More than 620 Goodwill Dallas supporters gathered Oct. 13 for its largest fundraiser of the year, The Lunch.
Presented by JP Morgan Chase, the event featured Texas native and former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The event broke a fundraising record for the nonprofit by raising $1.68 million to help continue the organization’s mission to help North Texas residents by building purpose and self-sufficiency through job skills training and placement.
“We are truly grateful for the overwhelming response The Lunch received from supporters all across Dallas,” Goodwill Dallas president and CEO Tim Heis said. “Once again, our community has shown its exceptional generosity which empowers us to continue our mission of transforming lives by providing opportunities for individuals when other doors have been closed to them.”
The fundraiser provided an opportunity for sports fans and philanthropists alike to hear from championship quarterback Drew Brees on the importance of investing in the DFW community.
“It’s about creating this cycle and environment of success. So much of what people need in life is for someone to believe in them,” Brees said at The Lunch when asked about his best advice for the leaders of Goodwill.
An employee spotlight allowed attendees to see the impact of Goodwill Dallas’ mission. Goodwill Dallas post retail and salvage manager Travita Parker described to the audience how the organization gave her an opportunity to make a living and develop her job skills after exiting prison.
“We were honored to have both Travita Parker and Drew Brees share their experiences with us at the event,” The Lunch co-chair Julie Durham Rado said. “Travita taught us how much a single opportunity for employment can mean to an individual and their entire family, and Brees reminded us that supporting others in their journey to achieve their goals is what teamwork — or community, in our case — is all about.”
Since its start in 2015, The Lunch has featured names including President George W. Bush, Peyton Manning, Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, and Dr. Condoleezza Rice and has raised more than $11 million for the nonprofit’s Workforce Development Programs which has provided individualized career services for the DFW community. The event has assisted more than 16,000 North Texans on their professional journeys.