Posted at: 10/07/2012 7:31 PM
Updated at: 10/08/2012 7:50 AM
By: Naomi Pescovitz
Twin Cities Resource Center to Reopen in Minneapolis
Every day, kids in the Twin Cities come to school without the supplies they need. But this Tuesday, a "store" where 3,000 teachers get supplies for free will reopen in Minneapolis after being closed for the past year.
The Kids in Need Foundation helped open the Twin Cities Resource Center in 1999 and had provided the supplies. Last year, it closed when the organization providing the warehouse space and staffing pulled out.
"The word we kept hearing was a big 'void.' That this was something they were dependent upon for several years prior to that and all of the sudden it was just gone," said Dave Smith, Executive Director for the Kids in Need foundation.
Now, Kids in Need will run the center with help from corporate sponsors Target, 3M, General Mills and TCF.
Maria Hoekstra, second grade teacher at Sojourner Truth Academy in Minneapolis, was able to visit the resource center last month.
"We didn't know what to expect. So when we came in and saw what this was, we were giddy," Hoekstra said. "I had a shopping cart full of stuff and I was holding it on top to keep it from falling off. And I think I was even kicking something on the floor along with me."
Teachers "spend" about $350 per visit. The supplies will help 40,000 kids.
"To be able to take things like markers and crayons and rulers and things that our kids really need but don't have was awesome because we didn't have to spend our own money to get those things that they really need," Hoekstra said.
The Twin Cities Resource Center is open four days a week and teachers can sign up online. The center serves schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul where at least 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
The Kids in Need foundation has more than two dozen shopping facilities nationwide. You can help by making a monetary donation or dropping off excess merchandise. Click here to donate or learn more. You can also call the Twin Cities Resource Center at (612) 465-0135.