Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC), a unique organization committed to improving the lives of abused children, donates backpacks to families who have experienced trauma each year. The backpacks are filled with age-appropriate school items and distributed to children in Dallas County, Texas to help them have the best possible start to the school year.
“Providing school supplies not only enables the caregiver to think about one less thing in getting kiddos ready for school, but it also helps kids feel like they have a new opportunity, a new way to start the school year, which is how we want them to look at continuing their life after trauma,” said Murphey Sears, Chief Development Officer at DCAC.
When DCAC needed additional resources to distribute backpacks in 2020, they contacted Suddath®, a leading global transportation, relocation management and logistics company. As a two-time sponsor for DCAC’s Aim for Advocacy event, which raises funds for the organization, Suddath has been a trusted partner for the advocacy center for years. Suddath’s Dallas-Fort Worth team was happy to provide a truck, professional commercial movers and additional resources to make the process easier for the non-profit.
We distributed hundreds of backpacks to kiddos, and we would not have had those backpacks at our center were it not for Suddath helping us.Murphey Sears, Chief Development Officer at DCAC
“When we got the call, we didn’t hesitate to say yes,” Mike Torres, Suddath Workplace Solutions sales executive said. “We were delighted to help an organization that gives back to our community. At Suddath, we have facilities around the nation, and we consider it our duty to care and support each community.”
“The truck showed up with some fantastic men who helped us move all the backpacks. It was over 800 backpacks…full of school supplies,” Sears said. “They helped us move all the backpacks, load them all into the truck, drove to our center [and] helped unload all of it. It would not have been as swift if we had done it by ourselves. We are so incredibly grateful. The partnership saved us the expense of having to rent a truck, the expense of manpower and really it saved us incredible time.”
The school supplies are typically distributed at DCAC’s training center, where families come together to enjoy a bookfair and pick up student’s backpacks. However, in 2020 the organization had to adjust the distribution process to be socially distant due to the pandemic. They set up a drive-through system that allowed caretakers to pick up backpacks from their cars, helping keep everyone safer.
Through the backpack drive, DCAC provides school supplies not only for students being treated at the center, but their siblings as well. It’s part of their philosophy to treat the entire family.
“We do that for the whole family because we truly treat and provide services to the family as a unit. If we were treating the child in a vacuum without providing resources to the parents and siblings, they might return to a chaotic home, so they might not be able to bridge trust with that caregiver,” Sears said. “They might not be able to have the mechanisms to feel safe if we don’t provide those mechanisms as well to the caregivers and so that’s why we would provide backpacks to the entire family.”
Words can’t express the gratitude that we have for our partners in our community who really step up in a way where they provide their own professional skills and talents in order to help abused children.Murphey Sears, Chief Development Officer at DCAC
The backpack distribution is just one of many ways that DCAC helps children and families who have experienced trauma. The organization partners with almost 40 different agencies in Dallas County to create a multi-disciplinary team who are first responders when a case of child abuse occurs. DCAC provides community education and training to over 100,000 individuals on a yearly basis to help people recognize and report abuse, as well as offers events throughout the year to directly support children of abuse.
“We deal with kids who have experienced trauma in the form of child abuse, [and] in the form of physical and sexual abuse. We provide everything at the onset of the investigation to our forensic interviews all the way to the healing services with our expert level therapists who provide trauma informed therapeutic practices to help the children heal,” Sears said.
Sears said the organization is grateful for partners like Suddath that help DCAC make a positive impact in children’s lives every day.
“I think it’s an incredibly powerful statement when a corporation will partner with DCAC because I think it says, we align with your mission. It tells other community members where their values are—that their values are in saving the lives and helping the lives of abused children in Dallas County.”