Our Northwest

Free Saturday Shop for Portland teachers

Monday, October 14, 2013by  Christa VanWieringen

Did you know that most teachers spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies for their classrooms during one academic year?

Over the weekend, we had a wonderful opportunity to partner with our friends at Schoolhouse Supplies to help connect teachers with free school supplies.  

On specific shopping days, teachers in the Portland School District can stop by the free store to gather pencils, binders, books and other essential supplies for their classrooms. 

Schoolhouse Supplies typically opens up shopping during set weekdays, but with the realization that sometimes there aren't enough hours in a day, not all teachers could make it to the free shopping days. With this in mind, Schoolhouse Supplies held the first-ever Saturday Shop.

More than 50 Portland teachers shopped ‘til they dropped and one of them happened to be a familiar face. The WALLY team spotted Dina Scottel, a local teacher who was one of the winners of PEMCO’s classroom cleanup earlier in this year.

Dina, a third grade teacher at Woodlawn Elementary K-8 School, was among the many teachers who were beyond thankful that Schoolhouse Supplies was open on a Saturday.

During her shopping trip Dina told us, “Some kids just can’t afford school supplies and without the donations of others, many of them would not even own a backpack - some have never even purchased a pencil.” Dina also mentioned that over half of the kids in the Portland School District live below the poverty line, so buying school supplies takes a backseat to the necessities of food, shelter, and clothes. 


The WALLY team was grateful to help out during the Saturday Shop, and during our time there, we learned other ways YOU can help students, teachers, and schools in need of school supplies:

  • Direct your own supply drive: It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
  1. Spread the word in your community about your school supply drive by telling others and encouraging them to participate.
  2. Set up multiple donation bins in local business, making it easy for people to drop of their donation. 
  3. Collect your bins and deliver the supplies to one or more schools in your district.
  • Volunteer: Non-profit organizations rely on their volunteers. Schoolhouse Supplies volunteers participate in a range of activities that all make a huge impact on their mission and you can help too!
  • Motivate others: Schoolhouse Supplies started because a mother knew how expensive school supplies were. What began as supplying one school with supplies has expanded to the entire Portland School District. With the help of others, we can make the impossible, possible.

The WALLY team had a great time helping at Schoolhouse Supplies' Free Store and we loved meeting teachers from all over Portland. We hope to be back soon!



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