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WISH-TV’S ‘Gr8 Paper Push’ raises more than $30,000 for Teachers’ Treasures

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For the sixth year, central Indiana came together to support students and teachers in Marion County.

WISH-TV’s “Gr8 Paper Push” school supply drive raised more than $30,000 and collected hundreds of pounds of school supplies to benefit Teachers’ Treasures. Celebrating its 20th year, Teachers’ Treasures describes itself as a “free store for teachers.”

On average, teachers spend between $800 and $1,200 on school supplies for students who don’t have the means to buy them on their own. Teachers’ Treasures works to eliminate that burden.

“Teachers’ Treasures is an essential part of every year that I’ve taught,” said Julia Distefano, a special education teacher at Paramount Englewood. “Without it, I wouldn’t be able to provide books, pencils, paper to my kids as easily. I always end up spending some money out of pocket but it would be hundreds more without them.”

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced schools across central Indiana to make major changes to how they teach, but the need for school supplies remains large. Many teachers have gotten creative to make sure their students have the school supplies they need to succeed in class.

“Kids are going to be at home without school supplies and so what they are doing is they’re driving around and dropping off the supplies,” said Alicia Van Rensburg, Teachers’ Treasures resource development manager. “The need will always be there.”

In years past, the “Gr8 Paper Push” involved WISH-TV teams spending one day traveling across central Indiana picking up school supplies from various businesses. Due to COVID-19, the “Gr8 Paper Push” became almost entirely virtual this year. Online donations were received from more than 300 individual supporters.

“Everything has value,” said Margaret Sheehan, Teachers’ Treasures executive director. “All of these donations that we’re going to be able to get through the ‘Gr8 Paper Push’ and throughout the school year will end up in the hands of a child that really needs it.”

Teachers’ Treasures always welcomes monetary donations and volunteer support. For more information, visit teacherstreasures.org.

The “Gr8 Paper Push” was made possible with the support of many central Indiana businesses, including these (App users, go online to see videos from each business):

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