Tuesday, October 11, 2022

It’s been one week since Orange County public schools reopened after Hurricane Ian, and I just wanted to share a quick update on the relief efforts we have already provided to our teachers and their students as they returned to class.

Last week I joined our team for an emergency Pencil Boy Express – The Mobile Free Store visit at East River High School to help Riverdale Elementary School teachers prepare their makeshift classrooms at their new temporary home. Here’s an Instagram video I took while on campus (It’s now also available on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).

In seven days, A Gift For Teaching has distributed more than $236,000 worth of supplies. Here’s how:

  • Every Riverdale Elementary School teacher received a special class set of supplies for their students
  • Nearly 100 teachers shopped for free supplies on Pencil Boy Express at East River High School, including teachers from 8 neighboring area schools
  • An additional 336 teachers from 112 schools visited our Free Teacher Supply Store
  • 87 Pencil Boy Curbside supply kits were picked up with more than 130 orders placed to be fulfilled this month

These critical supplies were in the hands of our teachers and students as quickly as they were because of you. And with your continued support, we remain ready to support any developing needs as recovery efforts continue.

I want to thank you again for your generosity in showing our teachers they are appreciated for all they do, and that we – as a community – have their backs.



Jane Thompson
President of A Gift For Teaching

Monday, October 03, 2022

Dear Supporters,

I hope that you and your families weathered the storm safely last week. Like you, I have been stunned by the news and images of the flooding and destruction done by Hurricane Ian in our community.

Here at A Gift For Teaching, we feel fortunate to have encountered very minimal damage to our building and have been able to resume normal business hours this week.

Our team is working closely with Orange County Public Schools to assess the immediate needs of our teachers, students, and their families. We will be focusing our efforts on schools and areas most severely impacted by the storm, such as Riverdale Elementary and the Orlo Vista area.

Beyond resuming our normal Free Teacher Supply Store operations, A Gift For Teaching plans to shift all available resources, including Pencil Boy Express – The Mobile Free Store, to meet the pressing needs of our teachers and their students as they begin to return to school on Tuesday, October 4.

While our community navigates this time of recovery together, one thing remains the same: A Gift For Teaching is committed to ensuring every student has the tools and experiences they need to succeed.

While we have the plans and capacity to respond quickly in our hurricane recovery efforts, we are anticipating an influx of needs in the coming months. If you have the ability to give a meaningful gift today, big or small, it will make a world of difference to our teachers and students.

If you or anyone is in need of additional assistance, please dial “311” for Orange County Non-emergency Help & Info line or “211” for United Way’s helpline. Updates and resources for Orange County Public Schools parents can be found on their website.

We will continue to update you on our hurricane recovery efforts. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your continued compassion and support for our educators and future leaders.



Jane Thompson
President of A Gift For Teaching