CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As more Coastal Bend school districts prepare to return back to school, they will be doing so better equipped with supplies from Operation Supply Our Students that are ready to be picked up by districts.
Volunteers from Chemours Ingleside Plant were assisting employees from Holt Cat Corpus Christi and the United Way of the Coastal Bend on Thursday as they sorted more than 40 boxes of school supplies and hand sanitizer to be delivered to 43 local school districts.
“We really appreciate their help and their support getting the sort done, it’s a pretty big task,” said Alvin Thomas, the parts manager at Holt Cat Corpus Christi.
Libby Averyt, the president and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Bend, said having local partners to help store, sort, and distribute the supplies collected during Operation S.O.S is helpful.
“It makes it so much easier to have the support of Holt Cat, who has this wonderful facility where we can store pallets and pallets of supplies, and Chemours, who are supplying the man and woman power to get this done, so that when the school districts come next week, all we have to do is load it in their vehicles, and they can take it to the students,” Averyt said.
For the volunteers, their help is just a part of their involvement in the Coastal Bend community.
“It means a lot. I am former military, I like to help out people, I like to help anywhere I can,” said Manuel Gonzalez, a volunteer with Chemours. “After COVID hit, I’m glad we’re helping out a lot of people, we love it up here.”
“We are a part of the community, we are that community." volunteer Nick Pollard said. "Operation SOS is a thing where sorting these school supplies may directly affect our children that go to these local schools. So, it’s a great way to be a bigger part of something."
Pollard is just one of the volunteers who is a parent, and knowing the help they gave could help their children, and other children in the area, is special.
“My kids may use a pack of crayons, or a pack of pencils that we’ve helped supply to them, and send out to their school,” Pollard said.
“It makes me feel good, my stepdaughter goes to Aransas Pass. There are some parents that are really appreciative of what we’re doing as Chemours, United Way, and just helping the community,” said Austin King, a volunteer who grew up in Ingleside.
According to Averyt, the school supplies collected through Operation S.O.S will benefit more than 17,000 students in the area. Schools will begin picking up schools supplies next week.