FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Gift For Teaching Hosts Virtual Drive To Supply New Curbside Pick-up Distribution
ORLANDO, Fla. – September 9, 2020 – In the midst of their annual back-to-school supply drive, A Gift For Teaching (AGFT), Central Florida’s primary provider of free school supplies to teachers and students in need, has launched a new distribution model.
Since 1998, the nonprofit has welcomed eligible teachers inside their Free Teacher Supply Store to “shop” for essential supplies their students need to succeed. The nonprofit has now adapted to merge the wide selection from their brick-and-mortar “store” with a simple, web-based ordering platform. Pencil Boy Curbside will keep teachers safe as they shop online, in their own environment. Masked and socially distanced volunteers will then “pack” orders and teachers can schedule a time for their curbside pick-up at AGFT (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-6pm and Wednesdays from 10:30am-6pm). If teachers are not able to personally pick-up their supplies, they may also send a proxy to curbside.
To keep the online Free Store stocked, AGFT relies on the supply donations from their Back-to-School Drive. A virtual platform has enabled local companies to continue to “host” supply drives without the need to physically “collect” the items to donate to the organization. Generous supporters of the campaign, including Tupperware Brands, Universal Orlando Foundation, and Wells Fargo, make it possible for the nonprofit to distribute learning tools to teachers for their students, but the current need has increased due to the pandemic.
“Our organization has always innovated to meet needs, but COVID-19 has certainly caused us to act quickly and change the way we serve our community to fulfill our mission,” said Jane Thompson, president of AGFT. “We appreciate the continued support from companies and individuals who are hosting virtual drives, but the pandemic has certainly caused a reduction in the number of supply drives. We rely on donations to keep the shelves stocked so that we may now supply teachers and their students through Pencil Boy Curbside.”
Classrooms can no longer share materials, and now, even more, families are experiencing financial hardships. Access to the essential tools that AGFT distributes will play a critical part in the journey to recovery for families in need. For teachers, it is essential to ensure that children doing synchronous learning from home have access to the same supplies as children in the classroom.
With only one week left in AGFT’s official Back-to-School Drive campaign, community members can still get involved by visiting agiftforteaching.org/supplydrive. Supporters will find a “how-to” toolkit, direct link to purchase the Top 7 essential supplies online, and a “make a gift” button to click for financial donations. For every $1 received, AGFT can leverage those dollars into $10 worth of learning tools for students.
The campaign will officially conclude on September 16, the organization’s birthday, but supply and financial donations are accepted year-round.
About A Gift For Teaching
A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and Central Florida’s primary provider of free school supplies to teachers for their students in need. Serving high-need public schools of Orange and Osceola counties, AGFT ensures students have the tools and experiences they deserve to succeed. Since 1998, AGFT has distributed more than $135 million worth of essential supplies – including pencils, paper, books, backpacks, clothing, and hygiene items. Learn more at www.AGiftForTeaching.org.
Marisa Worley, Director of Development