News 6 viewers donate $52,729 for school supply drive

Will help serve teachers and students in Orange and Osceola counties

News 6 viewers donated $51,829 through a school supply drive phone bank Thursday.

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 viewers donated $52,729 through a school supply drive phone bank Thursday.

News 6 and Addition Financial teamed up with A Gift For Teaching to serve students in Orange and Osceola counties.

A Gift For Teaching is Central Florida’s primary provider of free school supplies to teachers so they can provide for their students in need.

[RELATED: Donate here]

For every $1 donated, A Gift For Teaching can provide $10 worth of essential supplies to students.

News 6 offered special coverage for the supply drive Aug. 15, when $1 in donations equaled $20 in supplies.

The funds raised Thursday will be converted into $1,036,580 worth of school supplies for Central Florida students.

The Top 5 essentials are:

  • No. 2 lead pencils
  • 8- or 10-count markers
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • 24-count crayons
  • Dry-erase markers
  • Why A Gift For Teaching exists

    • More than 70% (nearly 200,000) students in Central Florida can’t afford lunch, let alone school supplies. More than 9,700 of these children are homeless and do not have a consistent, adequate housing.
    • Students’ lack of access to essential supplies impacts their interest in learning, their self-esteem, and their desire to participate in class.
    • Local teachers report spending an average of $520 a year of their own money on supplies so their students can be successful in school.
    • Teachers in Central Florida say free supplies are important to create a more equal learning environment, to increase the variety and scope of their classroom activities, and to their personal budget.
    • 215 out of 295 public schools in Orange and Osceola counties are considered high-poverty schools with more than 60% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch. 

    A Gift For Teaching impact

    • For every $1 received, up to $10 worth of supplies can go back into the classroom for students in need through AGFT.
    • More than $61,000 worth of supplies is distributed daily with an average teacher shop value of $425 per month.
    • Our Free Teacher Supply Store receives more than 14,000 teacher shopping visits throughout the school year.
    • Pencil Boy Express – The Mobile Free Store makes more than 20 trips to reach teachers unable to visit the store.
    • Pencil Boy Online delivers more than 3,000 supply orders direct to teacher classrooms a school year.
    • School SmARTS provides more than $1 million worth of free art supplies and curriculum to art teachers.
    • A Gift For Music offers tuition-free string education to more than 300 students a school year.

    Through the years

    • More than $128.5 million in supplies distributed including pencils, books, backpacks, art supplies, clothing, and hygiene items.
    • Placed more than 13.1 million pencils and 2.1 million books into classrooms for teachers and their students.
    • Over 726,000 hours donated by individual and group volunteers through sorting and managing our Free Teacher Supply Store, operating Pencil Boy Express, fulfilling Pencil Boy Online orders, assisting with events, and more.

    How to support

    • Donate time: Volunteers are vital to keep our programs running every day and allows for lower overhead to serve local teachers more efficiently so they can focus on what matters most: student success.
    • Donate supplies: AGFT provides free supplies throughout the entire school year, so consistently collecting classroom essentials for teachers and their students is a high priority to keep our shelves stocked.

  • Supply drives: Top 5 Essentials include #2 pencils, markers (8- or 10- count), loose leaf paper, crayons (24-count), and dry erase markers.
  • Office cleaning: Office surplus equipment and materials can be reused and repurposed by teachers to outfit their desks and classrooms.
  • Recycle electronics: In partnership with A1 Assets, AGFT receives a portion of proceeds from all donated discarded, recyclable electronics.
    • Donate gifts: Financial contributions allow AGFT to distribute nearly $9 million in essential school supplies annually. Give online at or contact us to learn how to directly support programs, events, and overall sustainability.

    Watch News 6 for more.