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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Making sure students have what they need in the classroom is expensive. 

Guilford Education Alliance estimates teachers spend between $650 to $1000 of their own money on school supplies. The nonprofit wants to make sure teachers don’t have to cover those costs. It runs a teacher supply warehouse in Greensboro to provide school supplies at no cost to them. 

Teachers can sign up online for a time to shop. About 2,000 of them will visit between mid-July and the start of the school year. Guilford Education Alliance’s vice president, Karen Hornfeck, says it’s a way to show teachers support right now.

“Every day there are teachers in the classroom really struggling hard to make a difference and this is a way we can make sure they have all the supplies that they need for a successful year.” 

Karen Hornfeck’s daughter, Kat, is an art teacher at Archer and Southwest Elementary Schools. She says costs add up quickly so getting decorations and paper for free makes a real difference. She turned down a job in another district because of the strong community support in Guilford County. She says the boost from getting supplies at no cost ultimately benefits the children she serves. “It’s like we’re constantly being given and giving back and it’s like this amazing cycle of kindness that’s growing.”

20% of teachers who shop in the warehouse are from High Point. Financial support from High Point Community Foundation keeps the warehouse stocked so teachers can shop up to four times throughout the year.

“With every donation that they make, they allow us to purchase supplies at wholesale cost. That really doubles the amount of the donation and that means when teachers come here they have the supplies that they need,” Karen Hornfeck said.

You can support Guilford Education Alliance’s teacher supply warehouse by volunteering, hosting a supply drive or donating gently used supplies like puzzles and games. You can visit their website or call (336) 841-4332.