We prepped all summer for this. We’ve gathered supplies from the farthest reaches of here and yon all over the metro area over the last few months. We’ve seen the blue bins come in overflowing and volunteers’ cars filled to the brim pull up outside. We’ve had volunteers sort & stack, check & tally and bundle & stock for months. And now, we are ready.
The Schoolhouse Supplies Free Store for Teachers opened its doors for the season last week on September 11th, and with it came the familiar sounds of shopping carts being loaded throughout our hallowed halls. This volunteer-run store which is open to all 3,000 teachers in the Portland Public Schools, including charter and alternative schools and our voucher shoppers, the store saw almost 400 shoppers in the first week alone. But thanks to our trusty volunteers, the shelves are restocked daily with supplies so that every educator has a chance to fill their carts. Our store has seen over 38,000 shopping trips in the 13 years of its existence, a testament to the need that exists and to the dedication of the volunteers who run it.
Open Tuesday through Thursday from 1 till 7 p.m. each school and its teachers are assigned 8 weeks during the year in which to shop. Teachers are broken up into school-specific weeks on the Shopping Calendar so that we can accommodate everyone with ease. With each trip they can fill their cart with things like copy paper, glue sticks, pencils, folders books, pens, markers, office supplies, teacher resources, art supplies, poster boards, envelopes and the ever-changing incentive shelf items. Every shopping trip to the Free Store is worth an average of $315 and is completely free for teachers!
The Free Store is truly a community effort as the store shelves are stocked with generous contributions of new and gently used supplies from leading area business and from people like you. From basics to books and everything in between Schoolhouse Supplies Free Store for Teachers serves the classrooms, teachers and students to make sure the every child has what they need for a quality education.
If you would like to get involved by volunteering at our Free Store email Caitlin Collings-Domingo or call our office at 503-249-9933 x4.