We believe in the incredible power of volunteerism. OF COURSE, we’re going to give our volunteers a big thank you!

Since 1998, more than 767,300 volunteer hours have been provided by hundreds of individuals and groups to support our operations. From our volunteer Board of Directors and all those who help prepare donated supplies for distribution, hand-pack boxes of essential items, and provide our teachers with an easy shopping experience all school year – we want to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU for generously dedicating their time and energy to support our mission.

For Volunteer Appreciation Week this year, it is our honor to shine a spotlight on a few of these remarkable volunteers, sharing their stories of passion, commitment, and the reasons why they choose to make a difference in the lives of teachers and students through A Gift for Teaching.

Terry found her place with us shortly after retiring as an OCPS teacher!

Terry’s reasons for volunteering?

I fully understand the need to help teachers and students to be successful in their classrooms.

I love interacting with the shopping teachers and hopefully making their day a little brighter with a smile and a kind word. I love seeing the excitement on NEW teachers’ faces and the pleasure on veterans’ faces when they are able to get something special for their students or classrooms.

Last, but DEFINITELY not least:  the staff and other volunteers! They are awesome. Everyone is so appreciative and supportive of each other.

Consistently returning for more volunteer fun for nearly a decade, there is no project Enterprise Mobility has not been able to support. From helping teachers shop on Pencil Boy Express – The Mobile Free Store to preparing supplies to stock the Free Teacher Supply Store and even helping to build backpacks for brighter futures at The Great Big Backpack Build, they’ve done it all!

Here’s what Enterprise Mobility said about why they keep choosing A Gift for Teaching:​

It’s a chance to make a positive impact on young lives, to be a source of support and inspiration for educators, and to contribute to the well-being and development of future generations. Volunteering with A Gift For Teaching means the world to us here at Enterprise Mobility.

Jana began volunteering at A Gift for Teaching with her sons and has continued to volunteer herself so many years later! So much so, that she received a Universal Orlando Commitment to Volunteerism Award in 2023 for her selfless efforts.

One of Jana’s favorite memories of volunteering?​

The crazy classroom furniture days! We knew it was a furniture day when teachers filled the entire ramp up to A Gift for Teaching before 8AM.​

One year it was so crazy, we had to pause check-in because we ran out of shopping carts!  Another volunteer and I were emptying items from checked-out shopping carts and rushing back to check in the next teacher with those carts.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is known to be committed to providing schools with only the best educational resources for teachers to use in the classroom, but did you know their local employees are also committed to giving back?

This is why they find volunteering with A Gift for Teaching so rewarding:​

Many HMH employees have been classroom teachers or have worked in Education in some capacity. We are always willing to come help pack up supplies, sort supplies, and even distribute supplies that will help teachers do the best they can for their students. We thank A Gift for Teaching for the opportunity to be a part of what they do.

Susan has been a part of our family for many years from helping teachers in the Free Teacher Supply Store to planning Back-to-School Blast! and actively collecting items in the community to donate.

How did Susan start volunteering with A Gift for Teaching?​

My mom was already volunteering at A Gift for Teaching and she invited me to join her.  We would volunteer together on Wednesdays and loved every minute.​

She was a retired AP calculus teacher and was a true energizer bunny, she just kept on going and giving.  Her volunteer name tag said Anna Mae on the front, but on the back it said “The Legend”. A Gift for Teaching always made volunteering fun, like when they had members of A Gift for Music serenade Mom on her birthday. I just loved every aspect of volunteering.

VOLUNTEERS OF ALL TYPES ARE OUR HEART AND SOUL

They carry forward the spirit of generosity and spread kindness wherever they go. Our small team deeply thanks every volunteer for being a shining star that lights up our organization each time they walk through the door.

To celebrate the volunteers during our 25 years of community impact, we hosted a special lunch and ice cream social, compliments of Publix Super Markets and Raising Cane’s, for an afternoon filled with sweet fun and gratitude. Laughter filled the air as we celebrated each other and the incredible impact we’ve made together.

A huge thank you to all our volunteers for everything you do – you truly are the cherry on top of our organization!

See more 25 years! stories here