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As teachers struggle to keep up with school supplies, 'I Heart Bryan' plans to be hub for their needs

Posted at 9:38 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 22:38:37-04

BRYAN, Texas — As the nation experiences inflation, teachers are going to need continued help when it comes to stocking their classrooms with supplies.

Charity organization I Heart Bryan has created a new initiative that aims to fill teachers’ cabinets with everything they need to succeed, all year round.

Monica Martine, who has been teaching in the Brazos Valley for 12 years, is also a member of I Heart Bryan. Like many teachers, Martinez has struggled to supply her classrooms, and to find resources to decorate them for her students.

“Every year I know I have to put out emails to parents," she said. "I'll say, 'Hey we need this and that.' We need supplies beyond what the district supplies for us.”

Martinez felt this was an area where I Heart Bryan could step in to make a difference. Partnering with Morningstar Storage of Bryan, Martinez plans to host I Heart Bryan's first school supply drive next weekend, where they will take donations of anything and everything to get the ball rolling for a year-round teacher closet.

“Through Morningstar Storage, our community can continuously bless," said Fabi Payton, Bryan ISD teacher and founder of I Heart Bryan. "If a business wants to donate and help but say, ‘I don’t know who to contact. I don’t know the principals.’ Well, you can contact us!"

Payton said she can see, and has known personally, just how much teachers would benefit from a year-round hub with free supplies.

“Teachers really need that," she said. "Their cups are really empty. We’re coming out of a pandemic mode, where teachers [have been ]hitting double duty, so you’re looking at a burnt out workforce that had already had a shortage, and was already doing work not equitable to their pay.”

Once the first rounds of donations are collected, organizers for the teacher's closet will start taking direct requests from local teachers at the beginning of August. I Heart Bryan will accept any and all donations, whether it be toiletries and cleaning supplies, decorations, school supplies, art supplies, instruments for music class, sports equipment for P.E., etc. Organizers just ask that the items be clean and functional.

The donation drive will be from noon to 4 p.m. next Sunday, June 26, at Morningstar Storage. The storage facility is located at 425 N Harvey Mitchell Pkwy in Bryan [not to be confused with the Boonville Road location].