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Teacher Supply Depot

Spring 2004

Chattanooga, TN. Chamber members donated $214,625 in cash and supplies to the Hamilton County Schools’ Teacher Supply Depot from July 2003 to January 2004. The contributions amounted to almost 80 percent of the $270,651 total gifts to the Depot during that period.

“The Depot is grateful for all the support we received from businesses and individuals throughout the Chattanooga community,” says Depot Chairperson Lori Moore, who released the statistics. “We are especially grateful to the Chamber of Commerce for endorsing our project and for challenging its members to support the Depot.”

Created by the Hamilton County Council of PTAs and the Hamilton County Department of Education, the Depot is a repository for donated classroom supplies that Hamilton County schoolteachers are allowed to visit on designated “shopping days” to obtain classroom supplies free of charge.

Chamber President and CEO Tom Edd Wilson says he is delighted at the response to the Chamber’s challenge to its members and to the assistance the business community is providing public school teachers and students through the Depot.

“The Chamber has made education one of its top priorities,” Wilson says. “We need a well-educated workforce to assume the jobs of the 21st century—jobs that require math, computer, reading, and critical thinking skills. A sound education system is essential for a healthy business community.”
Last fall the Chamber challenged its members to donate $40,000 to the Depot for its second shopping day on January 31, 2004. Chamber members responded by donating $47,253 in cash and products to the Depot. For the first opening day on August 9, 2003, Chamber members contributed $167,372.

“The Chamber has received thank-you notes from three different schools,” Wilson says. “We know the teachers and the students appreciate the support for education from the business community.”

Located in the old Garber Elementary School on Roanoke Avenue, the Depot was established to help adequately equip classrooms in the county system and to prevent teachers from having to spend so much of their own money on classroom necessities.

During the Depot’s second “shopping day” for teachers on January 31, a total of 348 teachers, representing 72 of Hamilton County’s 81 schools, visited the Depot and left with supplies of all kinds. Each teacher received an average of $215 in supplies.

The next Depot “shopping day” will take place this fall.

“We would like to provide all the teachers with basic supplies—pencils, index cards, binders, copy paper, notebooks, and file folders—as well as supplies appropriate for their grade level, such as glue sticks and tempera paints for elementary school teachers,” Moore says.
Other basics on the Depot wish list are scissors, markers, rulers, staplers, tape dispensers, glue, dry-erase markers, Post-it notes, desk organizers, calculators, computers, and printers.
“We’re also happy to receive furniture discards, outdated letterhead, or old National Geographic magazines,” Moore says. “Before companies send anything to recycling, we hope they’ll offer the materials to us.”

The Chamber continues to encourage its members to make the Teacher Supply Depot a priority. “I hope that businesses will challenge their fellow businesses to contribute through cash donations or with excess inventory, outdated letterhead, old magazines, and other materials that schoolteachers can use,” Wilson says.

For more information, visit the Teacher Supply Depot Web site at