DFW Gets Christmas in July

Walking into Fair Park’s Hall of State theater on a Thursday night in the middle of summer, you wouldn’t have expected much of what lay ahead. The stage, adorned with a Christmas tree and presents — Spalding basketballs, Children’s Place gift boxes and a bicycle to name a few — resembled that of a heartfelt winter movie. 25 families would receive a holiday miracle by the end of the night.

“I believe in going all out,” Letitia Scott, Founder of Keeping Families Connected exclaimed. “I figured, if we were going to [hold the event] in a theater, we have to make it theater-ready.”

After her wrongful conviction in 2011, the God-fearing humanitarian sought to give back to the community through her non-profit, Keeping Families Connected. The organization provides free breakfast, lunch and round-trip transportation to correctional facilities for children with incarcerated parents.

“People will try to tear [a child’s] self-esteem down,” Scott explained in regards to children who gain a bad reputation for their parents’ circumstances. “There’s still a kid, preteen or young adult who needs guidance or mentoring. My whole thing is to teach and keep them from making the same mistakes.”

The event, hosted by actress and radio personality, Claudia Jordan, featured a three-scene skit and panel discussion. The production took the audience through the story of a family - aided by Keeping Families Connected - whose daughter was reunited with her imprisoned father after five years. Afterward, panelists touched on topics like financial literacy and good health.

As an advocate for children and education, Jordan makes her mark by attending City Council meetings, speaking to local politicians and attending events like Scott’s Christmas in July, despite being fairly new to the Dallas metroplex.

“Letitia came to [105.7's radio station] and I was really moved by her story,” said Jordan. “She became successful so quickly, and the first thing she thought of was helping other people…that’s an amazing person. That is someone I want to be around.”

Alaetra Smith is a Dallas native who prides herself in being multi-faceted in the creative realm. Her passions lie in photography, digital marketing & writing. The UNT alum dreams of achieving every entrepreneurial goal she sets her mind to, including traveling the world to capture stunning images, and creating her own print & digital magazine.