Watch CBS News

Teacher organizes 'Adopt a Shop' drive ahead of Allen Premium Outlets reopening

Teacher organizes 'Adopt a Shop' drive ahead of Allen Premium Outlets reopening
Teacher organizes 'Adopt a Shop' drive ahead of Allen Premium Outlets reopening 02:11

ALLEN (CBSNewsTexas) - The doors to the Allen Premium Outlets will be open again Wednesday, marking a difficult chapter after the shooting that killed eight people. 

Eight Dead After Shooting At Outlet Mall In Texas
ALLEN, TEXAS - MAY 09: Eight people were killed and seven wounded in the Saturday attack in which the gunman was killed by police, according to published reports. Three of the wounded are in critical condition, according to the reports. / Getty Images

Ahead of the opening, a local teacher wanted to make sure workers had something special to greet them when they return.

Allen High School English teacher Katelyn Reed understands the power of words.

"I know that words can be really encouraging and a source of comfort," she said.

Thus, she had an idea to organize an "Adopt a Shop" drive, encouraging people to create gift baskets - with a note of support - to give to each of the 120 stores in the Allen outlets when they reopen Wednesday. 

"I can't imagine what it must feel like to go back to work after something like that happened so close to you," she said. 

Through social media, Reed has nearly every store in the shopping center covered. Her bags include granola bars, sodas and stickers.

"I just tried to think about what would encourage me if I were in their position."

The shopping center will reopen with a visible security presence, guards 24/7 and Allen Police working out of the substation on the property, according to a spokesperson. 

In a statement, they said, "As we reopen, we do so with heavy hearts in remembrance of those who were lost and with care for those who were affected by the tragedy on May 6, 2023. We will continue to pray for the victims, their families and all who loved them." 

They also called the thousands of workers who were there that day heroes. Reed agrees - and hopes the baskets add a little light to an otherwise painful day. 

"It's not going to fix it. It's not going to undo what happened, but I hope that they feel loved and seen and know that we care about them."

The shopping center also announced it has begun planning a permanent memorial to honor the victims and to commemorate the community. They said that process will take several months

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.