Join the Club: For the Kids at Georgia Tech
Get to know more about the largest philanthropic organization at Georgia Tech
For the Kids at Georgia Tech raises money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network, specifically Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This weekend, the group hosts its biggest event of the year, and the entire campus community is invited.
Dance Marathon is an all-day event that raises money and celebrates Children’s Miracle Network. This year’s event starts Saturday, March 4, at noon in the Student Center Ballroom. Students, faculty, and staff can attend some or all of the event, which lasts until 10 p.m.
Each year, Children’s Miracle Network hospitals provide millions of dollars of unreimbursed medical care to families in need. For the Kids at Georgia Tech aims to help with these expenses and make life better for all the “miracle” children undergoing medical treatment for health conditions ranging from broken bones to birth defects.
“For the Kids is dedicated to serving Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and hopes to empower Georgia Tech students to get involved and give back to their community,” said Louise Goacher, a fourth-year industrial design major and For the Kids’ director of marketing.
At Dance Marathon, participants can dance, meet miracle children and their families, eat, and play games. There will also be performances by Tech’s acapella groups, Sympathetic Vibrations and Nothin’ But Treble. The event will be emceed by Tech students Shane Mudrinich and Sammy Eastwood.
Students can register for Dance Marathon here. The cost is $20 and includes a T-shirt and two meals, with proceeds benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Miracle Network. Students can also register at the event using Venmo or BuzzCards.
When registering, students can sign up with an organization they are part of or as individuals. At the event, all participants will be divided into teams regardless of their affiliated organization. During Dance Marathon, teams will participate in games and competitions together.
The event culminates with an announcement of the total amount raised. This year, For the Kids hopes to raise $200,000, nearly twice what it raised two years ago. Goacher has fond memories of “flipping the one” that year.
“At the Dance Marathon held in 2015, our fundraising goal was $100,000,” she said. “The hour before the end of the event, we reached our goal. By the end of the marathon we had raised $105,000. It was great to see everyone show their support.”
The funds raised this year are specifically going to support Child Life Services at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. These services are not covered by insurance but can help improve a patient’s experience. Some examples include pain management therapy, family psychiatric support, therapy dogs, and play areas.
Goacher encourages students to stop by Dance Marathon, even if they may not plan to stay the entire day.
“It’s easy for students to focus on themselves, but For the Kids has allowed me to give back,” Goacher said. “It has shown me that there’s more than just grades and school. I love seeing other students make the same realization at Dance Marathon.”
Members of For the Kids spend the year fundraising, planning events, and working with children undergoing medical treatment at local hospitals. The group plans various internal and external events including tabling on Tech Walkway, hospital parties, activities with miracle kids and their families, and Dance Marathon.
“In high school, I participated in charitable organizations helping children,” Goacher said. “When I got to Tech, I was introduced to For the Kids and I found that it was a great organization for my passions. It allowed me to pursue my philanthropic interests while working with kids.”
Students can get more involved with For the Kids at Georgia Tech and help with future events through the group’s Facebook page. The club will begin accepting new members in the fall.