Such a small thing, showing up. Yet it is our captains and big red buses showing up in kids’ neighbourhoods week after week, year after year – consistently, reliably – that helps our community grow. Seeing the same friendly faces in red vests each week, parents would ask their neighbours and ask us, what we did and how they could get their kids involved.
This is how little Sameer came to join us. His mother had heard of CityKidz through friends and was curious if this could be something fun for her three-year-old.
Having heard that there was a mom in apartment 809 who might be interested in having their son join our KinderKidz program, we decided to introduce ourselves and give her door a knock.
Uncertain about sending her three-year-old on a bus full of strangers, we invited Sameer’s mom to accompany him to his first program. While our bus rides proved to be a little too rambunctious for the quiet pre-schooler, we were determined to keep Sameer in the CityKidz fold until he was ready to join in our Saturday fun.
So we kept knocking during Home Visits. Sameer wasn’t always home, but when he was, we could usually count on him peeking out from behind his mother’s legs wearing his favourite Spiderman shirt. He rarely said much but always greeted us with a smile, nodded enthusiastically to our questions, and eagerly accepted whatever treat we brought. Still, we weren’t quite sure whether or not Sameer genuinely enjoyed our visits.
It was early autumn and it had been some weeks since we’d connected with Sameer and his family. Our knocks went unanswered, but we continued slipping activity sheets and stickers under their front door. Sameer’s mom had mentioned that they might be moving and we wondered if they already had without us knowing.
Our suspicions proved incorrect a couple weeks later when our knocks were answered with a smiling Sameer and his mother.
“He really missed you!” his mother then said earnestly, “Last week, I must have been in the washroom when you knocked but when I came out Sameer was kneeling at the door trying to look under and said ‘mamma! CityKidz is here’ when I opened the door you were already gone but he was still so happy you came. He loves that you come to see him.”
Hearing these words, we were reminded of just how much the little things matter to a child. At CityKidz we want every child to feel special. What speaks to a child’s heart is different from one little soul to the next. For some children, it’s the riotous energy and grand productions of our Saturday shows that lifts their spirits. For others, like Sameer, it’s the simple gesture of showing up at their door with a smile and a flyer, just to say hello that tells them they are heard and seen, known and loved.
Your support allows our captains to show up – in ways big and small – for Sameer, and for so many other precious children. Because we can count on you, our kids could count on us. Thank you!