PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - August is crunch time for parents, students and teachers. The first day of school is often a teacher's first look at how much some students do not have. Many families are unable to afford even basic school supplies.
"They ask the kids to bring so much stuff," said Sherry Lucas, a 7th and 8th grade math and science teacher at Lake Park Baptist School.
The National Retail Federation found that the average cost for back-to-school spending this year is about $670 per family. Teachers too often step in to help get kids the basics, spending an average of $485 of their own money, according to the National Retail Federation.
More teachers are discovering places like The Resource Depot in West Palm Beach, where they can find the supplies they need at little to no cost. "If we didn't have the donors, we wouldn't have a system like this," said Mike Way, Warehouse and Donations Manager at The Resource Depot. The non-profit takes donations of reusable materials that would otherwise end up in the dump and gets them into local classrooms and into hands of local kids. Teachers pay a yearly fee of $25 for as much material as they need.
"We are able to gather and provide a bunch of stuff for teachers that they would otherwise just make do without," said Way. The Resource Depot recently moved to a larger 5,000 square foot warehouse to keep up with demand. No matter the state of the economy, managers say, there is always someone who needs help.
To learn more about that organization and others working very hard in these last few days before the school year, click here .