June 11, 2019
Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) is proud to affirm its continued support of community partner and port tenant, CityKidz. HPA will be donating $15,000 to CityKidz over the next three years, providing much-needed sustainable funding to cover transportation costs and enable the participation of children living in lower income neighbourhoods across Hamilton.
“Our donation will ensure that CityKidz will be able to bus approximately 130 children each year, and a total of 390 children over the three-year period,” said Community Relations Manager, Sharon Clark. “The cost of transportation can be a barrier for many families, and the fact that CityKidz provides free transportation to its programs has been one of the keys to its success.”
Currently over 26,000 children are living below the poverty line in Hamilton. Since 1993, CityKidz has provided a safe space for children and adolescents to develop a network of friends, a sense of self and valuable skills that help them achieve their full potential. The organization serves over 1,500 children and youth annually who are enrolled in their core programs, including KinderKidz (ages 3-5), CityKidz (ages 6-11), CityYouth (ages 12-15) and Roadmaps to Dreams (ages 16-17).
Since CityKidz established its current location on the port lands in 2011, HPA has contributed almost $600K in the form of charitable donations or subsidized rent. “It’s important to us to give back to the communities we’re a part of,” said HPA CEO Ian Hamilton. “We are continually inspired by the work of CityKidz, and its positive impact on Hamilton neighbourhoods.”
CityKidz is also supported by 450 local volunteers that keep things running smoothly and build one-on-one relationships with each child who attends. Their success is evident: approximately 40 per cent of CityKidz volunteers are former CityKidz participants who have moved on to become junior leaders and help run the organization’s programs. “We see the impact of these programs through the development of leadership, of volunteers and of youth continuing their education,” said CityKidz Founder & Executive Director, Rev. Todd Bender.
“This partnership opportunity with the Hamilton Port Authority will enable us to eliminate the transportation barrier to children and families and continue to grow our organization both in terms of participant numbers and the impact on those participants,” continued Bender.
To learn more, please visit their website: www.citykidz.ca
CityKidz began in Hamilton but has since expanded to include branches in both Ottawa and Regina. Their mission is to increase resiliency and inspire BIG dreams for Canadian children living in low-income communities by providing inspirational experiences and nurturing personal relationships, one child at a time. They achieve this through their multiple programs which all focus on helping every child achieve their full potential.
About the Port of Hamilton
The Port of Hamilton is the largest marine port in Ontario, receiving 600 vessel visits per year, both North American and international. The cargo that transits the Port of Hamilton is valued at $3.3 billion, and is connected to $6 billion in economic activity and 38,000 jobs in Ontario. The Port of Hamilton is home to 130 diverse companies, who together have invested more than $350 million in new facilities within the past decade.
Emily Graham – Communications & Community Relations Coordinator
Hamilton Port Authority