History Colleen

My process and a few photos:
I had always intended to donate my teaching materials when I retired.  Like most teachers, I purchased new and used books and assorted educational materials for my classroom and 1:1 work with students.  After 34 years, it adds up!  When the pandemic struck in early 2020 and I was approaching retirement at the end of the school year, I wanted to make sure the materials made their way into the hands of children and teachers who needed them most and could literally open a box and begin exploring.   I was very fortunate to connect with a coordinator at Navajo Strong.  We brainstormed ways to get the materials to teachers and children in the hard hit community. 

The gathering process:

Once I had all of my materials collected, I sorted them by category and subject matter and further into groups – for children, for teachers.

I began to wash, sanitize and “package” individual materials.  While some of the packaging consists of numerous ziplock bags, the bags are NOT single use and will allow teachers to readily see, store and access everything that is needed, in-the-moment, when preparing lessons and working with groups of young children and students.

My final inventory.

Once I had everything sorted and inventoried, I began to explore options for shipping. After making a connection with Give Back Box, I got my neighbors involved.  My husband and I drove around collecting boxes.  Pretty soon neighbors began to hand-deliver boxes – it was really fabulous!
The bathroom scale came out and I spent the better part of a few days boxing up “just the right combination” of materials to hit the 20 pound sweet spot!  The end result – 29  boxes.  Now, it’s off to the UPS store.  The manager saw the first load and met me at the car!

I can’t wait for the rest of the story… once the materials are delivered and distributed.