Doing Good: Local nonprofit hosts shopping day for children

The new school year is right around the corner and the families and community of the Victorious Living Church of Dacula are making sure some kids are going back to school in style.

For the fourth year, the Victorious Church will hold the Kicks for Kids event at Sports Authority in Buford on Saturday to allow children from the Gwinnett County Department of Family and Children Services to “take over” and shop for new shoes before they go back to school.

“We did a school supply drive, but really felt compelled to do more,” said the Rev. Marlon Allan, pastor at Victorious Church. The church and the community came together in 2012 and worked hard to find sponsors and a partner that would be willing to host a day of giving to children.

Officially, they launched Kicks for Kidz and since then, the organization has raised money to make each year’s shopping bigger than the next. Since they launched, Kicks for Kidz raised donations to buy shoes for kids from DFCS. The organization has provided over 450 pairs of shoes.

This year, the challenge doubled.

“This year, we were told that there are over 700 children in the foster care system, and we have taken it upon [ourselves] to raise over $20,000 so we can provide them all shoes before the school year begins,” said Allan.

The day of shopping seeks volunteers to help the children and families shop for new shoes, while Allan encourages the community to help Kicks for Kidz reach its goal for 700 shoes.

“It’s amazing to see the smiles on the kid’s faces when they’re able to pick out a brand new pair of shoes for the school year,” said Allan. “These kids get to start their new school year with a little self-esteem boost, and as a community, we are glad to be a part of that.”

Kicks for Kidz also collects shoes for Lebone Children’s Center in Grahmstown, South Africa.

In other news: Home furnishings retailer, IKEA, provided a home renovation to a local CHRIS Kids group home in metro Atlanta. The nonprofit organization was awarded with a $10,000 makeover after winning IKEA’s Life Improvement Challenge contest. The challenge gave IKEA employees the opportunity to nominate a local charity to win an IKEA makeover of a space that helps to improve the lives of others in the local community. The makeover was given to the CHRIS Kid’s Sherwood girl’s group home in Stone Mountain.

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Who’s doing good?Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at