Dallas Cowboy couple DeMarcus and Sasha Lawrence, are honorary chairs for education nonprofit Big Thought’s BIG NIGHT fundraising event on March 4.

The event will be hosted by Gracie Award winner, author and actor Bevy Smith and held at The Factory in Deep Ellum. Guests can expect a cocktail reception, seated dinner, youth-led entertainment and a live auction.

In a virtual conference Thursday afternoon, Lawrence went more in-depth on how Big Thought aligns with his values, his philanthropy and why supporting educational causes means so much to him now.

“I wasn’t a part of any charities at the time, and once I saw what Big Thought was doing with the youth in the community, it just gravitated towards my heart, and I wanted to be more a part of it,“ he said.

Lawrence, who plays defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, has made an impact by serving his community through nonprofits. When he’s off the field, Lawrence has dedicated time to making school appearances, story times with kids and showing up for the Boys & Girls Club of Collin County.

In 2020, he lent a helping hand to essential workers and small businesses in the community. Lawrence credits Byron Sanders, President and CEO of Big Thought, for introducing him to charity work he could get involved with in the area.

“I feel like God had this all in his plan, because I actually met Byron Sanders at a Dallas Cowboy game in 2020 and, around that time, I wasn’t having that time to join charities and do these types of events,“ Lawrence said. “When I met Byron in 2020, it was perfect because I was looking for a charity.”

Marginalized communities are often at the center of Lawrence’s community efforts because he can relate. Lawrence says he also came from a tough background and acknowledged the impact having a male role model can have on children.

“If you don’t have no one to look up to, then you look down,” he said. “You always want to have something to focus on or, you know, someone’s life or picture that you can gravitate to and also grow from that. So, I feel like it’s definitely important for even men to be in children’s lives these days and continue to help them grow.”

Through their time volunteering together, Lawrence and Sasha have tried to instill some of that in their four children. 

“I just feel like, after I’ve sat back and just kind of seen my husband volunteer and just seeing the faces on people when we’re able to help out,” Sasha said. “It just touched me in a different way. And our daughter, she has a huge heart when it comes to volunteers, so she’s kind of opened that up for me. It’s a good feeling to see when you’re able to give back and just be able to serve.”

Big Thoughts Big Night will also honor Big Thought’s SIte Guide for the Community Action Team Aria Jones, former Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Pre-Adjudication Manager for Dallas County Juvenile Center Roger Taylor.

The Big Night will be held March 4 at The Factory in Deep Ellum. More Details can be found at Big Night 2023 – Big Thought.