Education Funding

School-Supplies Donor Marks Its Anniversary With Hurricane Relief

By Laura Greifner — December 13, 2005 1 min read

The SHOPA Kids in Need Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, marking a decade of providing school supplies to teachers and students in low-income communities.

But instead of throwing an anniversary party, the Dayton, Ohio-based philanthropy says it has been focusing on getting supplies to students affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

“When we saw that devastation, we knew we had to respond, but we wanted to respond in a way that was appropriate,” said Kathy L. Spencer, the executive director of the foundation, an offshoot of the School, Home, and Office Products Association, also based in Dayton.

“When it first happened, school supplies would have been totally irrelevant,” she added, referring specially to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated parts of the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts in late August. “The last thing you need is to have your building blown apart and have someone show up with a truck full of three-ring binders.”

The first Kids in Need resource center, where eligible teachers can “shop” for school supplies at no charge, was opened in Chicago. A decade later, the foundation has 21 resource centers in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The supplies come from monetary and in-kind donations from businesses.

Soon after the hurricanes, Kids in Need and its partners focused at first on necessities such as desks and chairs. More recently, they have begun to provide paper supplies and other smaller items.

“It’s not just about the supplies themselves, as much as it’s about telling the child that somebody cares about them and wants them to have an equal start to the school year,” Ms. Spencer said of the foundation’s work.

Future plans for the foundation are simply to keep expanding, Ms. Spencer said, pointing to the millions of American children living in poverty.

“We have a huge job ahead of us in order to reach more kids,” she said, “and that’s our job for the next 10 years.”

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding School Infrastructure Funding in Flux as Senators Advance Package Funding Electric Buses
Groups are warning school infrastructure could get shortchanged as Democrats negotiate a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget deal.
5 min read
facilities infrasturcture 1284422306 [Converted] 02
Pratya Vuttapanit/iStock/Getty
Education Funding The Fight Over Charter School Funding in Washington, Explained
Tensions between some Democrats in Congress and charter school backers have reached a new level over proposed restrictions on federal aid.
6 min read
Image of the Capitol.
Education Funding What the House Education Spending Bill Would Do for Schools, in One Chart
House lawmakers have advanced a funding bill for next year with big increases for several education programs, but it's far from a done deal.
3 min read
Collage of Capitol dome and school
Education Funding House Democrats Pitch 'Massive Funding Increase' in Latest Education Spending Bill
The proposal would more than double aid to Title I programs for low-income students and aims to help schools address fallout from COVID-19.
4 min read
Drawing of money dropping into a jar.