For the second year, a non-profit organization and a business are collecting school supplies to "prevent teachers from being forced to buy school supplies with their own money," according to a release.
Tucson Values Teachers and Walgreens drugstores throughout Southern Arizona are spearheading the second "Tucson Supplies Teachers" campaign through Saturday, Aug. 21.
All Walgreens stores in Pima County, Sierra Vista and Nogales are placing collection boxes for the community to drop off items such as notebooks, pencils and crayons. Items can be purchased at Walgreens or brought in from other locations, a release said.
A $25,000 grant from the Tucson-based non-profit Community Finance Corporation kick-started the drive.
"Teachers are spending $1,200 on average to supply their students with necessities such as pencils and paper and that's unacceptable," said Jacquelyn Jackson, executive director of Tucson Values Teachers. "Together with Walgreens and the generous grant from Community Finance Corporation, we are trying to keep our teachers' hard-earned money in their pockets."
More than 10,000 teachers at public, private and charter schools will receive the supply donations. Volunteers from the Metropolitan Pima Alliance, Marana Chamber of Commerce, Raytheon, Horizon Moving Systems and school foundations will deliver items as donation boxes are filled.
Michael Hammond, board president for the Community Finance Corporation and chief executive officer of Tucson-based real estate and property management company PICOR Commercial Real Estate Services, said he hopes the $25,000 grant will inspire other local businesses to donate funds to the campaign.
"Our region has some of the best teachers in the nation, but they are poorly paid and their classrooms are not all well-stocked," Hammond said. "We are proud to step up in support of Tucson Values Teachers, and we hope that other businesses are inspired to join forces with them. Together, we can really make a difference for our teachers, kids and the region."
For a full list of participating Walgreens drugstores and their locations, visit www.tucsonvaluesteachers.org.