ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Weeks before it was known which teams would play in Super Bowl XLV, NFL executives and charitable organizations started making plans to direct money to numerous North Texas non-profit groups.
Collections have been taken, items have been donated and money is being collected to benefit women, children and needy families.
After the Super Bowl on February 6, the Salvation Army Community Center in Arlington will change its name to the North Texas NFL Youth Education Town at the Salvation Army. According to the Salvation Army, NFL Charities and the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Arlington Youth Foundation are donating $2 million.
NFL officials refer to the center as a “YET” (Youth Education Town). Work on the newly added space will begin soon after the Super Bowl game in Arlington.
“It’s not just the Salvation Army. It’s not just the NFL. It’s everybody pulling together to put together a program that reaches the neediest among us” says Major Ward Matthews of The Salvation Army.
Currently the Salvation Army houses a small number of homeless families on a temporary basis. The facility will also provide bed space for four homeless children. Major Matthews says the center will test a program to provide services for children who have no where to live and if it’s successful, they might add more space. Currently if the Salvation Army comes into contact with a teenager who is a runaway, the Salvation Army takes the child to its center in Fort Worth.
The renovation work will include 6,000 more square feet of space and additional staff members to teach children in the performing arts and cinematography. A similar “YET” was built in Tampa after the Super Bowl there in 2009.
The NFL estimates more than 50 national and local organizations are benefiting from donations associated with this year’s Super Bowl. Some of those organizations are the West Dallas Community Center, Genesis Women’s Shelter, United Community Centers of Fort Worth, Family Gateway and St. Philips Community Center.
Numerous current and former NFL players and their wives have participated in programs to help children, minority business owners and the environment.