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Our Story

It all started with a crayon.

Demetrius was a kindergartner at Orange Center Elementary. It was the first week of school and his teacher, Ms. McLeish was giving her class an hour of art time. Each student was handed a box of crayons and a piece of paper. Within seconds the class was busy at work, coloring, drawing, creating--everyone except Demetrius.

Ms. McLeish noticed him sitting quietly and asked him why he was not drawing. All he could say was, "I don't know how."

She realized then that this bright little boy had never even had the chance to hold a crayon. So, she pulled out a purple crayon, wrapped his little fist around it, and whisked it over the paper. Immediately, his eyes lit up like she had pulled a rabbit out of a hat. He then pulled a red crayon, a yellow, then a blue and soon enough he had a rainbow of color on his page and a huge smile on his face.

At A Gift For Teaching (AGFT), we believe that something as simple as a crayon can make an extraordinary difference in the success of a child.

Just like Demetrius's, AGFT's story is beautifully simple. What began in 1998 from our founder Gary Landwirth as a way to recycle unwanted or surplus supplies from businesses has grown into tri-county-wide operation distributing more than $40,000 worth of school supplies and incentives daily for FREE.

With Free Stores in each of the counties we serve, AGFT is able to get free school supplies into the hands of our community's highest-need schools and classrooms providing necessary tools to students who otherwise would have none while making sure teachers don't have to spend their own money.

Thousands of companies, individuals and volunteers have allowed AGFT's teacher Free Stores to distribute more than $62 million worth of school supplies to underprivileged children and grow to not only provide school supplies, but experiences as well. We extend our utmost thanks to all of our partners for their dedication, support and belief that no product should go to waste, no teacher should have to spend their own money, and no child should miss out on a chance to succeed merely because they lack the tools.

Please visit our Story Corner to learn even more about A Gift For Teaching and follow us on:
Twitter/agift4teaching      AGFT's YouTube Channel      AGFT's Videos on Vimeo      Pencil Boy's Place Blog                                        

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