One City hosts 1st Annual Christmas at the City

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – An organization with the mission to create space and opportunities to unite the city through resources, relationships, and community development held its 1st Annual Christmas at the City Saturday.

One City hosted the first gala of its kind in the area where 15 beautifully decorated Christmas trees were auctioned to the highest bidder. There was also live musical entertainment, a silent auction and hors d’oeuvres. Attendees had the chance to view a part of the building not developed yet.

“One City, we are a community center but first of all we’re a faith-based nonprofit and we exist to bridge gaps in the community, specifically that of racial and culturally gaps and socioeconomics,” said Taylor Smith, executive director of One City. “We try to build bridges within the community to unite the community through resources, relationships, events and job skills.”

The Work Life Program is a seven and a half week long class that teaches people job skills and job readiness. They practice interview skills.

“We work with probation and parole,” said Makenya Owens, Work Life and Community Coordinator at One City. “We work with community partnership. We work with family court and drug court. We do work with the treatment centers like FCC and Gibson. So we have quite a few.”

Owens says the most important thing they do is encourage people.

“We love on them and we let them know that it really doesn’t matter what your past is, what you’ve been through. There’s a bright future for you,” Owens said. “We really want to walk alongside them and help them get to where they desire to be and to where God has designed and created them to be.”

“It’s really much more than that because we get to know them and we begin to do life with them and really help them to lay the foundation of they have skills and they have gifts and they have talents,” Smith said. “And they have something to offer the world. And they can be wonderful contributing members of society. It’s really, we’re dealing with people that’s starting over again a lot of times. Or maybe they’ve never had a job. So we just want to remind them that they are created on purpose and with a purpose.”

“I learned first of all I learned to love myself again because I didn’t know that it was a spiritual program,” said Donna Colyer, a graduate of One City’s Work Life program. “They help you find jobs and everything, but I had no idea that it was spiritual and it was something that I was looking for so I ended up finding out more about that and just guide me in the right direction to love myself again.”

Colyer urges those interested to learn more to come and try out the program.

“If you want to do better for your life, you want to get your life together here’s the place to start it,” Colyer said. ““I’m just grateful. I’m grateful to be alive today. I’m grateful for a whole new life. Two years clean baby, two years clean!”

One hundred percent of the funds raised stay local and are re-invested locally. They graduated close to 40 people over the past year. The organization teaches job skills to help prepare adults to re-enter the workforce.

The goal was to raise $25,000 to sustain what they are already doing in 2022 and move toward developing a currently unused part of the building to bring more opportunities to the community. They actually raised $28,045.

Visit onecityunite.org for more information, ways to get involved and to stay connected.

KBSI Fox 23 was a diamond sponsor of the event.

 

Categories: Community