I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends! Just a few days ago we shared about the high cost of copy paper and our focus on providing this vital resource for teachers each month when they shop with us. Thank you to everyone who responded. You gave our teachers a Copy Paper Christmas: in just a few days we filled the pallet and then some, raising over $13,000 to support teachers. Thank you!!
It was an incredible year at Free 2 Teach. In February, we launched the Free 2 Teach Fellowship and welcomed Chris Pendergrass to our team as our first Fellow. Chris has become an integral part of our organization and not only supports our warehouse, but has participated in Leadership Huntsville and engaged in donor events, meetings and more, as he learns the ins and out of how a nonprofit works. Our Store Manager, Jennifer Cummings, did an amazing job as we saw significant growth in teacher shopping (over 18%!), and continues to provide high quality volunteer experiences at our free store. Beth Vest, our Director of Operations and Grants, secured multiple major grants this year and – as always – kept our nonprofit running smoothly so that we can serve more teachers and impact more kids.
Personally, this year has been so rewarding as I welcomed my fourth child (and first girl, Lucy!) to my family. I love that my work as a mom directly informs my role as an Executive Director. As a public school parent, it means the world to me that I live in a community where we pull together to ensure every child has access to the tools and resources for an excellent education.
I am looking forward to a wonderful 2024 as we continue to work together to deepen our impact and make a difference for thousands of teachers, kids and classrooms. As you begin to plan your year, I would love for you to consider joining us for our upcoming Paper Chase 5K on Saturday, February 24, 2024. This is a fun event for the whole family and a great way to come together to support our public schools.
Happy New Year!