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Former Hays CISD teacher launches The Teacher Reuse to help teachers get school supplies

Since opening in August, The Teacher Reuse has been visited by more than 400 teachers from 27 different school districts.

KYLE, Texas — In a small portable building in Kyle, a big impact is being made.

“I want teachers to know that we care,” said Shelly O’Donnell, the founder of The Teacher Reuse in Hays County. “I was a teacher, and you can take a teacher out of the classroom but you can't take the classroom out of a teacher.”

So even though O’Donnell is out of the classroom, she is still helping teachers fill theirs.

“It is a need,” said O’Donnell. “I remember teaching and I remember how much money I spent.”

O’Donnell started The Teacher Reuse in August, after learning of a similar operation in Forth Worth. 

It’s a place where teachers and community members can donate supplies they no longer use, and a place where teachers can pick up free classroom supplies if they need them.

“Teachers spend about, you know, $750 to $1,000 every year out of pocket,” said O’Donnell. “That's a very large amount.

Since starting just over one month ago, The Teacher Reuse has already served 425 teachers and have saved teachers a total of $55,000. All of this money saved doesn’t happen without donations and the help of volunteers, like Cindy Naples, who said this impacts more than just teachers.

“That's what I'm hoping,” said Naples. “That someday, some child way down the road will say, ‘Oh, yeah, I remember reading some books that my teacher got and they were well loved because they were really handled and all that. And so now I love them, too.’”

Their current building is donated by Hays CISD temporarily, but they are looking for a larger, permanent building.

“We want to be able to offer more to more teachers, and growth is our goal right now,” said O’Donnell.

The Teacher Reuse is in need of volunteers and donations. To learn how you can help, click here.  

All teachers can visit The Teacher Reuse. They are located at 21003 Interstate 35 in Kyle, which is in the same parking lot as the Hays CISD Administration Building. You can view hours on their website


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