By Catie George, Manager, Communications and Storytelling
Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) employees served at Community Does It’s Back to School Festival on Saturday, Aug. 5. DRC employees distributed backpacks and other school supplies at the St. Phillip Catholic Church in Pleasant Grove, a neighborhood in Southern Dallas.
“As an organization, we’re called to give – not only through money but our time,” said Latosha Herron Bruff, the DRC’s Senior Vice President of Inclusion & Community Engagement. “We want to encourage growth in Pleasant Grove.”
The DRC connected with Community Does It through several of the chamber’s Southern Dallas County Vision Tours, which are opportunities to show business leaders the opportunities for meaningful, inclusive economic development in Southern Dallas County.
“The DRC supports our community in as many ways as we can, as often as we can,” said Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the DRC. “Our region benefits from organizations like Community Does It because they help people lead fulfilling lives, and I am proud of the DRC team for investing their energy into the mission of Community Does It.”
Community Does It is a nonprofit organization that seeks to engage and empower members of marginalized populations in Dallas to co-lead initiatives to bring equitable access to quality public health in their own communities. They provide affordable counseling, free educational workshops, support groups, and offer families a rich network of resources to meet foundational needs.
“As our organization grows, so does the commitment we have to our community to make these resources available and accessible to them at no cost. In this, we find many challenges,” said Maria Magdalena Aguirre, Community Resource Officer at Community Does It. “This year, the DRC played a key role in the delivery of essential resources to our community. Our event had a great impact in the community, providing free haircuts, backpacks, school supplies, sports physicals, immunizations, and other resources to more than 400 students and their families.”
Fourteen DRC staff members served at the Saturday event, collectively contributing nearly 30 volunteer hours throughout the day. In addition to volunteering in person, the DRC staff helped contribute to buying and providing school supplies off the organization’s wish list for the event. The impact on the kids, as well as the volunteers, was undeniable.
“The average family spends almost $900 on back-to-school supplies every year. We were able to hand out 355 fully stuffed backpacks to kids, which is a big relief to these families,” said Herron Bruff.
“The DRC staff volunteered to assist the Community Does It team during the event,” said Aguirre. “Their kind gestures and support made part of this event possible. I am forever grateful for their commitment to our community and for their endless support. Community Does It is proud to be partnered to such a great team and institution. We look forward to the future and what our partnership will bring to our community.”