The Last Word: United Way’s Jennifer Sampson on New $20M Southern Dallas Thrives Fund

“These financial commitments are transformational for the Southern Dallas community.”

Jennifer Sampson
McDermott-Templeton President and CEO
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
.…on her organization’s new $20 million fund to support short-term and long-term needs of the Southern Dallas community.

Today is Giving Tuesday, and to celebrate it, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas announced a new $20 million Southern Dallas Thrives fund that aims to support the nutrition, education, and workforce development needs of the Southern Dallas community for years to come.

Southern Dallas Thrives is an initiative that was launched by the organization in 2018 in partnership with the PepsiCo Foundation and Frito-Lay North America. The new fund to help support it has already snagged $8 million in commitments, thanks in large part to PepsiCo employees and retirees.

“These financial commitments are transformational for the Southern Dallas community, and for current and future programs that work to improve education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity—for residents of this traditionally under-resourced area of our city,” Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, said in a statement. “As we build the Southern Dallas Thrives endowment fund, we hope this initial generosity serves as a catalyst to inspire others in the community to join us in providing the opportunity and access to thrive for people across North Texas.

The fund has a wide range of goals, including improving the quality of preschool education in Southern Dallas; providing nutritious meals to families in need; preparing high school students for college educations and careers; and offering workforce development training for women.

Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America

Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, said that “more than a program, Southern Dallas Thrives is a model partnership and collaboration that advances economic mobility for some of Dallas’ most vulnerable and marginalized residents.”

“We know that in order to create a community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, we also have to create the access to thrive,” Williams added in a statement, “and that’s exactly why Southern Dallas Thrives is so successful and why we endorse and support it wholeheartedly.”

Other companies contributing to the Southern Dallas Thrives Fund include Celanese, Vistra, AT&T, Comerica, Trinity Industries, Oncor, Hilti, and Bank of Texas, United Way said. 

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