The Nonprofit/For-Profit Connection

by Jill Maruca

Treasures-4-TeachersOn the first day of school the small girl walked to her teacher, one of her tiny shoes in hand. She held it out to the teacher, who gave a puzzled look. “I need to borrow a pencil, please,” the girl said.

Former teacher Barbara Blalock learned that the last school the little girl attended had so few resources students had to trade something for supplies, until the supplies were returned. Seeing the great need for classroom resources, Blalock is now executive director of Treasures 4 Teachers, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide low-cost and free classroom supplies for teachers.

Blalock started Treasures 4 Teachers, T4T, to save teachers money and give them the tools to help students learn.  Many of the supplies are donations from retired teachers and from businesses — like CopperPoint Insurance Companies.

As community engagement coordinator for CopperPoint, I got my company involved with T4T several years ago after hearing how they reuse items many companies toss — used binders, desk trays, file folders — and just how valuable those items are for teachers.

CopperPoint’s support for education fit well with T4T. Employees volunteer, sorting donations and packing gift bags. Employees save reusable paper supplies, staplers, ink cartridges and even desk chairs, knowing that all will be available for new use by teachers.

CopperPoint has donated backpacks filled with school supplies to an entire elementary school for 13 years. Our employees donate all the supplies, and our executives contribute so that each teacher receives a membership for T4T. The first year, we gave them store gift cards, but once we learned about T4T, that membership gives them resources all year.

My belief in T4T’s mission led me to join its board last year. I sort of invited myself.  I wanted to be more involved, especially in getting the word out to teachers since it is such an amazing benefit to them.


Jill Maruca is the Community Engagement Coordinator of CopperPoint Insurance Companies

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