The Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation holds a number of programs throughout the year in Charlotte, NC; Greenville, SC and Shellman, GA. The Foundation works to educate, empower and defend the dreams of more than 1,200 families each year. We do not grant wishes, appearance requests, game tickets or work out of the scope of the TDDDF sponsored programs below.
Annual Book Bag Drive
TDDDF partners with Classroom Central to provide book bags and supplies for entire schools that serve low income students. In 2014 and 2015, over 1,100 stuffed book bags were given to students in Charlotte and Gastonia. Schools are selected by both the Foundation and Classroom Central in the summer.
Thomas Davis Youth Leadership Academy (#TDYLA)
This program equips middle school age youth with the practical skills needed to become productive, self-fulfilled, achievement-oriented young adults and community leaders. Guest speakers are invited by board members to give presentations, field trips are regularly scheduled to expose participants to the rich resources surrounding their community and community service opportunities are planned for participants. Students learn the value of healthy nutrition as well as life, public speaking, writing, debate, critical thinking and conflict/resolution skills. TDYLA started in 2008 and each year houses 25-30 students who meet every Monday from October – March. Applications are posted online in late August, students are selected in late September to be a part of the Academy.
Thanksgiving Dinner of Hope
TDDDF partners with the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope which houses Charlotte area’s homeless women and children. Over 200 shelter occupants are served by Panther players in a family style, sit-down dinner.
Annual Christmas Toy Drive
Toys are distributed to over 600 children in need in Charlotte, NC; Columbia, SC and Shellman, GA yearly. Toys include bikes, books, scooters, educational toys, mp3 players, tablets and more. Neighborhoods are selected in November by board members.
Thomas Davis Youth Football Camp
A free football camp is held every May for 300-500 students ages 6-16 in Charlotte. NFL players from across the country come to the camp and volunteer as sessions leads coaching techniques and short drills. Camp sign up are online and begin in early April.