Amira Van Leeuwen
Kyle — Kyle Teacher Reuse’s Tuesday donation didn’t go as expected.
A week and a half after celebrating the grand opening, Kyle Teacher Reuse had 48 hours to say goodbye to the building at 3700 Kyle Crossing on November 29th.
The Teacher Reuse, a non-profit organization that provides free school supplies and other educational materials to classroom teachers, was unable to raise the anticipated funding needed to pay its lease payments.
Kyle and Buda Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Kim Shoemaker helped Teacher Reuse find someone to donate temporary storage space.
Luckily, the community quickly reached out to help.
After hearing the news, community member Neila Barrera didn’t hesitate to step in to help. Ms. Barerra has her 3,000-square-foot building on her property, and with the help of her neighbors, Teacher Reuse has cleaned it so items can be moved.
Coming from a long family of educators, Barrera couldn’t believe how they could be thrown out into the street without a place.
“For years, teachers have paid for supplies out of their own pocket,” says Barrera. “It’s important to help them. So I thought it was very sad that they weren’t allowed to stay.”
Russell Kinnell of Morningstar Storage also donated storage space, and A Plus Federal Credit Union also made a monetary donation.
Shelly O’Donnell, founder and director of Teacher Reuse, is overwhelmed with emotion after receiving so much support from the community.
“I can’t believe… how the community has stepped up,” said O’Donnell.
O’Donnell expects the operating capital to be around $60,000, with the bulk of that estimate coming from leases. But since March, the nonprofit has received only about $6,000 in funding.
Teacher Reuse has received temporary storage, but is still not out of the woods as there are still funds associated with running the organization.
“We need funding,” said O’Donnell.
The retired teacher also emphasized that the temporary closure does not only affect Hays County, as the organization serves teachers at public schools or charter schools in Central Texas.
“We are up until 4am and we don’t want to move many times. We have no energy,” she said. “This move alone will probably cost her $1,000 before packing up, paying for U-Haul, paying the movers.”
O’Donnell also said the longer Teacher Reuse is closed, the longer teachers will be unable to provide supplies to students.
“That’s why this is so urgent,” she said.
If you are interested in donating to Teacher Reuse, please call (512)-965-2536 or visit https://www.theteacherreuse.org/operating-expense-donation.