In 1995, a summer kids program was started, simply called KiDZONE, in two neighbourhoods in Waterloo. Incorporating games, skits, puppets and songs in an impacting, dynamic program, KiDZONE was an outreach unlike anything in the city. The community’s response to KiDZONE was overwhelming and it quickly grew.
The difference with KiDZONE has always been a genuine interest in helping the entire family. Workers would visit families the day before KiDZONE to build relationships and see if they could meet any practical needs.
At the end of the summer, the KiDZONE volunteers decided to keep the program going, stopping only in extreme weather, but always visiting families, rain or shine. Soon, KiDZONE expanded and moved to working within Community Centres, partnering with both the City of Kitchener and the Community Associations and running all year round as an after school program.
Since then, KiDZONE has exploded into KiDZONE Urban Ministries, a larger organization including the original After School Program and expanding to include a summer camp, Camp Dunamis, the Christmas gift and food drive, Shining Star, assistance programs, Saturday outreach events, a large-scale Mother’s Day event and continues to expand in order to be effective in reaching families in our city.