Kids in the DMV are heading back to school and the Washington Football Team wants to make sure they have everything they need for a successful year.
"It's a really good effect on the community," said former Washington tight end Fred Davis, "because there's a lot of kids who are unfortunate that don't have that chance to have that kind of stuff for school."
The Washington Football Charitable Foundation hosted 1,000 kids at FedExField on Aug. 13 for its seventh annual Back to School Fair and provided them with essential school supplies like backpacks, uniforms and several other services. The goal, as it has been since 2015, is to provide low-income children with a central place to be completely prepared for the upcoming school year.
"We know that this is a really critical time for families coming out of [COVID-19] and still grappling with the pandemic," said Senior Vice President of External Engagement and Communication Julie Jensen. "And we wanted to do our part to give back to our community and make sure our kids feel safe and prepared to go back to school this fall."
Washington Football Team co-owner and co-CEO Tanya Snyder was also in attendance, along with several alumni, including Davis, Fred Smoot, Ken Harvey and others. Mrs. Snyder took time to meet with community partners involved in the event, while alumni helped pass out supplies and resources to participants.
The kids, who ranged from first to fifth grade, left FedExField with bags full of materials preparing them for the school year, including a school supply kit that contained items such as pencils, folders, notebooks, markers, pens and crayons. They also received a polo; a Good Sports Play Pack that contained a variety of outdoor toys and sporting equipment; one "Build-A-Bear" teddy bear; a Safeway snack kit and a book focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.
And on top of being armed with the right supplies, kids received vision and dental screenings as well as haircuts to make sure they looked and felt their best for their first day of school.
Since 2015, the Washington Football Charitable Foundation has provided nearly 5,000 brand new backpacks, school supply kits and additional resources to students across the region through their partnerships with organizations like Safeway, theCUT, Heart of America, Good Sports, Build-A-Bear Workshop, UWNCA, PepsiCo, TeamSmile, Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington and more.
Davis knows what it's like to go to school without some of those essential supplies, so he appreciates that Washington is investing its time and energy in making sure kids are ready to learn.
"To see something like this is really awesome," Davis said. "It's really fun to be a part of it."