Twenty years! This year City Impact is celebrating 20 years of life-changing work in the heart of Lincoln.
We sat down with Katie, a former City Impact kid, this month and asked her why people should invest in City Impact. She answered by telling her story:
“Growing up, I hated my home life. It was so unpredictable. My dad and mom were divorced, so it was just Mom and us four kids. We never went to church. None of my family knew God…nobody. My mom was in an abusive relationship, so it was dark.
One day in 6th grade, one of my friends invited me to City Impact. Coming to Bible Club was my getaway. Our teacher, Carla would come pick us up all the time. She took us to church with her, even to her family farm. We went to camp KAA (Kids Across America) every summer, and that’s where I gave my life to Christ. Camp was and still is the highlight of my life.
City Impact also helped my family. When my mom was married the first time, they helped move us away from her abusive husband – the Bible Club teacher paid for us to move and gave us a new car so my mom would be safe.
City Impact has always been my safe place, I knew people cared about me. It saved me.
In High School, I went on a different path. I got pregnant, and when I had kids the cycle continued. I had kids with an abusive person and now they don’t have a dad, so that’s challenging. But City Impact never gave up on me.
In 2014, I moved into one of the City Impact homes. Being able to move into an affordable, stable house made all the difference. I was able to get out of that whole situation, I didn’t have to rely on their dad. All the neighbors look out for each other. My kids stop by the City Impact building daily.
Now I bring my kids to program because I know what it did for me, and I want them to experience what I experienced. To have a safe place, where people love and care about them. I want them to learn what I learned, to go to God with their problems, with their joys, I want them to have that faith. It’s just a different life. And I want them to have that growing up, as kids.“
I want them to learn what I learned, to go to God with their problems, with their joys, I want them to have that faith.”
Katie is amazing. She is raising 4 kids as a single mom, with two jobs. Even with her busy schedule Katie makes time to volunteer at City Impact, investing in others just as she was invested in.
“I was bringing my kids, and I was like ‘Why am I just sitting here (at home)? I could be there too.’ I started volunteering in the City Impact classrooms, and it took me back. To see how far we have come. We have legit classrooms with whiteboards, and tables…totally different from when we were kids.
The stuff they teach in the classroom, you can use anywhere. Like forgiveness. Different types of coping skills. Different types of opportunities.
It’s all good things from City Impact. It’s not just Tuesday nights. It really does impact your whole life.”
The investment of time in Katie is now rippling out to other kids. One of them is 11 year old Jashunna. Katie and Jashunna have a special bond.
“My Bible Bestie, Jashunna. She’s in my small group and she is here all the time. She’s competitive, she’s tough. Sometimes she leaves mad at me, but she comes back the next week and hugs me and forgets whatever disagreement we had. I see right through her. I love her. She is sweet and funny. She is a prayer warrior. When she prays, you can feel it in your whole soul. She means it. She is forgiving. And she challenges me, asking me questions in small group. The kids teach me too.”
Maybe 20 years from now I will be telling you about Jashunna’s story and how a City Impact staff member named Katie made an impact on her life!
We need your help today to keep the life-changing ripples growing for the next 20 years!
The staff and volunteers of City Impact simply couldn’t do this without faithful, generous investors. Thank you for the role you have played in the last 20 years and please consider this year’s special gift or pledge in light of God’s work for the next 20 years. We need you now more than ever!