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Parent creates 'Adopt-A-Teacher' group to clear teachers' Amazon wish lists

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Jun 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-20 19:29:17-04

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — The COVID-19 pandemic was extremely tough on teachers. From virtual learning to a lack of resources, it put undue pressure on many.

But in hopes to mitigate some of that burden to thank teachers who go above and beyond for their kids every school year, a Facebook group was started by a parent in the Lee’s Summit School District.

“We’re giving them our kids to educate and we should be able to have a platform for them to say, 'This is what we need,'” said Rachel Mitchell, who created the group. “We don’t want to lose them because they don’t feel seen or supported.”

In August 2021, Mitchell launched “Unofficial Lee’s Summit R7 Adopt-A-Teacher.” Teachers in the district can drop their Amazon wish list, and anyone willing can buy supplies.

Within hours, Mitchell's mission took off. Now, two years later, there are more than 2,500 active members.

“I have had so many people say, ‘I’m in tears. COVID-19 was awful. We were trying to do our best, and we didn’t feel seen and supported.' This solves that,” Mitchell said.

Area businesses and churches have jumped on the wagon as well, making it easier for teachers like Mary Davis to continue their passion.

“You had to have individual supplies for every single kid, and budgets didn’t really get bigger for school districts, so it forcefully came out of teachers' budgets,” Davis said. “We used to do a lot of supply sharing, and then when COVID-19 happened, we couldn’t share supplies anymore.”

Pencil sharpeners, scissors and Kleenex, especially during peak cold seasons, come out of Davis' own pay. Yearly, she estimates she spends at least $500 for her classroom.

“I’ve been putting my wish lists in there, and I’ve been blessed and very lucky that I’ve had things bought off of them,” Davis said. “It just made me feel like, kind of like Christmas! Oh my gosh, someone actually got me something, somebody that I don’t even know does care.”

If you want to help donate, you can click the link here to join the group.