Delco woman gives teachers almost free school supplies

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Delaware County nonprofit is celebrating a year of free school supply purchases for teachers.

Teachers’ Teammates have fulfilled 460 orders to date, for 220 different teachers from 32 schools. It started last February 1 and generated $288,000 in school supplies.

“We started in Delaware County from my house and my garage and before you know it, we’ve outgrown it,” said Raelyn Harman, the organization’s founder and president.

“People heard about us and started offering space in their own garages.”

Now they have a full 3,000 square foot warehouse in Folcroft filled with supplies donated by businesses, groups and community members.

She said that when the news spread, the trucks started to stop.

“We got a tractor-trailer load from Joanne Stores, then we got the latest inventory from AC Moore in Moorestown, then we got a tractor-trailer load of hand sanitizer,” Harman said.

If a teacher works at a Delaware County school where at least 65% of students are entitled to free lunch, they are eligible and can only pay $35 per year, which contributes to storage costs.

School supplies donated free to selected Delaware County teachers by Teacher Teammates.

Photo creditRacquel Williams/KYW Newsradio

They can then do their shopping for free, four times a year. Each shopping trip brings over $700 worth of supplies.

“One of the benefits of this model is that teachers can choose exactly what their students need, not a one-size-fits-all type of donation,” Harman added.

“A lot of offices have changed the way they operate so office supplies are not used in the same way. Anything used in an office can be used in a classroom.

Harman said she hopes it will expand to nearby areas such as Philadelphia, as many teachers have already expressed interest.

To celebrate their first anniversary, Teachers’ Teammates are offering an additional year of membership to the first 22 teachers who sign up.

Click here for more information.


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