About Us

Give a Kid a Chance is a program designed to help children in Cherokee County start each new school year on the right foot.

In 2006, several members of Liberty Hill United Methodist Church in Canton were inspired to begin an outreach based on a successful back-to-school program for single parent families at Milford Church of God in Austell (www.milford.org). They wanted to start a similar ministry in Cherokee, offering local students every possible advantage as they begin the new school year.

This year is the 10th anniversary of Give a Kid a Chance! With the combined efforts of more than 40 churches, ministries, civic groups and businesses, we have helped more than 19,000 students get ready for a new school year.

What We Offer

  • Filled backpacks
  • Haircuts
  • Clothing
  • Socks and undies
  • Medical screenings

How to Help

  • Donations of money, supplies
  • Be our liaison for your church, business or nonprofit
  • Volunteer at event
  • Become part of the leadership team

Our Biggest Needs

  • Filled backpacks
  • New packages of socks and undies for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, particularly adult sizes
  • Gently used, school-appropriate clothing
  • Spanish-speaking volunteers
  • Videographer

History

2006: 100 children served by three churches.

2007: 1,000 children served by a coalition of 21 churches, nonprofits and civic organizations. GAKAC worked with MUST Inc. to be the agency's backpack distribution point, relieving the agency's already overworked summer volunteers who are busy with the summer lunch program.

2008: 1,500-plus children served in two locations by approximately 600 volunteers and more than 30 churches, nonprofits and civic organizations. Children were able to get immunizations at our North Cherokee location.

2009: 2,300 students and their families attended our event, and another 300 picked up backpacks we gave to MUST Inc. A total of 89 churches, businesses, nonprofits and individuals supported Give a Kid a Chance. We completed the incorporation process and became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and the Cherokee County School District adopted Give a Kid a Chance as a partner in education.

2010: More than 2,700 students received filled backpacks in 2010!

2011: 2,800 students and their families visited our two locations, and another 300 backpacks were given away after the event!

2012: While giving away 3,000 backpacks, organizers also offered shoes from Soles 4 Souls and thousands of books and stuffed animals! It was a rainy day, but that didn't stop families from bringing their students to get all the supplies they needed to start the new year!

2013: Each year we see our numbers increase, both in how many students we help and volunteers show up to help! We distributed about 3,200 backpacks in 2013. While we are pleased about that, our hearts are sad because we know there are many more children in need who may not have transportation, or may even be too proud to come for help. So please join us in prayer that God will remove any barriers that keep children who need the help from attending our back-to-school bash!

2014: Give a Little Kid a Chance was added to our program. 450 backpacks filled with supplies specifically for pre-school students were distributed to pre-school classes held in Cherokee County School District schools.

Other opportunities to serve Cherokee County and beyond:

SERV International Never Alone   MUST Inc. Papa’s Pantry   Gideons Cherokee Christian Ministerial Association