Kernels for Kids!

The Cause

Kids Up Front is a small organization with 3.6 staff. We run two signature programs that includes Can’t Use Your Ticket and Kids Count events.

These two programs are the essence of what we do and mission based. We have a small team that delivers $1.4 million dollars’ worth of programming to over 30,000 deserving kids in Southern Alberta annually. Given our staff size we do not have the capacity to create new programs and continue to deliver the existing quality programming that we offer. Given the economic climate maintaining existing programs is a priority for our organization.

Our program is proven and we have solid relationships with 230 social agency partners. We would love an opportunity to become a part of this campaign and any funding would make a significant impact on our current and most popular programming. The program we want to submit for review is the Suite Ambassador program. This program falls under the Kids Count umbrella. We have identified a need within this program that could benefit from financial support.

We are on target to receive over 200 box suites in the Saddledome this year that we fill this deserving kids and families. A part of our commitment to this program is to provide a bottomless bowl of popcorn to every suite to ensure no family goes without! Many of our families cannot afford to purchase food at our events and we try to provide it when funds are available. It is difficult to concentrate, take part or have fun when one is hungry! Where possible and practical, Kids Up Front solicits donated food for events, but it is not always available. Our Foundation has a very limited budget to secure these items.

This program has grown because of both increase of donations and request for service. Dollars from the Field Law Community Fund would help to support this growth and demand which is also supplemented by approximately 800 generous volunteer hours annually.

This part of the suite program is called “Kernels for Kids!”.

Who Will it Benefit?

Social isolation. Poverty. Marginalization. Addictions. Mental Health. Homelessness. Abuse. Violence. Family breakdown. Critical Illness. These are just a few things that our kids are facing every single day. Kids Up Front works with over 230 community social service providers to provide opportunities for recreation, participation in arts and cultural activities, sporting events, and educational experiences for the most vulnerable citizens of Calgary. We serve children under 18 years of age and their families. These children and families are from at-risk populations and often among the most marginalized and invisible in our city. With a small staff of 4, we provide services to most of Calgary’s charitable organizations, complementing the difficult front-line work that they do. In a recent survey of our partner agencies, 72% responded that Kids Up Front provided services essential to the work that they do directly with families, and 86% said they could benefit from increased services from our organization. We give families time away from the homeless shelters and those fleeing domestic violence respite from their stresses, crowded conditions, and tough situations. We provide opportunities for parents and families in crisis/programs/treatment to practice social, parenting and life skills in safe, positive and healthy environments. We provide youth with positive ways to spend their free time, time to engage with mentors and supporters, leisure pursuits that enrich their lives, alternatives to substance abuse, and social integration to reduce risk factors associated with life on the street. With the current economic situation in Alberta, we provide struggling families and those unemployed and on assistance with access to recreation for their children; these are things they could never typically afford to do, providing much needed relief, stress reduction, important family time, positive leisure activities, and community inclusion. Quote: “Events…provided through Kids Up Front support families to connect and develop deeper bonds with their children, often through sports and the arts. Families in poverty are living in constant stress and being able to take part in these fun activities, concerts, games and events allows families access to the “brighter” and “lighter” side of life…our families would never get an opportunity to participate in (these activities) without the generosity of Kids Up Front.”