KYLE, Texas — “The first day was a $15,000 savings,” O’Donnell said.
A long time educator herself, founder and director, Shelley O’Donnell knows teachers can use all the help they can get with budgets stretched thin across the state.
“It’s throughout the school year, we spend a lot of money,” O’Donnell said.
Inspired by the Welman Project in Fort Worth, the Teacher Reuse program receives classroom donations of all kinds from across Central Texas.
“Take what you need because as soon as it’s out, we have a community member or business that is bringing it in,” O’Donnell said.
“The giving and the getting are really satisfying for people,” President Liz McGehee said.
From textbooks to beanbags, a staff of around 10 sorts and disperses the free teaching tools that have already saved faculty around $50,000 in six weeks.
“We’ve had a lot of people that crawl up in their attic and find things they wish they donated years ago but now they have a place to,” O’Donnell said.
“Each semester I probably spend $400-500 just getting small supplies and stuff,” teacher Stephanie Miles said. “When I saw this pop up, I was really excited.”
Currently working out of an auxiliary trailer loaned by Hays CISD, the nonprofit organization is currently looking at ways to expand their operation moving forward.
“We are the only one in Central Texas so we serve everyone, public and charter schools,” O’Donnell said.
A refreshing upstart endeavor, with members of academia coming together to help students in the classroom, by filling it through the kindness of others.
“We want to stay open year round because teachers don’t just pick up at the beginning of the year,” O’Donnell said. “They find things throughout that they need.”
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