The Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap was recently featured in an episode of the new nationally-broadcasted television series, “Returning the Favor”, hosted by TV personality Mike Rowe and aired exclusively on Facebook.
As a Baltimore native whose parents are retired teachers, Rowe was eager to highlight how the Swap empowers teachers. Executive Director Melissa Badeker believed that the show would only feature the Swap’s operation and mission. However, unbeknownst to her, a group of Swap supporters and volunteers worked overnight with the show’s crew and a design team from Frederick-based Zolatan Design Company to transform the free store. They completely redesigned the space and stocked the free store with $20,000 of brand new classroom supplies. When Badeker returned to the Swap the next day, she was shocked to be greeted by a crowd of cheering friends and family. In addition, Facebook donated $7,200 to the Swap to cover rental costs for a year.
Badeker says, “This transformation recognizes teachers for their dedication and hard work. Teaching can be a thankless job, but we hope that this warm, welcoming space and abundance of brand new supplies shows how much we appreciate them.”
Thanks to Rowe and his crew, the Swap is now better prepared to meet the needs of its growing roster of members of teachers from Baltimore and beyond. The show is available to watch anytime at https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/.
Says co-founder Kathleen Williams, “The Swap has overcome many obstacles in order to stay open and serve the Baltimore community. This gift provided us with funds and materials needed for continued growth.”
ABOUT THE BALTIMORE TEACHER SUPPLY SWAP
Co-founded in 2014 by former teachers Melissa Badeker and Kathleen Williams, the Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap equips teachers, schools, and educational programs with classroom supplies to help students learn. The Swap was formed to address the inadequacy of public school systems that fail to provide teachers with the necessary materials for their classrooms. As a result of this gap, teachers spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to ensure their students have the materials they need. The Swap seeks to relieve this pressure on teachers by collecting materials that people and businesses no longer need and distributing them to educators through a free store. The Swap is located at 1224 Wicomico Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 and is open on Thursdays from 3:00pm to 5:30pm and Saturdays from 11:00 to 2:00pm. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on donating; contact Melissa@teachersupplyswap.org for all other inquiries.