TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is temporarily reopening its Clothes for Kids assistance program to help thousands of Cherokee youth who missed the initial deadline or whose citizenship application was processed after the initial deadline.
The Cherokee Nation Clothes for Kids assistance program is providing $150 in clothing assistance for every qualifying Cherokee child regardless of age, residency or income. This year marks the first time the program has been available to children under the age of 5 and not enrolled in school. It was also expanded to include young college and career tech students up to age 22.
Applications will be reopened beginning Monday, Aug. 15 at 8 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29 on the tribe’s online Gadugi Portal at https://gadugiportal.cherokee.org. Applicants must be an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation as of Aug. 15, 2022.
“Payments for the more than 66,000 Cherokee youth who applied for the Clothes for Kids program in July have already begun, helping Cherokee families purchase new clothes in time for a new school year,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This is already the largest clothing assistance program in Cherokee history, and by temporarily reopening the application process to youth who were unable to apply by the initial July deadline, Cherokee Nation will be able to help thousands more youth with new school clothes in the coming weeks.”
This year’s clothing assistance program makes the third consecutive year the tribe has provided funds regardless of income or residency.
To qualify, applicants must be a Cherokee citizen from birth, up to age 18 if enrolled in high school or up to age 22 if enrolled in college or career tech. Proof of high school, college or career tech enrollment will be required for those ages 18-22.
“The last thing our Cherokee youth should be worried about this time of year is clothing,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “We’re proud that the Cherokee Nation has been blessed with the ability to reopen this program for a few weeks to allow many, many more Cherokee families the opportunity to apply for this program. Working together through programs like this is how we continue to put an emphasis on our communities, our families and our culture.”
Applications for the assistance program must be complete when submitted on the Gadugi Portal. Processing of applications containing incomplete or incorrect information may be delayed, and applicants may be contacted after the deadline for additional documentation or clarification.
The clothing assistance program utilizes federal funding under the America Recovery Plan Act as part of Cherokee Nation’s COVID-19 Respond, Recover and Rebuild plan. The tribe will budget approximately $13 million for this year’s clothing assistance program.
Since 2020, the Cherokee Nation Respond, Recover and Rebuild plan has committed more than $750 million in direct financial assistance to Cherokee citizens through a variety of programs.
Clothing assistance payments may be made electronically or by paper check after the application has been verified.