In May 2012, the Kids2Carolina program was launched on the UNC fan website, with the thought of a few people maybe donating $10 here or a few tickets there, but to Cody Thompson’s surprise the response was overwhelming.  IC posters were ecstatic at the thought of someone independent of the university trying to fill the stadium, but more importantly at the idea of a great cause and where this idea could go.  The initial response was donations totaling in the range of $8,500 and also more than 825 tickets to UNC athletic events!  Wow, again much more than he had ever imagined.  

Now that the ball started rolling, Kids2Carolina quickly became an incorporated not-for-profit organization based in Chapel Hill and run largely through the time and efforts of volunteers like Thompson. Volunteers have helped to develop and launch a website ( and to connect the group with organizations that are willing to help and promote Kids2Carolina.  At this time we have had three events already (Elon, Idaho and Maryland Football games) that have been held at Mt Carmel Baptist Church where we provide breakfast for the children and their chaperones, videos of Carolina Football highlights throughout the season, and a guest speaker to talk to the kids about the value of an education and being a person of integrity and high character. “The experience of organizing Kids2Carolina truly has been a coming together of some great people with the goal of promoting the program and helping kids,” Thompson said. “It’s been great fun and an honor working with these people.”

Other donors and volunteers with the program agree with Thompson and have been eager to give their time, money and tickets to the program that have been able to send over 1,400 children to UNC Football games this Fall to cheer on the Tar Heels.  Those folks consist of, but are not limited to, Barrett Freeman (VP/ Director of Operations) who has been Cody’s right hand man in the operations of this charity and game day operations, the great people of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, the Thompson Family, myself (Director of Development), and providing the food for our events is John “Bear” Childress of The BBQ Joint. Thank you for everything! (For those that I’m missing my apologies and you know that your efforts are always appreciated!!)

Our mission is going to continue to grow and with the determination and passion we have for this cause we are looking forward to a bright future for Kids2Carolina and expanding our program down the road.  There are still too many kids out there with no direction, no guidance and no goals set for themselves and we think that at Kids2Carolina we can help be a part of that solution!!

Wrapping up this month’s Non-Profit of the month Spotlight I wanted to provide to you more information about how you can contribute to this cause either by volunteering at an upcoming event, liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter, or donating your tickets or through a monetary donation.  Please help those less fortunate than you this Holiday season experience a Tar Heel basketball game or other UNC athletic events TBD.  Thank you and Happy Holidays!!


 “I loved going to UNC games when I was a kid and did everything that I could to make sure I could make the next one on the calendar. Kids2Carolina has the same mentality, giving kids the opportunity to see a live collegiate sporting event when they normally would not have that chance. Allowing these kids to see and experience the atmosphere of a college campus first hand hopefully will encourage them to stay on top of their schoolwork and strive to continue their education to higher levels,” said Joey Hoying, UNC class of 2003 – Social Media Manager Kids2Carolina

“Kids 2 Carolina is a subliminal educational experience about a young person walking across UNC’s campus for the very first time and an educational light bulb goes off and they say to themselves: ‘Hey I kind of like this college scene.’” said Bill Ipock who graduated from Carolina in 1971 and is now a football season ticket holder and donor to the program.

“I am so excited about Kids2Carolina and the opportunity it offers kids. The program brings back some great memories,” said Eddie West an alumnus of UNC. “Years ago when I was a UNC student, I had a couple of unused tickets. As I was about to enter Kenan Stadium, there were two young boys standing just outside the fence looking in. I gave them my extras and the looks on their faces made it worth it all. This program is doing that kind of thing in such a big way.”


If you are passionate about a non-profit in our local community or work for a charity that you would like to bring attention to in our column, please contact me at or (919) 240-6037. I would love to hear from you and learn more about your charity/non-profit.