KATY (Covering Katy News)—Tobino Sushi and Bar, 23501 Cinco Ranch, celebrates its one-year anniversary May 1, but already it and its employees are giving back to the community.
On Thursday, the restaurant and its employees donated $2,018.28 to Compassion Katy for its annual Operation Back 2 School program, the purpose of which is to collect and distribute backpacks, school supplies, and other services for Title I students in the Katy Independent School District.
A Title I school is one in which 40 or more percent of the students are on free or reduced lunches due to economic hardships.
“That’s the truth of the times,” Hedtrick said.
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Every Thursday in February, the restaurant donated 15 percent of its profits, and then restaurant employees donated an additional $500.
“This is going to help a lot of kids,” Compassion Katy executive director Sue Hetrick said.
“We’re super excited that we’re able to give back to the community,” Tobino Sushi general manager Le Chau said.
“That’s what we here for. We can’t always give time, but we can give dinners and donations. Whatever you receive, you have to give back.”
Even though the restaurant isn’t yet one year old, the restaurant is aware of Compassion Katy’s community involvement. Tobino Sushi office manager Ashli Smith grew up in the Katy area and said she wanted to make sure the restaurant’s community efforts with an organization that was well-known in the area.
Compassion Katy is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization that works to connect local churches, businesses, and Katy area nonprofits.
This year’s distribution event is set for August 3 at the Merrell Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane. This year’s goal, Hetrick said, is to serve all 17 Title I schools in the Katy Independent School District.
“We are doubling what we did last year and we will be inviting 7,000 students,” Hetrick said.
The program continues to expand. Last year, the program served eight Title I schools, though nobody was turned away who needed help. Operation Back 2 School began in 2017 and focused on just one school, Sundown Elementary, 20100 Saums Road.
Hetrick said that after fundraising, the toughest job she has is communicating that the Katy Independent School District has 17 Title I schools. If one looks around the Katy area, she said, one will see blue-ribbon schools, but one will also see the 17 Title I schools whose students need help. Compassion Katy focuses on helping those students.
“My dream is that one day I’m out of a job,” Hetrick said.