History

The organization began in 1999 when President Reverend Diane Parrish had a vision to discover a new and exciting way to serve the families of the 51,000 men and women who are incarcerated in Georgia prisons. This number does not include the number of prisoners in federal or city prisons.

Diane tells a story of one weekend when she met three generations of women, all in prison and all from the same family – the grandmother at Washington State Prison, daughter at Pulaski State Prison and the granddaughter at Macon Youth Detention Center. Diane began thinking of the children of the inmates she would visit and the lives these children lead. Government statistics show that 71% of inmates’ children would one day themselves become incarcerated.

Noting that inmates’ children are one of the most overlooked groups in North America, she founded Camp Hope®, a one-week overnight summer camp, to serve this population in the metro-Atlanta area. Camp Hope held its first summer camp in 2000 with only 13 campers.

As the campers grew in age, so did the camp and its programming. The organization expanded to offer year-round programming under the name of kidz2leaders, inc. Camp Hope still serves as the entry-point into these children’s lives.

At the organization’s 15th anniversary, kidz2leaders had served approximately 500 children in the metro-Atlanta area.