Katy Chick-fil-A Restaurants Help Collect Supplies for Operation Back 2 School

Katy Chick-fil-A Franchise Owner Rusty Wylie, Katy Chick-fil-A Assistant Marketing Director Amy Lehr, Compassion Katy Marketing Director Rhonda Player, Compassion Katy Public Relations Director Regina Alexander, and Compassion Katy Executive Director Sue Hetrick pose with some of the school supplies gathered for the second Compassion Katy Operation Back 2 School Program – George Slaughter photo

KATY (Covering Katy News)—A growing number of Katy elementary school students will have backpacks and school supplies thanks to a program now in its second year.

Operation Back 2 School provides backpacks, school supplies, and other resources and services, and is organized by Compassion Katy, a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization that works to connect local churches, businesses, and Katy area nonprofits, to serve the community.

Last year, backpacks and school supplies were purchased and distributed to benefit students at Sundown Elementary, 20100 Saums Road. This year, Compassion Katy partnered with the Katy Independent School District to identify and help students at eight of its more economically damaged elementary schools.

In addition to Sundown Elementary, schools being targeted this year are:

– Bear Creek Elementary, 4815 Hickory Downs Dr.

– Franz Elementary, 2751 Westgreen Blvd.

– Hutsell Elementary, 5630 Franz Road

– Mayde Creek Elementary, 2698 Greenhouse Road

– Rhoads Elementary, 19711 Clay Road

– Schmalz Elementary, 18605 Green Land Way

– Stephens Elementary, 2715 Fry Road

Compassion Katy and some of its partners will distribute already-purchased backpacks and school supplies Saturday, August 4, at the Leonard E. Merrill Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane. Invitations were sent and RSVPs were made for that event.

Sue Hetrick, Compassion Katy executive director, said the Sundown Elementary students would be the first to pick up their supplies. After that, students from the other targeted elementary schools would pick up their supplies.

“We know there are families that forgot to RSVP who were invited to the event,” Player said, adding that other families heard about the service and need assistance. The program might be targeting selected schools, but is meant to help those who need the help.

To help with this expected overflow, sponsors such as Chick-fil-A play an important role.

For the three Katy-area Chick-fil-A restaurants, each site had a “Christmas in July” tree for a two-week period, from July 9-20. During this time, restaurant guests would pick a tag off the tree and purchase the school supply listed on the tag—a box of crayons, a set of pens, or some spiral notebooks, for example.

Restaurant guests would bring the school supplies back to the restaurant and receive a free sandwich or another food item. Hetrick said that these supplies would supplement what’s already been purchased.

Rhonda Player, Compassion Katy marketing director, said approximately 1,100 supplemental school supplies were purchased for distribution last year. This year, she said, approximately 1,600 supplies were purchased.

Next year, the goal is to help the students at all 17 KISD elementary schools. Hetrick said next year’s distribution event will probably be a two-day event.

“When these kids attend this event, they are provided everything they need for a successful start to the school year,” Hetrick said. “It really does take a village.”

Compassion Katy continues to accept donations and provide help. For more information, contact Compassion Katy at info@compassionkaty.org.

Rhonda Player, Compassion Katy marketing director, stands in front of a “Christmas in July” tree at a Katy Chick-fil-A restaurant – photo courtesy Compassion Katy


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