Free Giveaways for Teachers in Need of School Supplies
Giveaways can help teachers struggling with budget cuts pay for classroom necessities like pencils, paper and classroom decor. Hosted by a number of charities and corporate philanthropists, these free giveaways provide teachers with the resources to pay for school supplies without forcing them to spend their own hard-earned money.
Adopt-A-Classroom is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving schools and teachers the supplies they need to succeed. Each donor is matched with one or more classrooms. The donor can choose a classroom based on personal preference, or can be randomly matched with an underserved school. All donations are completed in the form of online credit, allowing teachers to purchase supplies online from a network of program affiliates. The online credit system provides complete transparency so that donors know exactly what has been purchased with their money. Visit the site.
A Day Made Better
The motto of A Day Made Better is “Working to Erase Teacher-Funded Classrooms.” Backed by OfficeMax, this annual event gives teachers the opportunity to score thousands of dollars worth of school supplies. Since the average teacher is said to spend $1,000 each year on school supplies, A Day Made Better offers awards of $1,000 to 1,000 hardworking teachers across the nation. Visit the site.
Kids In Need Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation strives to prepare children for learning by giving those in need free school supplies. The foundation maintains a network so kids and teachers all across America can have access to necessary supplies. Cities not already served by the foundation’s network are still eligible for supplies with the stipulation that they find corporate sponsors. The Kids In Need Foundation also maintains a teacher grant program in which educators with the most innovative learning opportunities are given financial support. Visit the site.
Treasures 4 Teachers
While students all over the nation go without, many businesses are actually throwing out extras such as paper and pencils. Treasures 4 Teachers solves this waste problem by redirecting materials to schools in need. The program’s founders view this initiative as a win-win for schools and businesses, as students are more motivated to attend class when they have the necessary supplies, and businesses are able to divert some of the excess products that would otherwise head to landfills. Visit the site.
Operation Kid Equip
Teachers living in Michigan are in luck — the Operation Kid Equip program hosts a drive every year for school supplies that are then distributed throughout several Michigan counties. In 2011, the program distributed more than $3.4 million in school supplies to Michigan classrooms in need. Most of the distribution takes place at the Teacher’s Annex, a center where teachers from high-poverty schools can freely choose from a huge array of supplies. After searching the Annex, teachers leave with an average of $491 in essential supplies. Visit the site.
Schoolhouse Supplies is similar to Operation Kid Equip except that it is based in Portland, Ore. Programs run through Schoolhouse Supplies include the Schoolhouse Supplies Online Store, the Tools For Schools Backpack Giveaway and the Free Store For Teachers. While the first two of these programs are highly beneficial for children, the Free Store has proven a huge asset for teachers working in and around the Portland area. Since its creation in 1999, Schoolhouse Supplies has donated a whopping $16.7 million in school supplies to Portland classrooms. Visit the site.
Students and teachers often struggle to come up with the money to cover basic schools supplies such as folders and notebooks, much less the more advanced technological tools that have become ever more important in the academic world. Fortunately, programs such as those listed above make it possible for even the neediest school districts to remain stocked with the essentials.