Donations benefit A Gift for Teaching, Central Florida’s primary provider of free supplies to teachers for their classrooms and students who need them most

A Gift for Teaching is honored to start its 25th birthday celebration with a major milestone announcement: the cumulative results of its “Ready for Back-to-School” campaign presented by Walt Disney World Resort. Powered by three impactful summer initiatives to help local students start the next school year excited and prepared to learn, an overall total of more than 540,173 physical school supplies and $483,719 were raised by generous businesses, groups, and supporters!

“Our cast cares deeply about supporting future storytellers in our community, and alongside our friends at A Gift for Teaching, we’re helping students build a solid foundation to achieve their dreams with the tools and resources needed to become who they imagine they can be,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, Director of External Affairs at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Great Big Backpack Build kicked off the campaign in June at the Orange County Convention Center with 20,000 brand-new backpacks and school supplies charitably funded by 30 community partners including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Foundation, The Joe & Sarah Galloway Foundation, and many more. More than 400 volunteers helped make this high-energy, high-impact event possible along with an additional $165,000 worth of donated space, services, and materials. The stuffed backpacks were delivered to more than 135 Orange County public schools with the highest need as well as public schools in Osceola County.

Starting in July, The Back-to-School Drive, Central Florida’s largest supply drive, brought together more than 60 businesses, groups, and individuals to collect 220,173+ school supplies and raise $175,036+ in donations alone. Through A Gift for Teaching, every dollar received will be transformed into $10 worth of physical supplies. The 2023 Top 5 Overall Supply Drives were Publix Super Markets, Walt Disney World Resort, AdventHealth, Universal Orlando Resort, and Enterprise Holdings.

The Back-to-School Telethon broadcasted live on WKMG News 6 in August as the final community giveback opportunity. In a 24-hour give-a-thon, more than $609,300 worth of supplies was raised with inspiration from matching gifts by The Joe & Sarah Galloway Foundation, The Bond Foundation, and Addition Financial. These supplies will help teachers ensure all their students have the tools they need to start the year with success.

“This accomplishment not only marks a milestone in our 25 years of public service but reinforces our community’s commitment to enhancing education for generations to come,” says Jane Thompson, president of A Gift for Teaching. “Together, we are inspiring more dreams to shape brighter futures.”

A Gift for Teaching places more than $65,000 worth of free supplies directly into the classroom for students and teachers every day. Throughout the school year, eligible public school teachers have the opportunity to shop for free supplies at a store, online, and through a mobile unit. By the second half of the year, 61% of students will have run out of supplies from the start of the school year and their families will not be able to afford replacements. Without access to essential supplies to learn, student achievement, interest in learning, and self-esteem are impacted.

To continue empowering teachers and inspiring future leaders with educational resources every month, consider joining A Gift for Teaching’s community of monthly donors. In honor of its 25th anniversary, generous funders will be matching new recurring monthly donations through September 2024. With this exclusive opportunity, a commitment to a $25 recurring gift will go even further and now provide six classrooms access to essential supplies a year!