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Texas teacher supply nonprofit needs new space and money

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HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – A nonprofit that gives free school supplies to teachers all across Central Texas is holding on by a thread.

The Teacher Reuse got priced out of their old spot, and now they’re the ones who need help.

“A week ago I had my two cars in this garage,” said the founder of the nonprofit, Shelly O’Donnell.

But now, O’Donnell’s Buda garage is packed with boxes and boxes.

“These are journals. These are recognition certificates. We have backpacks,” O’Donnell said.

The boxes are filled with school supplies for teachers.

“We have had teachers from Georgetown all the way to San Antonio, Dripping Springs, Bastrop, Luling, Lockhart, Austin,” O’Donnell said.

Teachers said this non-profit has saved some of them up to $800 in school supplies.

The nonprofit saves teachers money like Jack Palaio, a STEM Teacher at Science Hall Elementary School.

“Supplied art materials and supplies. So when we’re creating different projects, I have some things already on hand to help out,” Palaio said.

Tatiana Ontiveros, a teacher at KI Charter Academy, said it has provided her students with more experiences.

“I went home with so many new items for my kids that haven’t had new items in their life before. So they were all so excited,” Ontiveros said.

But expensive rent and little funds left The Teacher Reuse without a place to call home.

“We were told on Monday that we had two days to get out of our current location,” O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell is scrambling to find a free space to permanently work out of as they hope for more money through donations.

“We’re going to have to have a free location because we don’t have the funding. We are a nonprofit and we need help,” O’Donnell said.

Despite the difficulties, they’ll continue supplying teachers with what they need the best they can.

“I want to support teachers. I want to be there,” O’Donnell said.

So far, they’ve saved teachers an estimated $70,000. Their goal is to be at $1 million by the 2024-2025 school year.

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