“I have always felt that Euless was a tight-knit community, but I didn't realize how well we take care of one another.”
Some things have to be experienced to be believed. Others are understood but don't truly strike you until you are swept away with them. Operation Back 2 School is a little bit of both. Whether it's your first 6 Stones event or your hundredth, the sheer volume of OB2S is astounding. This year, in the course of seven hours, some 2,510 children and their families made the journey from one end of our building to the other to claim school supplies.
Those kits — plus the 3,000 distributed through Junior High and High School campuses and the hundreds claimed during second-chance pickup on Monday — will help local students get back to school despite their economic disadvantage. But that's not the point. In the end, a box of school supplies is just that. A thing. Inert. Inanimate. Inoperative.
The supplies are not what makes OB2S so important and impactful. This event — like everything we do at 6 Stones — is about bringing people together. It's about the families who were brave enough to depend on strangers. The 51 social service agencies who partnered with us to provide for those families. The 811 volunteers who came out to serve them. And the children who will grow up with the example that we set by doing so.
Because the most important thing we can give to a student before they return to school doesn't fit in a backpack. All the pencils in the world won't help them if they don't care to write. Crayons can't help them to see the world in living color. What our kids need is to see a community that cares for them. One that leaves no room for disunity and that stirs their hearts to learn for the love of knowledge. They need to get excited about school. And they need us to show them what a true community looks like.
So we work to inspire them in the hopes that doing so will inspire more from us. This year, our prayer is that Operation Back 2 School did more for HEB than bless 6,000 children. We hope it blessed you, too.
We hope it showed you how powerful a community can be when it comes together. How spectacular life can be when we love one another fearlessly and selflessly, as Christ taught us at the cross. Our desire is that, by His example and with your help, we can prove one struggling mother right:
“Over here, everybody is a family.”