Second Wind Dallas began over 10 years ago when it's founder, Rebekah Newman, tried to locate an organization that would allow her office to "Adopt" an entire family, as opposed to one member of a family in need. A chance meeting put her in touch with a local elementary school who knew of 4 families within their district having an extremely tough time due to unusual circumstances. The counselor at that initial school helped create the first form for each family to fill out and we still use that same form today. Rebekah contacted Margo Shearer and that first year the two of them found sponsors for all 4 families. Fast forward to today and Second Wind Dallas now coordinates sponsors that help approximately 160+ families in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Irving, Allen, Garland and Rowlett school districts. Second Wind Dallas received our 501c3 Non-profit status in 2009 thanks to the generosity of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP who had been adopting a family every year for several years. Rebekah and Margo still handle a large percentage of the day to day operations, but every year we have volunteers who make it possible for Second Wind Dallas to be successful.
What Sets Us Apart
Our success is in our partnership with local schools. The teachers, counselors and other school staff are familiar with the families they select for our organization and in some cases have known them for years. They know if the family is receiving additional assistance. They know what kind of issues the family is dealing with and they see first-hand how it's affecting the children. Because we are one of the few organizations that supports the entire household, adults and children, schools send us their most serious situations. Terminal illnesses, a sudden death in the family, . . . There are a lot of organizations that support individuals across a broader spectrum of need, however, we are looking for those families that are experiencing an unusual circumstance that threatens to push them over the edge into an even more serious situation. We want to provide basics for these families and give them a second wind to survive their current situation and start the new year with a renewed sense of hope.
The families sent to us each year are almost never the same families from the previous year. An average family consists of 5 members, which is usually 2 parents and 3 children, but can also include grandparents or a single parent with 4 children. We get a few small families of 2 or 3 each year and they tend to go very quickly. We get a few larger families of 10-12 people, which is usually 2 families squeezing into the same house or apartment to save on expenses. These are more difficult to place and we try to find large organizations who can handle them.
The requests for each family member are usually clothing items, shoes, socks, underwear, pajamas and coats. Parents might request household items like blankets or pots and pans or tools. We also allow them to fill out their form with a few options for things they might want which could include specific toys for the children and a purse or lotion or a watch for the parents. Food is almost always requested.
Our sponsors range from individual families to large corporations and everything in between. We've had church groups, political groups, mom's groups, boy and girl scout troops, senior groups, neighborhoods, office buildings, and many more! When people join together to help a local family in need, it creates a bonding experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. Check out our sponsor page to see the variety of organizations who help Second Wind achieve their goals every year and note how many return again and again. It's an experience like no other!!