diagnosed at Children's Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, a tertiary care referral centre serving 550,000+ children in Ontario, including those from Windsor-Essex. At any time, approximately 1/3 of the children Childcan supports are from the Windsor-Essex region. The funds raised at the Kingsville Polar Bear Dip stay in Windsor-Essex and support those children and their families.

Since 2010, 10,000 Canadian children have been diagnosed with childhood cancer; over 4,000 of them are in Ontario. This year alone, there will be 1,700 Canadian children newly diagnosed and 20% of them will not survive. Two-thirds of the survivors will live with the long term side effects of their treatment. 

Childcan's programs and services provide families with the emotional, social and financial support for their most pressing needs: hospital parking passes and meal vouchers, individual financial assistance, support groups, family fun days, post-secondary bursaries, novel research and so much more.

Please visit www.childcan.com for more information.

Access County Community Support Services (ACCESS) is a community-based non-profit organization committed to supporting and strengthening Essex County residents with locally driven services all across Essex County. In addition to running an Ontario Early Years Centre - KEYS - that receives thousands of visits from parents and children ages 0-6 every year, free after-school programs in Harrow and Leamington, and support for youth in crisis across our community, ACCESS offers support for individuals and families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. 

From affordable housing, financial management, food security services, referrals and other basic need assistance, ACCESS helps the most vulnerable in Essex County receive the support they require. Each year, ACCESS provides service to 1,300 youth with a range of needs from recreational programming to mental health crises, and kids experiencing homelessness or requiring personal skills development.

Across Essex County, ACCESS facilitates 33 community gardens in a variety of locations. More than 1,400 volunteers are engaged in these gardens, harvesting over 6,000 lbs of fresh, organic produce for families in need. 

ACCESS is a proud partner in the Windsor-Essex Housing Connection program, which is the region's first Housing First initiative, targeting individuals experiencing chronic or episodic homelessness. Every year, ACCESS supports hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in Essex County, including youth, seniors and families with young children.

Please visit www.accesscounty.ca for more information.