Backpack day at Cityteam is a big day for a lot of people. Dozens of volunteers from all around work together. Hundreds of families come together to celebrate the start of another school year. And over two thousand children take home new backpacks filled up with school supplies. The best way to tell the story is to hear it from the people who’ve been there.
Volunteers make this event possible…
“I’d heard about City Team for years. When I finally came down to “Back to School” Day in 2012, so many things fell into place for me. This is the work I’d been hearing God tell me to get involved with for so long. This is the help that the community needs—practical needs like backpacks and school supplies being met, a critical stone in the foundation of education that these kids need. This is the place where I can make a difference, mere minutes from my house.”
Parents anticipate a safe and fun carnival for their kids…
“My kids love the party and I love spending time with my kids. We can’t afford to go anywhere special and this gives the kids something to talk about when they go back to school and not feel left out”
“This means so much because my kids know that there is someone from the community that cares about them and their education.”
Anna Donahoe organizes this event every year…
“I love thinking about what this might mean to the children receiving brand new backpacks filled with brand new supplies. As a parent, I love the feeling of sending my own children off to school with their clean, new backpack. I am so grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to watch so many other children and families have the same experience through Cityteam’s Back to School program.
The highlight of the day for me is the sense of community that is present on this day. We have good food, carnival games and we all come together as a community and do something positive for children. God is definitely present at Cityteam’s Back to School Event and I am sure that he is smiling.”
And the kids’ thank you notes probably say it best…
Watch here to see these sweet little ones talk about their new backpacks:
Located in the heart of Chester, Pennsylvania, Cityteam Chester serves those in desperate need throughout the Greater Delaware Valley. Dedicated, caring staff and volunteers reach out to those who are in need of a hot meal, safe shelter, and decent clothing. Cityteam Chester also offers recovery programs for individuals seeking to transform their lives from the destruction of drugs and alcohol.
We also connect with low-income families whom are in need of emergency food boxes to help stretch their income at the end of the month. Mothers with infants and young at-risk children, stop by every Wednesday afternoon to receive diapers, formula, and other baby items. You can make a difference by volunteering, donating or financially supporting this special ministry to the poor and homeless.
Welcome to the Cityteam Chester Blog! For our first post, we are sharing a few facts that you may not know about us.
1. In 1989, before we even had a kitchen, our first ministry was serving one meal each week to hungry people in Chester. Volunteers at Cityteam Chester prepared and served food to people sitting on milk crates at make-shift tables. Our cafeteria looks a little nicer these days and we now serve over 200 meals prepared in our kitchen every day.
2. Cityteam Chester is supported by over 500 volunteers and serves over 18,000 people each year. Everyone involved in Cityteam Chester has a unique story of how God is using them and changing their lives. Read my story here.
3. Each year, several families get to leave the urban environment of the busy city for a fun-filled week of family camp with Cityteam. What most people don’t know is that our youngest camper was a little boy who was only 1 month old! He will turn 11 years old this summer.
4. Our on-site Nursing Clinic, sponsored by Widener University, provides free primary health care to uninsured or underinsured men, women, and children. Our clinic was featured in Widener’s most recent magazine (page 14).
5. In the early 1900’s long before it became a place for homeless and addicted men to find shelter and recovery, our building was first a Buick dealership. Some time after the dealership had gone, the first floor was a local dance hall. Behind the layers of paint there are hearts surrounding the names of former Chester residents who had pledged their love to each other.
Check back for upcoming posts featuring stories, updates and photos of what’s happening at Cityteam Chester!
Kwinn Tucker, City Director