Written by Jennifer Willprecht Walczak, CPY Program Director
Hello, Christ the King members!
My name is Jennifer Willprecht Walczak, and I am not only a CtK member, but also on the staff for Community Partners with Youth (CPY).
For those of you who don’t know about CPY, we are a 501(c)3 after school and summer program benefitting at-risk youth in New Brighton and surrounding areas. Since 1997, we have been providing care for families in need, using the lower level, gym, kitchen, and outdoor spaces of Christ the King. Earlier this year, we were busy planning for our jam-packed summer program when COVID-19 hit, and our plans came to a screeching halt. It was a hectic spring, as our plans changed weekly with new recommendations from the CDC, MN Dept of Education, MN Dept of Health, and Gov. Walz. In late May, we made the devastating decision to cancel our summer programs for 2020. This put us in a tough spot knowing that many families rely on us for summer meals, childcare, and to help provide youth with experiences to answer the all important question: what did you do this summer?
We quickly sprang into action, planning for activity kits we could send home weekly with families. Since June 15th, we have been delivering our kits to families in New Brighton, Mounds View and Arden Hills. Our kits include an arts and crafts project, a STEM activity, a cooking project, and an activity for the whole family to enjoy together. We were thrilled to be connecting with our families, but quickly realized a key component was missing: food. We approached the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, and they were excited to partner, as we serve many of the same families. They added on meal boxes to our kits, so we can ensure not only are families getting activities to keep their kids busy, but meals and snacks to keep their bellies full! To further engage our families, we have been uploading video instructions weekly, that allow our youth to connect with our staff, and see a sample of their activities.
Our original goal was to send out 100 bags per week. After our first week, we realized 100 wouldn’t be enough! We have since started delivering 125 per week, with 150 not being out of the question. Each week, more families are asking to be added to our list, waiting for us outside the office of their apartment complexes, mobile home communities, or calling our office saying they heard about our kits and want to participate as well!
We truly wouldn’t be able to offer our “CPY @ Home” programming without the support of our generous and compassionate community members LIKE YOU!
If you are looking for ways to support the community, CPY is hosting our Annual Golf Ball Drop on Sunday, August 2nd at 3:30pm at Brightwood Hills Golf Course. We are currently selling raffle tickets for the event. They are either $10 for 1, $25 for 3, or $40 for 5 tickets. Tickets can be purchased by calling the office at 651.633.6464 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Golf Ball Drop, our summer plans, or to see the activities, visit www.cpymn.org.
Thank you for your continued support of CPY and youth in our community!