According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, one in five children in the United States lives in poverty. That’s 15 million children. In a country with so much, it’s unconscionable that so many children are forced to go with so very little.

But it gets even worse.

These numbers only reflect those living below the federal poverty threshold. Families generally require twice the poverty level to cover basic expenses. When you factor that in, some 43% of all children are living in low-income households unable to meet necessary living costs.

The damage of poverty on every aspect of a child’s life is well documented. It affects everything from their ability to learn, to social and emotional challenges, not to mention their physical and mental health.

This need is what drove David and Teresa Disiere to become deeply involved in a number of community and charitable activities that benefit children across Texas and the nation, and eventually to found their own charity, The David and Teresa Disiere Foundation.

The David & Teresa Foundation programs focus on social and educational support for children, ranging from after-school programs and shelter sponsorships to educational programs for at-risk children, and more. The foundation also funds scholarships for high-potential students who can’t afford to attend school and contributes directly to schools and universities. In addition, many other programs such as clothes shopping for at-risk children at Christmas time have been undertaken or are in the works.

David and Teresa Disiere have served as members of the Leadership Council for the Center for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas. Although this is not a program that directly benefits children, David and Teresa were drawn by the center’s goal to gain a better understanding of cognitive function and how the application of this knowledge can be used to help children become proficient learners. David and Teresa were inspired by the Center’s mission of understanding, protecting and improving brain health, with research focused on discovering breakthroughs in the fields of autism, attention deficit disorder, Alzheimer’s and other significant brain issues.

David and Teresa have contributed to several St. Baldrick’s events and donated significant resources toward research to cure childhood cancer.

Since its inception, The David & Teresa Disiere Foundation has also sponsored a yearly “Big Brother Christmas” fund, where at-risk children are taken holiday shopping for clothes and other needed items that they would otherwise go without.

Many more programs are in the works as the David and Teresa Disiere Foundation seeks to expand philanthropic endeavors over the coming months and years, including further donations and sponsorships for educational institutions, funds for charities battling childhood diseases, and assistance for children from at-risk families.