While teachers and children across Palm Beach County are enjoying another summer vacation, a local nonprofit group is already thinking of the upcoming school year and how it can help educators fill their classrooms with needed supplies without emptying their own wallets. The organization is Resource Depot, and this summer it’s asking local businesses for help in expanding back-to-school collection efforts to include a selective list of new supplies through the “Spare One For Teachers” collection drive.
“Our nonprofit collects reusable materials for education throughout the year, and our efforts are of tremendous benefit to the hundreds of teachers who access our warehouse,” Resource Depot Executive Director Jennifer O’Brien said. “But at the beginning of the school year, even the most resourceful teachers need a boost in the form of items that simply cannot be reused — glue sticks, pencils, tape, for example. So this year, we decided to do even more. We developed ‘Spare One.’”
Local businesses can show their support for education and the environment by becoming a supply drop location to collect internally or in public spaces. Resource Depot will provide locations with a collection bin and poster promoting the Spare One campaign and a supply list to staff and passersby. The Spare One concept is simple — if members of the community each “Spare One” from the office supplies they buy in bulk this summer, these individual contributions add up to significant relief for Palm Beach County’s teachers, which then enhances educational opportunities for children in the school system.
Participating businesses are encouraged to promote their drop locations through social media using hashtag #SpareOneForTeachers and through its Facebook event page (search for “spare one”). Individuals can contribute at these businesses or at Resource Depot, which also welcomes volunteer help sorting and preparing items for distribution. All participants will be recognized at the group’s Aug. 16 Back to School Block Party and on its web site.
Commitments to become a supply drop location are due by Thursday, July 31. More information about the Spare One School Supply Drive and participation information is available at www.resourcedepot.net or by calling (561) 882-0090.
Resource Depot, which moved to 2510 Florida Ave. in West Palm Beach last fall, is a Palm Beach County nonprofit with programs aimed to build a more environmentally, economically and artistically sustainable county through reuse.
Founded in 1999 by a diverse group of charter members from the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County School District and Florida Power & Light, its mission is to divert clean, safe, reusable materials into the hands of people who can use them for educational and artistic purposes.
Local teachers, families and nonprofits can become annual members to “shop” at Resource Depot for educational and arts materials, bring their class for student experiences or have Resource Depot visit their school. Additionally, Resource Depot facilitates a number of grant-supported programs that deliver a blend of art and environmental education to local students. These programs diverted 193,322 pounds of material in the last year from the waste stream.
The public is welcome to visit Resource Depot’s gallery and boutique of repurposed and upcycled artwork, attend do-it-yourself classes and community events and support the organization through donations and volunteer efforts.