Operation SOS provides 1,700 students in Jim Wells County with free school supplies

Staff Reports
Libby Averyt (left), President and CEO for United Way of the Coastal Bend, stands alongside a counselor from Orange Grove ISD as school supplies donated to Orange Grove ISD through United Way of the Coastal Bend's Operation SOS are loaded on to a vehicle.

United Way of the Coastal Bend’s recent efforts to help disadvantaged students and families in Jim Wells County (JWC) through Operation Supply Our Students (SOS) helped more than 1,700 students in JWC. With a large turnout of community support, this year’s initiative provided basic school supplies across 10 Coastal Bend counties.

Sarah Frazier, a volunteer from Zachry Group at Cheniere, helps load school supplies donated through United Way of the Coastal Bend's Operation SOS into the back of a vehicle bound for Orange Grove ISD.

This includes students at Alice, Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco, Orange Grove, and Premont ISDs.More than 17,000 Coastal Bend students will start school with the supplies they need thanks to Operation Supply Our Students (SOS), an initiative spearheaded by United Way of the Coastal Bend in partnership with H-E-B and KRIS Communications.

Operation SOS is a community-wide fundraiser that has been a part of the area for 31 years. The South Texas school supply drive provides basic school supplies to students in Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Live Oak, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio counties.

Staff with Premont ISD pose alongside school supplies donated to their school district through United Way of the Coastal Bend's Operation SOS.

A total of 43 public school districts will receive supplies through this year’s Operation SOS in South Texas. 

“We’re humbled by the number of individuals and businesses who have graciously donated school supplies, money, or their time to Operation SOS,” said Libby Averyt, President and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Bend. “Thanks to their generous support, we’ll be able to help many students start the school year with the basic tools they need to be successful.”

Representatives with Alice ISD pose with Amy Hendrix, Director of Resource Development for United Way of the Coastal Bend, after receiving school supplies donated through Operation SOS.

This year’s event has been aided by community support, as well as H-E-B, KRIS Communications, Bank of America Foundation, Carr, Riggs and Ingram CPAs & Advisors, Chemours, First Community Bank in Portland, First State Bank of Texas, Friends 4 Causes, The Hidden Door Corpus Christi, Hilliard Martinez Gonzales, HOLT CAT Corpus Christi, the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, Kleberg Bank, NuStar Energy, Port Corpus Christi, Rosendin Foundation, The Selena Foundation, Turner Industries, Valero Corpus Christi Refineries, Zachry Engineering Corporation-Corpus Christi Office, Zachry Group at Cheniere and Zachry JVIC.


Those wishing to support Operation SOS can continue to do so through August 17, 2021. Donations can be made online at www.uwcb.org or by texting “SOS” 91999. Donations can also be made when shopping in-store or online at H-E-B. One hundred percent of the funds donated to Operation SOS will go toward the wholesale purchase of basic school supplies.