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Southlake Carroll High School student Destiny Rose has a special place in her heart for South Dallas.
Since she was 10 years old, she has volunteered with Darla Shirley’s Youth World, a South Dallas organization that feeds at-risk children, helps them with their homework, stuffs their backpacks with school supplies and makes sure they have Christmas gifts.
What was needed were more meals at Thanksgiving for the children and their families.
So last year when Rose, now 16, became frustrated with the pomp and circumstance and the expense of the annual Homecoming Game festivities, she decided a better use of the money was to buy turkey and fixings for Thanksgiving dinners across South Dallas.
She persuaded her boyfriend, and her best friend and her date to join in. The girls gave up wearing the traditional mums on expensive dresses for the Homecoming Dance to wear T-shirts that promoted Youth World and its work.
To her surprise, at the dance, Destiny and her friends were a hit.
“People were very interested,” she said. “I realized that more people might do this.”
Thus was born Mumz4Kidz, a nonprofit that raises awareness and money about the need to help others less fortunate.
So far this year, not only are the students of Southlake Carroll supporting Mumz4Kids, but several more high schools have joined in Rose’s Homecoming Challenge. Last year, the students were able to buy Thanksgiving dinners for 16 families. This year, Mumz4Kidz has raised more than $13,000 and will be feeding more than 300 families.
“People I don’t even know were wearing the T-shirts,” Rose said. “That was way above my expectations.”
Other schools participating include ones in Colleyville, Trophy Club, Flower Mound, Forney, Coppell, Argyle, Westlake, Haltom City, Justin and Birdville Independent School District. Go to mumz4kids.com to participate.
On the website, Rose puts the goal succinctly: “How exciting is it to think about how this generation could be known as the Generation of Change, of Selflessness, and of Courage? An immense number of young people are questioning their duty on Earth. Maybe, just maybe, this is the first step.”