Each year, thousands of North Texas families in need struggle to provide adequate clothing, supplies and medical coverage for their children. On Friday, August 24, Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities gathered 3000 students from seven high need Dallas ISD elementary schools to the Ellis Davis Field House for a back to school experience that included free uniforms from title sponsor, JCPenney, dental screenings and services from DECA Dental; vision screenings and free glasses from Essilor Vision, age-appropriate literature to encourage reading at home from KPMG; and Albertsons/Tom Thumb provided all students school supplies, a new backpack and a bag of groceries to take home.
“Five years ago, two amazing boys wrote to ask Emmitt and I to match the $300 they had earned by doing summer chores, to help some classmates who were being teased because their uniforms and shoes were worn and tattered,” said Pat Smith. “We knew we could do better than that, so we partnered with Dallas ISD to aid as many students as we could who were in financial need. That first year, we helped 400 students. Today’s Back to School experience is now hosted annually in partnership with Dallas ISD and key Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities partners. We are so thrilled that this year we will touch 3000 students and help them start the school year off the right way - feeling confident and ready so that they can focus on learning.”
Students from Herbert Marcus Elementary, John Q. Adams Elementary, J.N. Ervin Elementary, Umphrey Lee Elementary, James Bowie Elementary, Tom Field Elementary, and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary Center begin their back to school experience, led by hundreds of volunteers from JCPenney, Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities back to school premier sponsor and Vehicle Partner - Toyota, Essilor Vision Foundation, Haggar Clothing Co., HKS and Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities Creative Partner- Axxess, by rotating through a variety of stations created to provide them with services needed for a successful school year and make them feel special. Misty Tippen, Corporate Communications Senior Manager at JCPenney, emceed a fashion show featuring students from each of the benefiting elementary schools who modeled IZOD® uniforms being donated to the schools by JCPenney.
From the podium, Emmitt Smith spoke to students, "Stay focused and stay around positive people who care for you. The principals, teachers, volunteers and sponsors who are here today have shown up because we believe in each and every one of you, we believe that you deserve to start the school year off right and we want you to know that each one of you is special and has unique talents." Entertainment for students was provided by Rock-T with The Ricky Smiley Morning Show, DJ Astronaut, the David W. Carter High School Band, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and mascot, Rowdy and an arts and crafts station hosted by Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities Creative Partner, Axxess and IKEA. Uniform delivery services were led by Two Men and Truck.