The Pasadena Journal | Home Run for Homeless Families and Kids at LA Dream Center’s Back to School Bash

Once again thousands of kids will eagerly line up at the Los Angeles Dream Center, decked out in Dodger blue with their parents for one of the most exciting community events of the year: Back to School Bash. On Saturday, August 3rd, a summer-styled family-fun event will cater to local families who can’t afford to buy new supplies and clothes before school begins. Kids (5-18 years old) will receive a backpack stuffed with pencils, paper, and more to kick off their new grade year feeling great! Parents can grab free groceries, lunch, and listen to the live music (provided by iHeartRadio Los Angeles and AM570) while their families splash and play at the waterslides and carnival games on the Dream Center campus.

Co-founder and CEO of the Dream Center, Matthew Barnett is enthusiastically preparing for the event. “I’m excited that we get to partner with Kershaw’s Challenge and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation again this year to meet the needs of so many people in this community,” he said. “School can be expensive, and by providing new backpacks, school supplies, and more for these families, we can play a role in contributing to a successful school year. We’re going to have a lot of fun!”

To really knock it out of the park, our very own Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star pitcher and Kershaw’s Challenge Founder, Clayton Kershaw, and his wife Ellen will be passing out over 2,500 backpacks throughout the day and taking pictures with fans. Dream Center volunteers, LADF staff, and Kershaw’s Challenge staff alongside community leaders will add to the championing spirit by cheering on and high-fiving kids as they walk through an epic “tunnel experience”. When asked about his involvement, Kershaw stated, “This is one of our favorite days of the year. Kershaw’s Challenge considers it a privilege to partner with Dream Center to make this day possible for the kids in the city we love. It’s an awesome opportunity for us because it is a tangible way to make a difference. We love meeting the kids and interacting with the families—it is really an awesome day! The beginning of a new school year is an exciting time and KC is excited to equip these kids to have a great year.”

With the generous support of local businesses coming together and our signature partner, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, families can enjoy LA views atop a 40-foot ferris wheel, meet the Dodger character, and even tour a reptile exhibit and petting zoo. Thanks to the additional help from UCLA Health and California Highway Patrol, children can also receive free haircuts, check out decked-out patrol cars, and visit the many local business’ booths throughout the day. There’s no registration or paperwork required, but all will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early and plan to stay late!

The Los Angeles Dream Center is a faith-based non-profit organization located in Echo Park, dedicated to transforming lives and underserved communities in the city of Los Angeles. By offering residential and outreach programs to individuals, families and communities in the areas of homelessness, hunger, poverty, addiction, domestic violence, education, and human trafficking, the Dream Center is committed to enabling immediate and long-term transformation. The Dream Center welcomes those in need into our community completely free-of-charge with the resources, training, and support they need, regardless of faith, age, gender, orientation, nationality, or any other defining factor.

Since we began in 2011, Kershaw’s Challenge has given away over $7.5 million to children-focused organizations. Though we started with our focus in Zambia, we have expanded the Kershaw’s Challenge footprint to meet needs in Dallas, Los Angeles, and the Dominican Republic. Kershaw’s Challenge is committed to transforming the lives of children in these four significant locations. Our goal is to partner with organizations that are committed to this as well, and work alongside them on specific projects to make life better for children. Clayton came up with the idea of “Strikeout to Serve”- making a contribution to Kershaw’s Challenge with every strikeout. He knows his ability to throw a baseball is God-given and that baseball offers the opportunity for a platform. From year to year, our focus remains the same: to make life better for vulnerable and at-risk youth around the globe through the benevolence of incredible supporters and friends. Will you join us?

Founded in 1995, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) is the official team charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers. An award-winning leader in sports-based youth development, LADF harnesses the power of the Dodger brand, and a passionate fan base, to significantly impact underserved youth in some of the most challenged neighborhoods of Los Angeles. With a focus on Sports + Recreation, Education + Literacy, and Health + Wellness, LADF administers direct programs serving youth and communities at large and provides grants to local nonprofit organizations. With a bigger than baseball mentality, LADF is focused on finding innovative ways to create opportunities for children through programs that engage with kids in sports, helps kids stay active and promote academic success. With the support of partners, stakeholders and fans, LADF produces incredible results on fields, in classrooms and at recreation centers, creating Major League Communities. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation envisions a city where every young Angeleno, in every neighborhood can thrive.

Read more at Home Run for Homeless Families and Kids at LA Dream Center’s Back to School Bash