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By Alicia Couch Payne

  Backpacks from the Horns of Hope School Supply Drive being wheeled into Lanier High School.  Photo credit: Amy Nicole
Backpacks from the Horns of Hope School Supply Drive being wheeled into Lanier High School.  Photo credit: Amy Nicole

Often our neighbors may seem to have everything they need…. that is at least on the surface. More often than not, the struggles of those around us are never seen or heard. There may be needs that neighbors do not feel comfortable telling anyone about.  So this results in schools often being the first to learn of families’ financial hardships and needs.

A desire to help those in our community with unspoken needs led Amy Nicole, a Sugar Hill resident, to start the organization Horns of Hope.  Horns of Hope is dedicated to helping children and their families in Gwinnett County School System’s Lanier Cluster. This cluster includes Lanier High School, Lanier Middle School, Sycamore Elementary, White Oak Elementary, and Sugar Hill Elementary.

Amy has always loved helping others and learned of these quiet but essential needs growing within the Sugar Hill community.  It is expensive to live in this particular cluster, and many times leaves no room for things like glasses, book bags, or a nice Christmas dinner.  

Horns of Hope works with the Lanier Cluster’s school counselors to find out the needs of the children and families they serve.  The two major initiatives of the organization are to provide families in need with backpacks for their students and a real Christmas dinner.  Horns of Hope has also stepped up and offered other specific items that counselors have asked requested to help a child under their care. Many requests have been for simple but essential items, such as glasses and shoes.  While these small things may be easy for many to provide, often they are not for those living paycheck to paycheck. Frequently paying bills and providing necessities will use an entire paycheck, leaving no room for little Annie’s glasses or another pair of shoes for a quickly growing Bobby.  Horns of Hope steps in and provides the glasses for Annie and shoes for Bobby, renewing a family’s hope.

For the first time, Horns of Hope provided backpacks to kids in the Lanier Cluster.  They collected backpacks and school supplies at events held by the City of Sugar Hill and received enough backpacks to provide one for every student in need at Lanier High School.  Once distributed, ten backpacks were remaining and were given to Lanier Middle School students in need. Amy and a group of volunteers have been busy stuffing those backpacks with supplies at her business, Muze Salon Suites.

Amy Nicole was able to drop off the fully stuffed backpacks at Lanier High School and Lanier Middle School this past Thursday.  Staff at the schools were appreciative, and without a doubt, the backpacks provided relief for struggling students and their family.

Horns of Hope will soon hold fundraisers to raise money for their upcoming Christmas meals program, as well as to provide scientific calculators to the students who received backpacks. The organization plans to have a booth at Sugar Hill’s annual Sugar Rush Festival, where they will sell items to raise money for these two types of assistance. Horns of Hope would love for the community to stop by and see them when attending the festival.

If anyone would like to donate to this organization and help provide for those additional donation events, as well as any need that may arise during the school year, please donate by going to  To follow Horns of Hope and their service to our community or volunteer with them in our community, please check them out on Facebook at


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