Growing up, we all had our favorite teachers – one of mine taught my 5th grade music class; maybe yours showed you how to read, or color inside the lines. And back then, in some respects, we took for granted the fact that we would be able to do fun activities in class. But, did you know that “every year, already-underpaid teachers in America spend hundreds of dollars out of their own salaries on school supplies for their students”? I will be the first to admit that before last week, I had no idea either. In Phoenix, Arizona, the non-profit organization “Treasures 4 Teachers” is doing an amazing job addressing this problem on a local scale.
Kristin Marshall, Senior Administrative Assistant for our Corporate Affairs Group here at Intel, leads me through the organization’s front office, to what appears to be a clean, well-organized crafts and office supply store, where examples of projects line the walls. Then we get to the warehouse, and I start to realize this place is something different: there are bags of bottle caps, collections of plastic bottles, empty paper-towel rolls, and other odds and ends you would normally see in a trash can or recycling bin (check out this list of “treasures“). The mission of this organization is to provide low-cost to no-cost school supplies and lesson plans to teachers, like a CD case-germination experiment that they’re developing now. They rely pretty much exclusively on donations from individuals and corporations.
Kristin, who has been involved with the group since its humble 2-car garage beginnings in 2004, currently serves as the organization’s chairperson of the board, and she helps organize key donation events here at Intel. She understands how valuable of a resource this place is for teachers around the greater Phoenix valley. The passion in here is truly palpable – Barbara, the founder, exudes an almost tangible sentiment of hope and inspiration, and I can’t help but feel a little hopeful as I hear her story, the barriers they’ve overcome, and how our company has been able to contribute to her cause.
Treasures 4 Teachers receives help from Intel (and other companies) in three primary ways: through donations of time, donations of money, through our Intel Involved Matching Grant program, and finally, through donations of physical materials.
Even though Intel has some incredible global philanthropic programs (like [Intel