OKLAHOMA CITY -- A free program to help Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers, who often dip into their own pockets to buy their students basic school supplies, has just passed a milestone.
The Teachers Warehouse, created by a non-profit group called The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, has recently passed the $1 million mark in supplies provided since its inception in 2008.
They filled 784 orders this past month; their biggest ever.
Fourth grade students at North Highland Elementary were bouncing in their seats Thursday afternoon when their teacher, Stephanie Gilliam, opened a bag of basic school supplies she received from the Teachers Warehouse.
They're excited because many Oklahoma City kids live at, or below, the poverty level.
Their parents are just trying to keep food on the table at home.
The Teachers Warehouse kept Gilliam from having to open her own wallet.
"I think every teacher spends their own money on their classroom but this helps us with things, basics like Kleenex and hand sanitizer and notebook paper and pencils," she said.
The first step for teachers is shopping for items on the Teachers Warehouse website.
Their orders are filled by volunteers at the warehouse, then within a few days, the teachers arrive to find their blue bag.
They want donors who fill this warehouse to know the impact of their generosity.
"We're not just giving a pack of pencils to students, we're giving them hope and telling them it does matter that you have the best supplies and it does matter that you're learning," Lori Dickinson said, The Foundation For Oklahoma City Public Schools President.
"When our store opens every month, in the first 45 minutes our supply is gone," she said. "So we have enough for approximately 80 teachers but we have nearly 2,500 teachers in Oklahoma City Public Schools serving 43,000 children, so the need is always there and always great."