Non-profit Tucson Values Teachers and Walgreens stores throughout Southern Arizona are spearheading the third "Tucson Supplies Teachers" campaign to stock classrooms and prevent teachers from having to buy school supplies with their own money.
This year, Tucson Values Teachers has set a goal to collect $100,000 in school supplies that will be distributed to all district, private and charter schools in Southern Arizona.
Last year, the two-week campaign collected $71,000 in supplies, almost four times more than the prior year, in which $21,000 worth of donations was collected.
For the second year, a $25,000 grant from the Tucson-based, nonprofit Community Finance Corporation kick-started the drive to purchase supplies for teachers to use in the 2011-2012 school year.
Walgreens is matching this donation by contributing $25,000 worth of supplies and an additional 1,560 packs of tissue. All proceeds from Walgreens are being donated to Tucson Values Teachers to buy additional supplies for Southern Arizona schools.
"Teachers are spending hundreds of dollars each year to supply their students with necessities such as pencils and paper. We find that unacceptable," said Jacquelyn Jackson, executive director of Tucson Values Teachers. "With the generous contributions from Walgreens and Community Finance Corporation, we are trying to keep our teachers' hard-earned money in their pockets."
From now through Aug. 15, all Walgreens stores in Southern Arizona (Pima County, Sierra Vista and Nogales) are hosting collection boxes for the community to drop off items such as notebooks, pencils and crayons. Items can be purchased at Walgreens or brought in from other sources.
On Aug. 15, area businesses are encouraged to donate extra printer paper and any other supplies at Walgreens on Broadway and Camino Seco (8730 East Broadway Road).
More than 10,000 teachers at public, private and charter schools will receive the supply drive donations.
"These donations are a tremendous gift to our teachers. The efforts of Tucson Values Teachers, Walgreens, local businesses and the community through this campaign make an incredibly significant impact in Tucson classrooms," said Maggie Shafer, assistant superintendent of Elementary Schools of Tucson Unified School District.
Additionally, Vantage West Credit Union has selected Tucson Values Teachers as its adopted "Charity of the Quarter." Through this effort, Vantage West employees collected nearly 2,500 items to help local schools.
"We know how important this is to our own children and to the children of our community," said Stephanie Chavez, president of the Vantage West Employee Association. Raytheon Company is also launching a company-wide supply drive that will be donated to Tucson Supplies Teachers.
For a full list of participating Walgreens drugstores and locations, visit www.tucsonvaluesteachers.org.