While we are fortunate in my district to be well outfitted with school supplies at the beginning of the year, there are always things I wish I had on hand that aren’t provided for with limited school budgets. Usually this means I go out and spend my own money on things for the classroom, but last year I discovered something incredible.
Some of you may be familiar with the site Reddit. I won’t go into what the site is here (a quick Google search will turn up lots of info). One of the little offshoots of Reddit is something called RedditGifts, where a variety of exchanges happen between total strangers. There are gift exchanges for a huge variety of things.
One of the gift exchanges is for teachers. As a teacher, you sign up for the program in the summer. You create a profile of your class and your needs. Others sign up as gift givers – people who will be matched up with a teacher and will then go out and buy gifts for that class, for no other reason than that they wanted to. It’s an incredible program, particularly worthwhile for teachers in areas where resources are more scarce and they need all the help they can get.
This isn’t a gift “exchange”; teachers only receive, they don’t send, and people who send things don’t receive anything other than your thanks. The gifts you receive may be completely anonymous, or the person may have included their Reddit username, or they may have included their name and address (in which case perhaps a thank you note or some thank you cards would be in order!).
All you have to do, as a recipient of a gift, is post a photo of it to the RedditGifts website. This is to help the sender know that you received the items and for you to send a message of thanks.
This year, I received all of this from one very kind soul out in British Columbia:
Duotangs, glue, tape, sharpeners, scissors, paint, notebooks, pencil crayons, markers, erasers, pencil cases, construction paper – it was an AWESOME gift and my students were really excited about everything. I had mentioned in my profile that my students often came to school without some of these things (often because they can’t afford everything on the supply list) and that the school doesn’t provide everything (for example, individual sharpeners or pencil cases).
They haven’t opened up sign-ups for the 2015-2016 school year yet, which generally happens in August, but you should definitely keep this site on your radar if this is something that would interest you.
Click here for a gallery of last year’s gifts. You can see the incredible things sent to teachers all over the world. People are remarkably generous and kind!