More than 21,000 students in the Portland Public Schools live in poverty. Many of them show up at schools with empty hands and sit at empty desks. While the system’s teachers spend an average of $1,700 out of their own pockets every year for supplies, that doesn’t always meet the demand. Thom Manwell helps make sure students and teachers have what they need through his work with Schoolhouse Supplies and its Free Store for Teachers.
Tom has helped hundreds of teachers and thousands of students because of his bleieve that all youth deserve the tools needed to succeed in school, regardless of their economic background. Twice a week, he sorts through donated school and office supplies that are distributed through the store. To date, more than $15.4 million in supplies have gone to local classrooms. Tom also donates free shopping vouchers he earns as a volunteer to a school outside the district Schoolhouse Supplies serves to allow even more teachers to get the materials they need.
Tom is hard-working and dedicated. Schoolhouse Supplies can count on his helping hand ot process donations and make sure they are accessible to teachers throughout the district.