Texas Tech University

Rawls Alumni Family Volunteers to Help Children

Staci Semrad

Matthew and Tracie Reiter
Matthew and Tracie Reiter by Frisco Fastpacs truck

Children of low-income families who get nourished on school days often go hungry on weekends—a reality that Matthew and Tracie Reiter are working to change.

Graduates of the Master of Science in Accounting Program at the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, Matthew ('96) and Tracie ('97) volunteer for Frisco Fastpacs, a children's charity in Frisco, Texas, that recently appointed Matthew to its board of directors.

Every week during the school year, the nonprofit delivers individual packs of food designed to feed children in need for the seven meals they might otherwise miss over the weekend when they do not have free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school.

"Without the help of this organization, many of these children would go through the weekend without food until they come back to school on Monday," said Matthew, a CPA and audit partner in the Plano office of the public accounting firm Whitley Penn.

This school year, the organization serves over 1,000 children in over 60 of Frisco's public schools, he said. In addition to providing food to children, Frisco Fastpacs also distributes toiletries, which is especially important for teenagers, Tracie said.

There is a significant need among children, even in Frisco, for these necessities, Tracie said.

"A lot of people don't realize that there is a need, because we live in an affluent suburb," she said. "But there are a lot of hungry children who don't have enough food to eat on weekends when they don't have meals provided at school, so we're glad to be able to help bridge that gap."

The couple's involvement with the organization stemmed from Matthew's work in recent years with Leadership Frisco, where he worked on a project with others to raise money for a new delivery truck for Frisco Fastpacs.

Blake ReiterSoon thereafter, Tracie and their son Blake were volunteering together for different organizations through the Young Men's Service League when they too began helping Frisco Fastpacs. They have participated in the nonprofit's food and toiletry drives at grocery stores and helped with other projects, including building shelving for the organization's food storage facility.

Then in January, Frisco Fastpacs' board of directors needed someone with financial accounting experience to fill the role of treasurer on the board. The executive director knew of Matthew's expertise so asked him to interview for the position.

"My wife and I have always gravitated toward children's charities, so this was a great opportunity to volunteer within the community," Matthew said.

The couple is an ideal example of volunteerism, teaching its importance to their three children and serving as role models who walk the talk. They give of their time not only to Frisco Fastpacs but to other organizations as well. Tracie volunteers at their children's schools; and Matthew serves on the advisory board for Heroes for Children, on the finance committee for St. Andrews United Methodist Church, and as the treasurer and an executive board member for the Frisco Chamber of Commerce.

"We beam with pride when we hear about alumni like Matthew and Tracie Reiter whose lives embody Rawls' spirit of service," said Julie Doss, senior director of engagement and external relations. "We celebrate the kindness and compassion of these people and all members of the greater Rawls College family who devote time and energy to helping those in need."

Serving others is indeed integral to the values and mission of Rawls College. One of the college's core values is to "demonstrate concern and understanding for all members of society." Its mission includes serving and engaging with local and global communities, and developing students who will do likewise.