On Wednesday night, former Texas Rangers players Elliot “Bump” Wills and George Wright joined Buckner North Texas to send 92 children from the Dallas Housing Authority back to school. The event took place at the new Buckner Family Hope Center at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex presented by TOYOTA.
The nearly 100 children received new backpacks, courtesy of Comerica Bank and Buckner International, as well as Comerica piggy banks and coloring books. The backpacks were filled with snacks from Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu's WakWay Foundation, which addresses child hunger in low income and disadvantaged neighborhoods with a focus on nutrition and healthy eating. The Texas Rangers Foundation provided the children with Papa John's pizza and Dasani water, preferred vendors of the Rangers.
A recent 2018 study by Deloitte reports the average US household will spend $510 on school supplies, clothes/uniforms, shoes and technology to send their children back to school. Additional costs include health check-ups, immunization and haircuts.
“Going back to school comes at a significant cost to families, which is why Buckner North Texas is committed to helping alleviate some of the expenses for West Dallas families in need,” said Gabriel Flores, manager of the Buckner Family Hope Center at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy. “There was so much joy in the air as we gave the children new backpacks they can be proud of wearing on their first day of school.”
The goal of Buckner Family Hope Centers is to strengthen families, so their children can stay where they belong – in a strong, loving home. The ministry provides programs designed to engage, equip and elevate families through programs such as family coaching, GED, ESL, computer literacy, job training, an after-school program, and summer programs for children. A multi-national model, Buckner operates Hope Centers across Texas and in six countries.
The Family Hope Center at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex presented by TOYOTA specifically serves families in West Dallas, considered one of the most challenged areas in the Metroplex.
The 92 children supplied with backpacks Wednesday evening are part of the more than 18,000 children worldwide that Buckner International is sending back to school with new supplies, uniforms and shoes.