CityKidz is a well-known and well-loved organization in Hamilton that works with inner-city children. They teach these kids to dream big dreams and realize their full potential through singing, dancing, storytelling, and more. This year, we have 5 students doing a placement with CityKidz.
“Each and every week, thousands of children receive personal home visits from one of our faithful staff or volunteers. Each and every Saturday, over 1,000 children attend a dynamic kids’ program that teaches them about God’s unyielding love and the greatness that is within each and every one of them”. Todd Bender, CityKidz Executive Director
Each of our students have been up to something different within the organization, and as a result have a diverse range of stories to share. For example, Seth is in productions, helping Todd to prepare for the crazy fun spring season of Saturday shows. When I visited last week, Seth was in the middle of an experiment using a potato to turn on a lightbulb! They are also spending time building and planning and dreaming of how they can give kids the best experience ever on a CityKidz Saturday.
Lauryn is shadowing their marketing team, producing videos to thank various sponsors and supporters of CityKidz for their generous contributions, while Michael has been helping to organize their toy inventory and create “prize buckets” so that the kids can go home with one small toy every Saturday. Dean is in their volunteer department, helping them plan and manage ways that they will celebrate their volunteers during the upcoming volunteer appreciation week (April 19-25). He’s also looking into different technologies CK can use to schedule volunteers more effectively.
“Working at CityKidz has been so great, I have been working with Miranda in the program department helping plan what their Wednesday night activities will look like. I have gotten to use a lot of creativity and I also get to work with a lot of cool people.” – Robyn
In addition to their tasks and each week throughout the whole year, CityKidz sends staff and volunteers to the family home of each of their 1800 families. This is a really special part of CityKidz’ ministry because each child is known by name and has the opportunity to engage on a personal level with the CK community. Families are known and loved, and CK then has the opportunity to support them in times of need. Kids also have gifts delivered to them on their birthdays, and CK staff and volunteers often visit with sports equipment to play with together. It’s where the relational aspect of CityKidz’ work is really nourished. Our students have been participating in these home visits, and it’s been such a rich opportunity for them to connect the work they do during the week at CK to the families and children that are directly served by the programs they run.
“CityKidz is a great placement because it forces me out of my comfort zone, in a good way. I think for starters, when I went on home visits for the first time it was the most terrifying thing. I didn’t want to talk to anybody and I was really quiet but now that I’ve gone like three times it feels normal and now I’m getting more comfortable and confident to talk to the families and talk to the kids. It makes me really excited to join for Saturdays once the season starts. It’s been pretty cool to learn how to plan and think about ways to thank people as well. Also my supervisor is really patient with me and can answer my questions.” – Dean
You can learn more about CityKidz at https://citykidz.ca/.