Dallas: Vogel Alcove ‘Bye-Bye Bags’

Sponsoring Club: 
Yale Club of Dallas
Saturday, May 13, 2017
9:00am to 11:30am
1738 Gano Street
Dallas, TX 75215

Parking lot in front of school; Vogel Alcove is located next to Dallas Heritage Village.

Approximately 3,000 children in Dallas go to sleep each night without a home of their own. We’re on a mission to help children recover from the effects of homelessness—and the clock is ticking. 90% of brain development happens by the age of five. Without intervention at this critical time, homeless children may suffer lifelong social, emotional, and educational deficits. That’s where we come in. And YOU can help.
For over 25 years, Vogel Alcove has provided free quality child development services for Dallas’ youngest victims of poverty: homeless children 6 weeks to 5 years old. Vogel Alcove is the only free comprehensive early childhood education program in the city of Dallas whose primary focus is to provide free childcare and case management for children and their families residing at 18 local emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, and housing programs. 
This is the perfect family volunteer activity - all ages can help!
Our activity will be focused on supplying and building “Bye-Bye Bags,” snack bags given to the children as they leave for the day when we know that it may be quite some time before they are able to get back to the shelter or their transitional apartment and have a meal. We can also use these when we have families just drop in with hungry kids in tow and when we know one of our families will not be receiving dinner.  
Here are a few stories that illustrate the need for Bye-Bye Bags:
  • Many of our families have a long commute from Vogel Alcove to the shelters, especially when riding DART. Having snack bags to give our children is a huge benefit for their journey.
  • When a parent called to say that there were problems with the DART train and he would not be able to get to Vogel Alcove by 6 p.m. to pick up his 3 children, we were able to provide a Bye-Bye Bag for each child while they waited for their father, who was finally able to get here by 6:30.
  • One day when our Director of Children’s Programs arrived at 6:30 a.m. she found a father and a toddler on our doorstep. He had just arrived in town and someone had told him to check out Vogel Alcove. The child was clearly very hungry, so our staff went and got a bag of food that we had prepared for our families to take home over the holidays when we wouldn’t be open (similar to the bye-bye bags). As they sat in our warm building, the child ate every bit of what was in that bag while we helped the father get referred to other appropriate resources. 
  • One afternoon a father arrived to pick up his two young children. He let our staff know that his wife had gone to the emergency room during the day and it looked like the hospital was going to admit her. The father and children were headed to the hospital, meaning that they would miss dinner at the shelter. We were able to provide them with a small bag of snacks as well as some coloring books and crayons to help distract the children at the hospital.
No special skills needed!  We simply need supplies, which will be assigned to volunteers, as well as people to assemble bags. Children are welcome - younger kids will be asked to decorate the bags for the Vogel Alcove children. 
This is a great way for the whole family to engage with Dallas and its Yale community! Last year, our site was such a success that we won the AYA Outstanding Large Day of Service Award.
Site Coordinator: 
Amy Peck ‘02 MBA