Helping equip needy students has become an annual back-to-school tradition for Pat and Emmitt Smith, Dallas ISD, and other partners.
“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,” Pat Smith said. “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.”
(ABOVE: Fashion show participants gather for a group shot. Courtesy photo)
This year Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities gathered 3,000 elementary school student at the Ellis Davis Field House. Students received free uniforms, dental screenings and services, vision screenings and free glasses, age-appropriate literature to encourage reading at home, school supplies, backpacks, and groceries.
“Stay focused and stay around positive people who care for you,” Emmitt Smith told 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.
“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,” he said.