North Texas Giving Day Booster: Dallas Afterschool

Dallas Afterschool*

Dallas Afterschool*

“At Dallas Afterschool, we believe that quality education can change lives, and the world we live in, for the better. That’s a big statement when you really think about it. Quality education has the potential to trigger a series of events and opportunities that lead to individual growth and greater community safety and success.

“But how do we really define education, and what do we expect from it, when students spend only 35 hours per week in a traditional school environment, leaving the other 133 hours left up to interpretation? Here are a few facts that begin to paint the bigger picture:

  • “By the time students reach the 6th grade, middle class kids have likely spent 6,000 more hours learning than kids born into poverty.
  • “From 3-6pm, there are over 100,000 students in Dallas County between the ages of 5-14 left home alone without adult supervision or support. This is more than enough children to fill the AT&T stadium beyond capacity. So….
  • “While middle class students learn to read, create, persist and problem-solve at home and through afterschool and summer experiences, low-income children are more likely to be exposed to crime, unsafe behaviors and miss out on additional learning.
Afterschool students*

Afterschool students*

“As a result, substantial opportunity gaps exist that can’t be closed through traditional schooling alone. These gaps reinforce the cycle of poverty; the further behind our students become today, the more restricted they, and our community, will be in the future. We need quality out of school time programs to bridge these gaps.

Christina Hanger*

Christina Hanger*

“Our vision at Dallas Afterschool is for every family to have access to the quality afterschool and summer programs they want for their children. We were formed in 2007 in response to the study ‘Today’s Children: Tomorrow’s Communities, 2006 After-School Program Assessment,’ which found that there was no unifying agency to facilitate communication, learning or information exchange between afterschool care agencies in Dallas County. Dallas Afterschool promotes, expands, and improves the quality of afterschool and summer programs in low-income neighborhoods in our community.  We provide professional development, coaching and training for program staff based on national best practice standards for quality. Partner sites are given access to a library of innovative hands-on program resources designed to engage students in social, emotional and academic development, helping to bridge the opportunity gap of approximately 9,500 K-12th grade students at our 130 free or low-cost partner sites.  In addition to these services, we also conduct research on the impact of quality out of school time programs on student academic success and social/emotional development.

“We hope that this North Texas Giving Day, you will consider supporting the work we are doing to position our students, and our city, for success today and always. As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary this year, we are more committed than ever to improving quality of existing programs and increasing access to afterschool opportunities for the over 100,000 students left home alone between the hours of 3-6 p.m. On behalf of the Dallas Afterschool family and the over 9,500 students we currently serve, we thank you for your support!”

-By Christina Hanger, Dallas Afterschool CEO

* Graphic and photos provided by Dallas Afterschool


In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Dallas Afterschool by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

According 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Marena and Roger Gault,

“As Chairs of this year’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, along with Honorary Chair

Sherwood Wagner and Marena and Roger Gault (File photo)

Sherwood Wagner and Marena and Roger Gault (File photo)

Sherwood Wagner, we invite you to play your part on Friday, September 16 by purchasing a gala table or concert and After-Party tickets. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala kicks off the social season, and this year features world-renowned pianist Lang Lang along with our fantastic Dallas Symphony Orchestra and heralded maestro Jaap van Zweden.

Jaap van Zweden*

Jaap van Zweden*

“As one of the largest fundraisers for the Dallas Symphony, the Gala supports the DSO’s three goals: Creating Music, Enriching Lives and Advancing Dallas.

“The DSO regularly makes beautiful music both at the Meyerson Symphony Center and beyond. Every concert spotlights the superb talent of our musicians and entertains audiences each week. The DSO provides patrons with ways to enjoy music including DSO on the GO, which brings the full orchestra to neighborhoods around the Metroplex. ReMix, a casual, intimate concert series at Dallas City Performance Hall which gets audiences up close and personal with the orchestra. Parks Concerts in partnership with the City of Dallas have entertained neighbors and families for decades. This is all in addition to the classical music and terrific pops programs we all know and love. The DSO is committed to breaking down barriers to classical music so everyone can enjoy all it has to offer.

“But the DSO knows that they are more than a performing organization, and has a responsibility to serve its community. The DSO’s education programs brings classical music and music appreciation into schools, and the Young Strings program provides music instrument instruction to children as young as 6, free of charge. New programs such as the My DSO Concert, specially designed for audience members with developmental disabilities, allow the DSO to share music with more members of our community and make a difference in people’s lives.

“Our city is growing at a rapid pace, attracting new businesses and industries that are enhancing all of North Texas, and a strong cultural scene, and especially a strong orchestra, go hand-in-hand with a thriving city. Educated and skilled workforces continue to move to Dallas due to the quality of life that our cultural offerings provide. The Dallas Symphony’s international reputation are part of what attracts people when relocating their corporations. It makes Dallas an exciting place to live and work.

“We hope you will join us at the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Table and ticket sales are open, and we’re pacing ahead of schedule, so don’t miss out! With your support, we can make this a record year and provide strong funding and foundation for the DSO to continue its mission to make beautiful music and important strides for future generations.”

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

JUST IN: More Than 4,000 In-Need Dallas Kids Start The 2016-2017 School Year In Great Shape Thanks To CPD And DCAC

Since SMU is now officially back in session, the Bed Bath and Beyond staff has been in recovery mode. Seems the place was busting as parents and their collegiate kids shopped for dorm room necessities. As for the Office Depot team, they’re still under siege as area students and their folks are buying everything from pens to binders.

Community Partners of Dallas' Back-To-School 2016*

Community Partners of Dallas’ Back-To-School 2016*

One group that is taking a deep breath is Community Partners of Dallas (CPD). As part of their 23rd Annual Back-To-School drive, they surpassed their goal of providing more than 3,100 Dallas public school students with uniforms and supply-laden backpacks.

In addition to FFA’s kick-off contribution, The Container Store really gave a helping hand by raising $57,000 for the program. Remember that for each dollar donated, CPD was able to buy $5 worth of supplies and uniforms. Translation: The Container Store’s contribution resulted in supplies and uniforms worth a comfy six figure.

Dallas Children's Advocacy Center's Back To School**

Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Back To School**

Thanks to CPD and the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC), more than 4,000 in-need kids started the 2016-2017 school year in stellar condition. Both were record breaker campaigns!

Pats on the back for CPD, DCAC and all the individuals and companies that came together for the children.

* Graphic provided by Community Partners of Dallas 
** Graphic provided by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Harvest

John and Mary Martha Pickens (File photo)

John and Mary Martha Pickens (File photo)

According to Harvest Co-Chair Mary Martha Pickens,

“On Thursday, September 15, the North Texas Food Bank will host its third annual Harvest, a moveable feast that features some of Dallas’ best chefs dishing out delectable bites and craft cocktails in the open air Shed at the Dallas Farmers Market. In addition to farm-to-table fare, this year’s event will feature great music, as well as one-of -a-kind auction items. Harvest truly is a wonderful event that benefits a worthy cause: helping fight food insecurity among children and seniors right here in North Texas.

Loyd and Michal Powell (File photo)

Loyd and Michal Powell (File photo)

“I have supported the NTFB for many years now, so when Jan Pruitt asked me if John and I would chair Harvest this year, alongside Honorary C0Chairs Michal and Loyd Powell,  I eagerly said yes, knowing that this effort would help put food on the table for people in need.

“My heart aches to think that somewhere here in North Texas, a child or a senior is going hungry.  Sadly that is the reality for one out of every four kids here in North Texas. These boys and girls don’t have access to the healthy foods they need to grow and thrive. Our seniors are also not immune to hunger, and often, a limited income makes it challenging to put healthy foods on the table. Many of the seniors served by the NTFB report having to choose between paying for foods or purchasing their medication.

“I know that MSC readers want to make a difference, especially when it involves celebrating a worthy cause among friends. To that end, I invite each of you to visit to purchase tickets for this event. We are lucky to have a strong Host Committee for 2016, along with an auction committee, led by past Harvest chair and NTFB Board Member, Nancy Gopez.

“Harvest is shaping up to be THE event of the fall. On behalf of the North Texas Food Bank, we can’t wait to see you there!”

2016 North Texas Giving Day Booster Series Starts Tomorrow…

North Texas Giving Day*

“For the past seven years, our community has come together for 18 hours in September to celebrate the amazing nonprofits that fuel North Texas. North Texas Giving Day started in 2009 with 345 nonprofits. That year, the community raised an impressive $4 million. Since then, the day has grown exponentially, pumping more than $119 million […]

North Texas Giving Day Booster Series Returns…

North Texas Giving Day*

There were some who wondered if the departure of Communities Foundation of Texas CEO Brent Christopher spelled the demise of North Texas Giving Day. Oh, please! The CFT staff has been in overdrive to make this year’s tsunami of fundraising even bigger than ever. That’s a toughie because last year “$33M was raised through more […]

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Behind Every Door’s Bowl-A-Rama…

Behind Every Door's Bowl-A-Rama*

According to Behind Every Door’s Bowl-A-Rama Co-Chair/Board Member/volunteer Lori Turpin, “Behind Every Door Ministries is hosting its Bowl-A-Rama on Sunday, September 18, at Bowl and Barrel. In addition to fun, food and football watching, this year’s event will include two bowling tournaments (one for families with children), open bowl, a silent auction, and a raffle. […]

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Dallas Can Academies Cares For Kids Golf Classic…

According to Dallas Can Academies Cares For Kids Golf Classic Host Committee Member Steve Dennis, “The 2016 Dallas Can Academies Cares for Kids Golf Classic is on track to be our most attended and most successful golf tournament to date. This event comes at a time where the importance of education has been pushed to […]

A Gentle Reminder: Monday Officially Kicks Off Back-To-School And Rainy Day Reminders…

Mother Nature's tears (File photo)

Oh, goodness gracious! Traffic delays are on the menu for Monday. The reason: school officially is back in session and drop-off and pick-up lines plus absolutely no cellphone activity allowed are taking place. BTW, weather guessers are saying that an added challenge might be the first day of school being a wet one. So, rain […]

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Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Announcement Reception Didn’t Need Gas To Fuel The…

Sherwood Wagner and Marena Gault

Announcement receptions can be “Oh, we already knew that” for the guests. But the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala announcement on Monday, August 1, boded more ho-hum with loads of folks still on summer hiatus. Gee, you couldn’t blame ‘em as the temps were moving comfortably into the three-digit range. Ah, but then this wasn’t […]

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Helping Our Heroes…

Travis Wilson and Michael Marasco*

According to Helping Our Heroes Event Co-Chairs Michael Marasco and Travis Wilson, “Helping Our Heroes is a local organization with a vision to help those who serve so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms of living in the greatest country on Earth. We honor heroes from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast […]

The Resource Center’s 8th Annual 5 Factor Honorees Revealed…

Steve Kemble (File photo)

The Resource Center has released the names of the five honorees, who will be celebrated at the 8th Annual 5 Factor on Friday, September 23, at 7 for Parties. Drum roll, please. The five, “who have been valuable partners of the Center and community,” are: Community — Christine Bengston of Caven Enterprises Culinary — Culinaire […]

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Kara Axley Finds A Match…

Lela Rose (File photo)

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Fashion Show Chair Kara Axley is having a real relationship with Highland Park Village merchants. The matchmaker is fashion-loving producer Jan Strimple. To have the most marvy fashions on the runway at Brook Hollow on Tuesday, October 4, the following HPV merchants will be showcasing the fall fashions: Akris, Alice+Olivia, […]

Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep Held Its Draft Day With Mayor Mike, Mav Maniacs And Media…

Mike Gruber, Mike Doocy, Gunnar Rawlings and Edward Egros*

Despite being the busiest man in North Texas, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings once again was on the spot to promote education at the Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep Draft Day on Friday, July 29. Unlike last year when he had to video his comments, Mayor Mike was in person along with other well-known types. Here’s […]