SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The Teacher Reuse, a non-profit dedicated to providing free teaching supplies to Central Texas educators, found a new permanent storefront in San Marcos after months of searching. The store is holding its grand reopening on Saturday.
The non-profit was kicked out of its original spot after the start of the previous school year, and since then its founder had been moving supplies from her own personal garage to a storage unit in Buda.
The organization’s founder, Shelly O’Donnell, said the city of San Marcos reached out to her about a new home. The city gave O’Donnell a building that was not being used, and even gave her extra space because the amount of supplies it had could not fit in just one building.
“We are very thankful to the city of San Marcos,” O’Donell said. “We want teachers to come here first before they go to the big chain stores and buy things we already have sitting here.”
No distance too far
The Teacher Reuse has everything you could possibly imagine when it comes to teaching supplies. Books, storage containers, motivational posters, even handmade products that teachers have donated in the past.
O’Donnell was trying to find a location that was closer to Austin so that she could be in a good traveling spot for everyone, but she is happy to have found a place, even if it’s further south than she anticipated.
But the distance has not stopped any teachers. O’Donnell has a list of teachers that have signed up or claimed items at her store, and they come from all around. One teacher was making the 90 minute drive from Fredericksburg to get supplies, while another teacher was coming from a small Texas town that O’Donnell had never even heard of, Waelder.
Latasha Calcagani, a first-grade teacher in Leander I.S.D., is not deterred from the far drive to San Marcos.
“That all I have to do is spend a little time driving, which is totally cool. Just put on some music and drive, and go get something that you can use probably for years to come,” Calcagani said.
She just moved from Alabama last year and left all of her kindergarten teaching supplies there. She is starting over with a new grade and was grateful to find the non-profit. She said it is going to save her thousands of dollars.
“Amazing to me. I wish they had something like that in Alabama,” Calcagani said.
What to know for the grand reopening
O’Donnell and her volunteers are getting ready for the reopening on Saturday. Since space is tight, and the weather is going to make things even hotter, O’Donnell and her team have put together a registration list to make things simpler.
You will need to prove you are an employed educator. You will need to fill out the proof of employment form on their website. You can also find instructions of how to prove you work as a teacher online.
The store will remain open all year now that it has a permanent storefront. O’Donnell said she is ready to serve all year.
“They can call me and ask me for something and I will reach out to the community and make sure that we get what a teacher needs,” O’Donnell explained.