Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 28
'We never want a child to
not be prepared for school.'
-Meghan Frick, director of
communications for the Georgia DOE
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Service organizations lend
"The need is [always] out there," Hokanson
says. "We want to do what we can to address it."
Service organizations statewide are responding
in a similar fashion. In Savannah, Ready! Set! Go!
Volunteers at the Give A Kid A Chance
Back to School passed out more than 5,000 backback-to-school event check in attendees and direct them to areas where
packs to children who attended the event at the Sa- they can collect their supplies, get medical screenings and enjoy lunch with
vannah Civic Center Arena last year. Vendors shared their families.
information about health and nutrition, safety and
In Valdosta, Beth Peagler, public relations director
after-school programs and provided medical screenings,
Crow Media Group, is working with city and
haircuts and fingernail painting for students. More than
workers to coordinate a community-wide
50,000 families have been helped by this program.
Block Party in August. Children will
Last year, Southwire's Project GIFT in Carrollton gave
haircuts and medical screenings.
away 5,000 bags of school supplies, sponsored vision
officials have begun their own
checks and offered other activities for children. More
Meghan Frick, director of comthan 65,000 bags of supplies have been distributed at
Department of Education
various locations through this program over the last
with school sup10 years.
plies "huge and urgent." Whenever a school is asked if
school-supply donations are needed, the answer always
To give or receive a helping hand
is an unequivocal yes.
Contact the service organizations below to
Two years ago, DOE employees collected supplies
volunteer your time, donate supplies or find out
among themselves for the Back to School Pack. In 2017,
more about attending an event.
Frick says, they partnered with the department's charitable arm, the Georgia Foundation for Public Education,
Give A Kid A Chance, July 14, First Baptist Church,
Canton, and Hillside United Methodist Church,
to accept monetary donations from the public.
Woodstock. giveakidachance.org. (678) 383-9617.
"People were so generous. We were blown away,"
says of the drive, which funded 300 backpacks.
Southwire's Project GIFT Back to School, July 14,
year the DOE hopes to expand the program,
1 Southwire Drive, Carrollton. (770) 832-4729.
with donation drop-off points statewide. "We never want
Back to School Carnival, July 21 and 28, Macona child to not be prepared for school and to not have
Bibb County Health Department, 171 Emery Hwy.,
what they need to succeed," Frick says.
The power of local response is encouraging to
organizers, who are thankful for the efforts of volunReady! Set! Go! Back to School, Aug. 4, Savannah
teers. In Cherokee County, high school football teams
Civic Center Arena, Savannah. rsgbacktoschool.org.
turned out to help unload donations and set up for the
GAKAC event. Students from North Hall High School
Valdosta-Lowndes County Back to School Block
went through their own closets to help stock the clothParty, Aug. 4, Drexel Park, Valdosta.
ing drive for Caring Hands Ministries.
Frick believes she knows why these programs conCaring Hands Ministries Back to School Event,
tinue to thrive.
"We don't focus on poverty and the need, but on
how we can fill that need," she says. "And it fills our soul
much more than it just fills a backpack for a child."
Georgia Foundation for Public Education, Atlanta.
gfpe.org. (404) 656-5594.
Rosalyn Dunn is a freelance writer living in Atlanta.
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - June 2018
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 11
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 12
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 13
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 14
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 15
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 16
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 17
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 18
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 19
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 20
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 21
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 22
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 23
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 24
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 25
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 26
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 27
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 28
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 29
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 30
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 31
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Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 35
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 36
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 37
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Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover4