Tulsa teacher turns to panhandling to raise money for classroom supplies

Posted at 8:36 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 23:52:29-04

A Tulsa teacher is making a bold statement about the state of education as she pleads for money at a intersection in order to pay for classroom supplies.

Teresa Danks is a third grade teacher in the Tulsa Public Schools systems.

As a result of serious education budget cuts, Danks says she is now spending between $2,000 and $3,000 of her $35,000 salary on supplies for her students.

Oklahoma ranks nearly last in teacher pay when compared to other states across the U.S.

“It all adds up week after week and month after month,” Danks said. “So, it’s a huge need.”

Danks says she decided to ask the public for help after she learned lawmakers weren’t going to help her.

In six minutes Tuesday, the veteran teacher made $55 standing on the street corner near 193rd East Avenue and I-44, more than double what she makes per hour in the classroom.

Danks says she was overwhelmed by the response, and she became emotional talking about it. She says her unusual fundraising style not just about the money, but she says she is setting out to bring awareness to the budget cut crisis and how it affects Oklahoma’s education system.

Danks says she hopes that other teachers will join her in the effort. She urges people to donate to their local schools, because she believes other teachers are likely in similar situations.

If you would like to contact Danks, you can email her here.

She released a list of needed supplies Wednesday:

"Local Friends,  "With more budget cuts to our schools, I am in need of some help. If you already have, would be willing to save up for me, donate or sell cheaply for the 2017-18 school year it would be greatly appreciated. Just comment if you are able to help. Thanks so much."


Any and all things crafty:

Egg cartons
Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
Old, leftover party paper plates
Pipe cleaners
Broken costume jewelry
Craft wire
Silk flowers
Plastic water bottles
Gallon size plastic jugs
Sewing needles/Thread
Fabric pieces
Cotton balls/Pom Poms
Safety pins
Stencils (letters & pictures)
Stamp pads
Large felt board
Sandwich bags

Other items:

Treasure box single wrap candy
Single electric hot burner
Board games and card games for ages 6+
Big Joe black bean bag chair
Yoga balls
Small dorm size refrigerator
Small microwave

Story courtesy of Fox 23 News

***In Palm Beach County, anyone can help by donating to their local school. WPTV reached out to the Red Apple Supply Store, which helps teachers in Palm Beach County. 

Donations will be accepted on August 8 at Riviera Beach Prep Academy, located at 7071 Garden Road.


They are looking for supplies as Glue Stix, hand sanitizers, composition books and clothing, as underwear and socks for Kindergarten to 3rd grade children.