13th Annual Christmas in the Park Brings Joy & Hope to Thousands of South Dallas Families

S.M. Wright Foundation Provides Christmas Cheer and Help to Those in Need at Dallas' Largest Holiday Charity Event

December 17, 2011 - The S.M. Wright Foundation today held its 13th Annual Christmas in the Park event at the Automobile Building at Fair Park. An estimated 35,000 Southern Dallas parents, kids and grandchildren participated in this year's event.

Each family attending received a hot meal, groceries and household items including furniture and clothing. One thousand underprivileged kids went home with new bikes and thousands more went home with new toys.

New this year, TOMS, known as the One for One™ company based in Santa Monica, CA, provided children's shoes.

"As a company, we put a lot of focus on the needs in developing nations, but we also realize there is great need right here in America," said Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS. "It is truly a blessing to provide shoes to in-need kids right here in my hometown state."

Originally from Arlington, TX, Mycoskie was eager to assist the S.M. Wright Foundation in providing support and stability to inner-city underprivileged children in the Southern Dallas community.

Also new this year, 4,000 children went home with books. As part of the Foundation's Beds for Needy Kids program, 200 children also received new twin bed sets thanks to a donation by Dallas-based Sleep Experts.

"Thousands of children in Southern Dallas do not have beds," said Christine Cook, President and CEO of Sleep Experts. "Instead, they are sleeping on cold, hard floors or on worn, threadbare couches. Through the Beds for Needy Kids program, we will continue to give children the gift of sleep."

"Christmas in the Park is Dallas' largest holiday charity event," said S.M. Wright II, President & CEO of the S.M. Wright Foundation. "With the help of over 800 volunteers we were able to bring Christmas cheer to thousands of Southern Dallas families."

Volunteers included Dallas civic and business leaders like Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins, Christine Cook, CEO of Sleep Experts, and Ray Washburne, CEO of Charter Holdings and Co-founder of M Crowd Restaurant Group.

About Christmas in the Park
As Dallas' largest holiday charity event, Christmas in the Park provides southern Dallas families with everything from a hot meal to basic necessities like clothes and household items to bikes and toys to help make a child's Christmas wish come true. Run by the S.M. Wright Foundation, this annual event has grown from serving less than 200 underprivileged kids in 1998 to over 30,000 residents last year. An estimated 35,000 Southern Dallas residents attended this year's event at the Automobile Building at Fair Park. For more information on the event or to donate visit www.christmasatfairpark.com.

About the S.M. Wright Foundation
For more than 13 years, the S.M. Wright Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Debra Wright, wife of the late S.M. Wright, one of Dallas' greatest civic leaders, provides support and stability to inner-city, underprivileged children and less fortunate families in southern Dallas through the areas of hunger relief, educational excellence, health, social service assistance and economic empowerment. For more information visit www.smwrightfoundation.org.