Tucson nonprofit helping teachers buy back-to-school supplies - Tucson News Now

Tucson nonprofit helping teachers buy back-to-school supplies

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A local nonprofit is working hard to make sure teachers have the supplies they need for their classrooms. 

Tucson Supplies Teachers is the largest supply drive in Southern Arizona, and is a product of a nonprofit called Tucson Values Teachers.

This year, the organization teamed up with Pima Federal Credit Union and a dozen other community partners to help more than 1,200 teachers in Tucson. 

The nonprofit raised $64,000 and was able to provide 1,280 teachers with a $50 gift card to spend on back-to-school supplies. 

“So first of all it’s a surprise. You feel supported by the community. $50, it doesn’t sound like much but teachers can make it go a long way,”  said Jessica Howell, a third grade teacher at Hendricks Elementary School.

But even with the help, many teachers still admit to digging into their own pockets for essential supplies for children.

“We always provide a list of supplies that kids need to buy, but some families can’t afford that. I as a teacher want to make sure that everyone has the supplies that they need. If you don’t have them, you don’t feel included, but if you do you can be included just like everyone else,” Howell said.

Howell admits it’s heartbreaking when a child comes to class during the first week without the basics.

“One time with one family, their mom was in the hospital and they didn’t have the chance to go and by school supplies. I was very easily able to provide them for them," she said.

The $50 helps teachers stalk up for situations like that.

In the last eight years, Tucson Values Teachers has raised $853,000 for educators. 

If you know a teacher or are a teacher looking for help this year with school supplies, click HERE: http://bit.ly/2bAOGqD

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