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Back Row: Aaron Daffern, Early Learning Manager for Programs and Partnerships, DISD; C’Mone Wingo, a Founder and Member of the Board of Directors, Dallas Magnolias; Christina Szarzynski, Early Learning Instructional Specialist lead, DISD; Judy Castro and Monica Aguilar: Early Learning Instructional Specialists, DISD; Carla Russo, a Founder and Member of the Board of Directors, Dallas Magnolias; Jesus Camposeco, Early Learning Instructional Specialist lead. Front Row: Founders and Members of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Magnolias: Kunthear Mam-Douglas, Empress Gilbert, Regina Bruce, Chair, Back to School; Tammany Stern.

The Dallas Magnolias, a group of community volunteers and business leaders, conducted their first-ever back-to-school drive raising funds to purchase over 11,000 items and fill over 300 backpacks full of school supplies and more which were dropped off at the Dallas Police Association in time for the start of school to benefit homeless and underserved children Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd Grade in need at the David G. Burnet Elementary School and the Lee A. McShan Elementary School in Dallas.

After the presentations and remarks were made, Firehouse Movers and representatives from the Empressive Earth Gallery loaded the trucks and delivered the school supplies to DISD.

 Regina Bruce, a Founding Board Member of the Dallas Magnolias and chair of the event said, “In these unprecedented times, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Dallas Police Association and Dallas ISD.  I think we can all agree that we want our kids to succeed, and to do that, they need a strong start to the school year with essential supplies.  That’s exactly what the stuffed backpacks do, but many families simply cannot afford to buy them!  This year, in addition to the basics, this need also includes providing them with earbuds for virtual learning, if necessary.”

Joining the Dallas Magnolias were Jaime Castro, Vice President, Dallas Police Association, who partnered with the Dallas Magnolias and helped arrange the event; Cara Mendelsohn, Dallas City Council District 12 and an avid supporter of education; DISD Leadership: Aaron Daffern, Early Learning Manager for Programs and Partnerships; Jesus Camposeco, Christina Szarzynski, Latriece Spires: Early Learning Instructional Specialist leads along with Judy Castro and Monica Aguilar: Early Learning Instructional Specialists. 

Regina continued, “Education does not stop because of Covid-19 and caring and nurturing does not stop, either.  As Dallas Magnolias, we love that we got to give back in this special way and show some kindness and compassion, especially after everything that is going on related to this pandemic.  We hope to have more opportunities in the near future to support children and their educations.”

Other Founding Board Members of the Dallas Magnolias also attended, including spokesperson C’Mone Wingo, Tammany Stern, Kunthear Mam-Douglas, Empress Gilbert, Tricia Sims and Carla Russo.  Several other members of the Dallas Magnolias were also present.

Dallas Magnolias inspire, motivate, and support women in the workplace, home and through philanthropic causes. For more information, visit the website at www.DallasMagnolias.org Instagram @dallasmagnolias and Facebook @DallasMagnolias.

* Photos by Danny Campbell

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