Dwane Simmons’ family holds ‘backpack giveaway’ in his honor

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNT)– The family of a Washburn football player who was shot and killed in April is keeping his memory alive, giving back to people in the Kansas City community with a backpack giveaway on Saturday.

KSNT News reporter McKenzi Davis spoke with Dwane Simmons’ family exclusively about their community efforts.

“Dwane loved the community,” Chaquilla Everett, Dwane’s mom said. “Dwane wanted to make people laugh, you know, happy. So we felt like this would be a good start to us building a legacy for Dwane.”

Dwane loved the community

Chaquilla Everett, Dwane’s mom

In April, Dwane was shot and killed at a party. Now four months later, his family is looking past their tragedy, bringing his happiness to other kids.

“It was Team Dee’s World,” Navarro Simmons said, Dwane’s dad. “We are just trying to make this negative into a positive.”

“Thanks to all the donations of everyone,” Navarro said. “We thank everyone for donating school supplies, backpacks. We have plenty. We are able to help 130 kids.”

For three weeks, Dwane’s family put together Dee’s World, a backpack giveaway. With the help of family, friends and the community they were able to give to more than a hundred kids.

His family made sure they provided school supplies to a specific group of kids, partnering with the Agape Pamoja group. A non-profit supporting refugee from war-torn countries who relocated to Kansas City.

We are just trying to make this negative into a positive

Navarro Simmons, Dwane’s dad

“These families, they don’t get any assistance,” Nathan Dunahee said, with Agape Pamoja. “They don’t work, they don’t eat. So we’re helping them get some of those essentials that they need for school. Backpacks, shoes and school supplies. That way they can continue to do well in the educational system.”

Teaching the kids there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing Dwane would be proud of the work they’re doing in the community.

“Whether it’s something as extreme as this or something else,” Yasmine Simmons said, Dwane’s stepmom. “But what we choose to do with that is what matters. And so what we really want to teach is resilience. I think resilience is what will get you through to the other side. Regardless of what it is. And that’s what we want to teach them and be here for them for.”

“He’s probably smiling on us right now,” Chaquilla said.

Dwane’s family said they will do this again next year. They also hope to start a football camp in his name.

Resilience is what will get you through to the other side

Yasmine Simmons, Dwane’s stepmom

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