After more than 20 years, credits roll on Roxy Kids program in Uxbridge
Sometimes getting your children to help around the house or in their community can be a challenge. The Roxy Kids in Action program in Uxbridge was able to get kids motivated, but it has been cancelled.
“21 years, it adds up,” said Cathy Christoff, Roxy Kids in Action founder.
Cathy Christoff started Roxy Kids in Action, a program designed to get kids out volunteering in Uxbridge.
It’s been running almost as long as the Roxy Theatre’s been open.
For every 20 jobs the kids would do in the community, they were rewarded with a free movie pass to the theatre.
“Based on our membership at the start of every season in September, we probably had over 1,000 kids,” said Christoff.
Virginia Chiu, who spent six years volunteering, was one of those children. The now 18-year-old got involved through a friend and was instantly hooked.
“I think a lot of people underestimate the reward and warmth you feel from an act of kindness,” said the former Roxy Kid.
Over the years, the kids not only grew in the community but the community grew with them.
“It’s probably the most life-changing experience of my life because I don’t think I would be the person I am today without Roxy Kids,” said Chiu. “It’s really rewarding to see other kids in the community and they’re out helping people, and there are former Roxy Kids that are out coast to coast that have their own volunteer group. It’s super inspiring.”
After more than two decades, the Roxy Kids program wrapped up earlier this summer.
“It’s sad,” said Christoff. “It was a tough decision, took about two years to make, but realized that [with] family and work I couldn’t juggle everything and give it 150 per cent.”
While the program is now over, Christoff hopes the impact will be felt for generations to come.
“When you’ve visited almost every senior in the community over the years and cleaned up trails and visited patients in hospitals and nursing homes and that kind of thing, that you actually impact their lives and they remember, and so the emails and the calls and the cards has been quite remarkable and heart warming,” said Christoff.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.