Below are the programs and core projects we were able to adapt to continue delivering through the pandemic, as well as new initiatives we launched to meet the unique needs and circumstances brought on by COVID-19.
Continuing Programs and Core Projects
CityYouth & Roadmaps to Dreams
Both our youth mentorship programs have moved online to weekly Zoom meetings where our youth can connect with peers and mentors, talk through their challenges, support one another, play games, and take on team challenges.
Gift of Christmas
Instead of having our kids come together for a meal at our theatres, we will now be delivering a special box to each family filled with games and snacks they can all enjoy together. Kids also get to watch a special, interactive Christmas Spectacular show on YouTube. And of course, we will deliver a personalized gift to each of our children in time for Christmas.
Operation Birthday Child
Without our in-person Saturday programs, we are now celebrating each of our birthday children by bringing a present and sweet treat right to their front doors and by sharing a special birthday video online.
Not even a global pandemic could stop our students from going after their big dreams. With the help of the Weston Family Foundation, we continue to support our program graduates with scholarships for their post-secondary education.
We have continued Home Visits throughout the pandemic whenever health and safety restrictions allow. During weeks and months when it is not safe to knock on doors, our volunteers take time each week to call all our kids and families to check in and offer any support they can.
When conditions are safe, we take our Home Visits to a new level. During our in-person visits, we now play games, share stories, deliver lunches, celebrate birthdays and graduations and so much more to bring the CityKidz experience right to our kids’ front doors.
CityKidz Cares Project
In response to COVID-19, we launched this new project in 2020 with the goal of supporting the well-being of children in the CityKidz community through the provision of practical resources, relational connections, and inspirational programming.
Family Meal Kits
We now deliver monthly Family Meal Kits to 650 households in our community. Each kit contains a recipe and all the fresh and non-perishable ingredients for a wholesome, balanced meal that our families can prepare and enjoy together.
Our hope with this new project is to alleviate some of the food insecurity we know so many of our families are experiencing and to help create a little more space for family, faith, healing, and joy.
Big Red Bus Online
As so much of the world moved online in 2020, so did we.
In April 2020, we launched BigRedBus.ca – a new online stop for CityKidz children and families to play, connect, and stay up to date with everything happening at CityKidz. Big Red Bus Online is a fun, welcoming space for kids to interact with CityKidz online through games, videos, contests, and other activities. It is also a place where parents can find information about our programs and their schedule.
Seeing the struggles so many CityKidz families experience, last year we started delivering personalized Care Kits to families in crisis. Our hope was to fulfil practical needs, remind families that they are loved, and create more time for faith, hope, love, and family.
Each Care Kit is filled with practical resources and fun activities to help ease a family’s financial hardship and bring a little extra fun and hope into their lives.
Health & Safety at CityKidz
CityKidz is diligent in following the news and always seeks to adhere to the highest level of safety and precaution while maintaining a commitment to our mission. With each set of restrictions, we have decided to respond by determining what we can do and maximizing our impact within the restrictions, guidelines, and recommendations that are given.
The health and safety of our community is our primary concern. With the direction of Public Health Ontario and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, we have prepared policies that will keep our kids, families, volunteers, staff, and community safe. We continue to review directives from the Chief Medical Officer of Health in order to ensure our policies and procedures are up to date.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Laura Carmichael, Associate Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-544-3996 ext. 212.
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