BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — School will be back before we know it. The Teacher’s Desk in Buffalo lifts a burden for thousands across Western New York by offering free school supplies to teachers.
Studies show the average teacher spends around $700 dollars each year, out of pocket on classroom supplies. At The Teacher’s Desk, shoppers fill up their carts up to $1000 dollars, free of charge.
For the 6000 educators who shop there each year, it’s a weight lifted off their shoulders. “It’s amazing. It’s really amazing and quite a blessing. There’s so many things here that we could never requisition,” said Cassadaga Valley teacher, Danyal Dahl.
The teachers flooding through the doors, show just how serious this need is across western New York. Founder John Mika knows the struggle first hand. “When I was a substitute teacher in the city schools I noticed day after day, school after school, that students just didn’t have the supplies they needed,” said Mika.
To qualify 70% or more of students in the school must eligible for the federal school lunch program free or reduced.
Teachers shop though seven isles filled with all kinds supplies. With everything from books. pencils and binders, to some out of the ordinary items.
The warehouse is overflowing and beyond packing the shelves volunteers also pack backpacks for students with “A Good Start” and “Pancho’s Pack.”
And those involved say seeing the joy on teacher’s faces as they shop makes all that hard work, worth it. “I understand that God has called me to this and is long as there’s a need I’m so grateful to be used to fill it a little bit,” said Mika.
There is always a need for volunteers. For more information head here.