ALLEN, Texas — Allen Premium Outlets reopens to the public on Wednesday, less than one month after a mass shooting on May 6, 2023 at the mall.
An Allen, Texas native and Allen High School teacher has started an effort to support those employees returning to work. Katelyn Reed said she and her friends are putting together gift baskets for employees.
She created an online sign-up sheet, listing each store at Allen Premium Outlets. Anyone can “adopt” or pick a store to create and deliver a gift basket to.
With a joint effort from the community, she is hopeful that every store will receive a basket if and when stores decide to open.
“It’s better to do something, than nothing. When you do nothing, I think it can leave the assumption that you don’t care. And even if we say the wrong thing, at least we’ve said something,” Reed said. “It’s about [the employees] and letting them know they are cared for and loved and seen.”
For the unique baskets she is making, Reed is including snacks, candy, chocolate and drinks Most importantly, she is including a handwritten note.
She hopes it provides comfort to the employees who experienced terror on May 6.
“It’s not going to fix anything, but hopefully it’ll put a smile on their faces,” she said.
Reed said many of her students have part-time jobs at the outlet mall. The day of the massacre, she felt panicked, not knowing if they were safe.
When she found out they were okay, she was grateful, but she couldn’t stop thinking about those who died and their loved ones. “I know that there are teachers who didn’t get to see their kids when it was over,” she said.
Reed felt compelled to start this gift basket effort. She hopes it will show kindness and support to the employees who are healing from the tragedy.
"I want them to know that we are thinking of them and we are aware that they are going trough something really hard, and that we care about them," she said.
Some stores may remain closed on Wednesday.