One of our new board members, Michelle Treviño, recently visited Treasures 4 Teachers, a Tempe, Arizona organization with a mission “to provide free and low-cost school supplies to teachers from the community’s reusable resources.”
I recently had an opportunity to go to Phoenix, Arizona with my husband. During that trip, I visited a local organization called Treasures 4 Teachers. They are a reuse store specifically geared towards helping educators once they become members for an annual fee of $35. Members have access to a huge warehouse full of new and used low-cost supplies from pens and pencils to cardboard tubes and more. They also have a free section and the option to fill a bag to supply your classroom for $5 from specific bins. The only limits are the imaginations of the teachers! There is also a new resource center that has die cuts, computers, and a laminator. I was also told that they are hoping to begin offering resume writing and interview workshops.
I asked where all the supplies come from and how it all gets sorted. My tour guide informed me that they get donations regularly from area businesses, retired teachers, and corporate sponsors like the Arizona Cardinals. Their amazing volunteers come in once a week to sort the supplies and stock the shelves. Anything that does not go in the classroom gets sent to the neighboring thrift store, Vintage Antiques. These volunteers also create Book Buddies which are bags that include a book and corresponding stuffed animal.
It was a great experience and it makes me excited to see Spare Parts’ own reuse collection come to life soon!
– Michelle Treviño