During the first day of the winter storm, Danyel Surrency Jones’ house suffered a few rolling black outs. By the second day, the power was out, and hot water was gone. Then, they lost water altogether. But she is one of the lucky ones, one of her friends still has no water. When she looks out into the community, she sees people who are suffering, handling damage from the winter storm, on top of isolation due to COVID-19.
“What touches my heart is what I see in the community,” she says. “The devastation people are going through, it’s not about water or power, it’s about mental health. Everyone has a tipping point. This moment is so important. Between COVID-19, social justice, now, the devastation of the snowstorm, it’s enough to make people break. So how do we unite instead?”
Danyel is the Co-Founder and CEO of Powerhandz Inc. based out of Frisco. For six years, she has transformed Powerhandz from an idea into a global athletic training and rehabilitation product tech company that includes a line of innovative products used to enhance human performance.
She is also the president of the board for The Power To Give Foundation, which supports youth athletes growing up with dreams of becoming confident and successful individuals that are positively affecting the quality of life in their community.
This weekend, following the winter storm, Powerhandz and the Power to Give Foundation will host a special volunteer day and drive-through donation drive benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.
“My hope is for our eyes to be opened to the fact that there are people in need around us,” she says. “I want people to break though their own current situation and environment, and have empathy and compassion for others in a different environment. And I want to provide funding for North Texas Food Bank to continue their mission. I want food and water to supply those trucks that deliver to food banks and homes.”
The point of Powerhandz emergency donation drive is to collect critical food items for people in need. Bottled water is especially in demand. Community members are invited to drive by with donations for neighbors in need.
Because of the Power to Give Foundation’s mission, athletes of every level will be in attendance, including Greg Ellis, a former NFL player and head football coach at Texas College. He will give a brief keynote address.
“We’re so thankful to Greg,” she adds.
But the day is about more than the drive. Danyel says it will also be a celebration of Black History Month.
Danyel calls Black History Month a celebration. “It’s paying homage to my ancestors, and what they had to have to endure in order to be innovators,” she says. One of her uncles, for example, was the first Black general manager for the Kansas City Braves. Danyel herself is also a trailblazer. She’s used to being the only Black woman in the boardroom.
“Black History Month is a chance to celebrate and inspire the next generation,” she says. “We are absolutely realizing the dream and hard work that our ancestors paid for. We owe them and the next generation.”
In that spirit, on Saturday at the food drive, Powerhandz will give out the Black Leadership Power of Community Awards, to “give Black leaders their badges of honor, and to make sure their light shines during Black History Month.”
The recipients are already doing the work in the community. They include Randy and Leal Melville, founders of Melville Foundation; Pastor Tommy Brown of New Mount Zion Church and leader of the Ministerial Alliance; Mitchell Ward, CEO of MW Logistics and MW Cares; and Dr. Cheryl Jackson, founder of Minnie’s Food Pantry.
On Saturday, community members can drive by and drop off canned goods and bottled water. Volunteers can sign up on the North Texas Food Bank website, where they can donate money as well.
“Our ultimate goal to look at each other and say, during this winter storm crisis, we didn’t stand still,” Danyel says. “We did something to help our community when they needed us.”
Stronger Together, Celebrating Black History and Uniting our Community Drive
When: Saturday | Feb. 27 | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: NTFB Perot Family Campus | 3677 Mapleshade Ln., Plano
To support the PowerHandz drive please visit ntfb.org/donatepowertogive