By Doug Zanes
Nothing brings greater joy to the people of Zanes Law than hosting our Annual Teacher School Supply Giveaway. In August 2018, we hosted our 8th Annual Teacher School Supply Giveaway where we happily gifted 450 Tucson teachers with around $30,000 of free school supplies.
It was an honor to help these teachers who spend hundreds of dollars of their own money every year to buy supplies for their classrooms.
A group of friends and professional women volunteered for the 2018 school supply giveaway. The group’s spokesperson was thrilled to be there. “We are so excited to see hundreds of teachers go through the lines and play and dance and win more stuff and take the supplies back to their schools so they can do what they do best, which is teach our kids,” she said.
Teachers receive what they need, thanks to Zanes Law’s constant outreach via the private Facebook page the firm created for the Annual Teacher School Giveaway. Today, the group has nearly 1,000 local school teacher members.
“We talk to them throughout the school year, connect with them to see what supplies are needed,” said Casey Hamm, of Zanes Law. “And we engage with them throughout the year until we get to see them at the Giveaway in August.
“It’s something we love doing each year,” Casey said.
Eight years ago, Zanes CEO Claudia Zanes, who happens to be my wife, recognized how desperately Tucson schools needed supplies. Due to a lack of school funding, teachers were emptying their personal wallets to buy paper and other supplies for their students. Many students were showing up to school without even the most basic supplies like pencils, notebooks, and glue.
Claudia and I deeply value education. We could not stand by idly and watch as our Tucson schoolchildren were denied of everything a school experience could be. That’s when we decided to launch an Annual Teacher School Giveaway. It was the best decision we ever made.
“People are extremely important to us,” Claudia said. “Connection is important to us. Being able to help and contribute to the community that we live in, play in, and do business in, is very important to us.”
The first School Supply Giveaway still warms the hearts of local teachers who recall the day.
“I was there!” local teacher Amanda Knutson posted on the Zanes Law Facebook page. “This day is still a great memory–the generosity and friendliness of the staff, the huge bags filled with individual and personal requested items, just an awesome experience.”
The first Giveaway launched with 100 teachers in attendance. “Every year, we get more applications,” Casey said.
We honor a tradition of partnering with a local organization every year so we can maximize our impact on the community. For our 2018 Annual Teacher School Supply Giveaway, we partnered with Casa Maria Catholic Worker Community, an organization devoted to acts of mercy, including feeding and clothing those in need.
We coordinated our efforts by asking every teacher who attended the Annual Teacher School Giveaway to bring one item to donate to Casa Maria Catholic Worker Community. By the end of the event, we had collected nearly 1,000 items.
It won’t be long before we start accepting registration forms for our 2019 Annual School Supply Giveaway. Stay tuned to our website or Facebook page for updates on when registration will open.
When we “open our doors” for applications, keep the following information in mind:
See you soon, Tucson teachers! Something tells me this year’s School Supply Giveaway is going to be better than ever!