Let us introduce you to the Founder of CityKidz, Rev. Todd Bender

We interviewed Todd Bender, watch the video:

Read Todd Bender’s story of how CityKidz got started:

More than 20 years ago, Todd Bender founded CityKidz and as he puts it, CityKidz found him.

He shares a story about how he realized his purpose to care for and attend to the heartfelt needs of vulnerable, fragile and precious children wherever they may be.

While Todd was attending college in Peterborough, he volunteered at a Teen drop-in centre where he met a 7 year old boy named Shawn.

Shawn would frequently attend the drop-in centre and Todd quickly noticed how lost he looked. Shawn wore a worn-out leather jacket and tread-worn shoes. He appeared to a fragile little boy who looked like he had experienced more than anyone his age should.

Todd wondered about the little boy who he would do crafts, play cards and watch movies with. He never attended with other kids and was always alone. When Todd met Shawn’s parents, it immediately became clear why Shawn spent so much time away from home. His parents didn’t care whether Shawn came or went, he just didn’t matter to them, he was invisible, he didn’t exist. No one noticed him unless he’d left his shoes in the way or hadn’t hung up his coat. When they did notice him, they just yelled at him. Todd spent 4 months with Shawn and during their time, Todd realized that all Shawn needed was someone is his life that would notice him, accept him for who he was and someone to care about him. On a cold December evening, Todd was walking Shawn home and something changed. Shawn was so cold so Todd gave him his own jean jacket, the jacket was 4 times as big as Shawn and the sleeves dragged on the ground. Somewhere along the way, Shawn reached up and grabbed Todd’s hand.

That’s when everything changed. Two people from two very different worlds, at that moment their worlds collided and became one. That’s the moment Todd’s purpose became clear, he knew that there were many, many other kids just like Shawn and he knew that his purpose was to help make a difference in the lives of children who are vulnerable.

To this day, Todd continues to search for children who are just like Shawn. Some who need to be rescued, others just a friend. Each and every week, thousands of children receive personal home visits from the CityKidz volunteers, every Saturday, over 1,000 children attend CityKidz programs that teaches them about God’s unyielding love and the greatness that is within each of every one of them. As for Shawn, Todd doesn’t know how his story ends; shortly after he moved out of Peterborough, they lost touch and lost contact. My heart breaks for him, it really does. Todd prays that one day soon they will meet again and that he will be able to tell him how much he impacted his life and changed it for the better. To tell him what a difference he’s helped make in the lives of hundreds and thousands of children; children who, today, are just as he used to be all those many years ago. Today, Todd is an ordained minister with Global Christian Ministry Forum and currently pursuing his MBA. He is the proud husband of to his beautiful wife, Tina, and has four absolutely amazing kids: Madelyn, Cassidy, Mackenzie, and Noah.

Today, Canada is the mission, but Hamilton is home. It’s here that he lives and serves. It’s here that he sees a nation of need through the eyes of vulnerable children from coast to coast to coast who want nothing more than to love and be loved in return. He says, “I really do mean it: as long as one child remains who need to know that someone cares, that God loves them and has a plan for their life, I will be there”.

Learn more about the incredible work that Todd Bender and CityKidz is doing for the lives of Children across Canada, go to: https://citykidz.ca/our-work/

CITYKIDZ programs have one focus, helping each and every child achieve their full potential.

This is one of many reason why we at Team Bush are on a mission to raise at least $20,000 this year to support CityKidz programs. We need your help to reach our goal.
Learn more How You Can Help Us on our Mission, go to:

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