Giddy with glee and pride to see a 17-year-old faith-based role model, more than 1,200 people lined the aisles of Waxahachie’s Walmart as early as 5:30 a.m. to meet A&E Duck Dynasty reality star Sadie Robertson as she launched her new line of school supplies.
“As a Christian girl myself, seeing someone like her be so successful as a Christian is really exciting,” said Alyssa Villarreal, an 18-year-old Waxahachie High School student who was first in line with two others. “She’s paving ways for Christian girls all around the world. She’s promoting people to be themselves and in today’s world, where you have to fit in on social media. She’s really telling you to stand out and be yourself, and it’s awesome.”
Robertson greeted fans from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at two Ellis County Walmart stores, the first stop on her tour of about a dozen places across the U.S. to help highlight her “Live Original” school supplies through Dayspring Cards, Inc. and Champions for Kids. DaySpring Cards, Inc., based in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, is the world’s largest Christian social expression company, with more than 6,000 products that give people just the right ways to express their faith – from greeting cards and calendars to specialty gifts and home décor, according to a press release.
“When DaySpring came to us and asked if they could put some of what I wrote in my book ‘Live Original’ on school supplies and folders that would then be seen by millions of kids, I got excited,” said Robertson in a press release. “Now Champions for Kids is helping get extra folders to families who maybe can’t afford all their school supplies, so that just makes it even better.”
Robertson, who also starred on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, is part of a reality series about a family who creates top-of-the-line hunting accessories, including duck calls.
Her line of composition books, spirals and folders will be in 1,900 Walmart stores nationwide and will be part of the back-to-school section in each store. Each product is designed to inspire teens and tweens to be themselves and each message on the products are faith-driven, according to a press release by Champions for Kids, a nonprofit geared toward “making it simple to give children in communities the resources they need to thrive.”
As part of Tuesday’s event, Robertson announced the donation of more than 100,000 “Live Original” academic folders for schools and youth-based organizations throughout the country to distribute to students at the beginning of school in August, according to a press release. Full pallets of folders will go to school districts and organizations in 10 different states. Through this donation, DaySpring and Champions for Kids hope to inspire others to participate in SIMPLE Service, a Champions for Kids program that mobilizes local communities to gather and donate resources for children in need. One such group receiving the folders is the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas.
“We work with about 12 different school districts across the Metroplex and there are several school districts that just have a high amount free and reduced lunch kids,” said Suzana Delgado Gray, the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas associate vice president of school-age services who oversees all of the afterschool and summer day camps for all of the Dallas association, including the Waxahachie Family YMCA. “Having this donation helps provide back-to-school supplies to some of those kids who can’t otherwise get everything on their list when August comes.”
Waxahachie ISD is one example of a school district in need, Delgado Gray said. Currently, more than 50 percent of the students within the school district are economically disadvantaged.
“What’s interesting is when I was walking through the parking lot and just kind of coming in here, there were a couple of Walmart associates stop and ask me what’s going on in there,” Gray said, adding the YMCA is privileged to get the donations. “Knowing a little bit about her, and following her A&E series, I told them and they just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, a God-inspired inspiration message? That is so needed in this community, where so many messages that kids and teens get are so negative.’ We never know the type of homes kids come from, and so knowing there’s a product out there that will subliminally give that message of hope and inspiration to kids, not just those that are disadvantaged, but every kid, whether they come from a family with means or those that don’t. Anyone can relate to positive messages, especially for teens that are searching through who they’re trying to be.”