Longview Gives Back: Free2Teach

Free 2 Teach is a 501(c)(3) organization located in Huntsville, Alabama. They provide free resources to teachers in Madison County’s three public school systems – Huntsville City Schools, Madison City School, and Madison County Schools.  These resources are available to more than 3,800 full-time classroom teachers and their 52,000 students, improving the educational experience of area children, and strengthening the community’s future workforce. In 2015, Free 2 Teach distributed more than $600,000 of supplies and resources to teachers.

Kristin Gipner

The organization was founded by two friends, one a retired school teacher after a discussion in December 2009 during a holiday gift drive that involved school supplies. They talked about how wonderful it would be for teachers to have access to supplies needed for their classrooms. Eula Battle, current Free 2 Teach Executive Director and wife of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, was that retired school teacher. She launched Free 2 Teach out of her garage after collecting surplus and out-of-date supplies from local businesses. Today, a brick and mortar Free 2 Teach Store operates from a 10,000 square foot combined retail and warehouse space.

From their website:

“Students need supplies to learn. Teachers need tools to teach. Our community needs young people to drive our future.  Free 2 Teach is the connection point for these needs.  We connect our teachers with a multitude of resources including traditional school supplies, office supplies, math and science resources, craft items, room décor, books, furniture and more.

Free 2 Teach is committed to easing the personal financial burden of teachers.  Did you know that teachers spend between five-hundred and fifteen-hundred dollars of their own money every year to buy supplies for their students and classrooms?

Each teacher who shops at the Free 2 Teach store leaves with an average of $400 in free classroom resources.  We are grateful to be able to give back to our community’s teachers in a very tangible way.  We applaud their passion for doing this important work and look forward to supporting them as they continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students and our community.”

How To Give or Support

Free2Teach offers volunteer hours throughout the week in slots of 2 hours, 3 hours, or all day. A volunteer FAQ section is included on their website. Volunteer positions include:

  • Front Desk – Greet and check in teachers
  • Restock the Store – Restock and sort inventory after the designated teacher shopping times
  • Assist Teachers and Restock
  • Check-out – Assist teachers who have completed their shopping to check out and bag their supplies

Longview’s Jeff Jones recently volunteered as part of a team from Leadership Huntsville/Madison County’s Connect 19 class.

Free 2 Teach offers a means of direct financial donation through their website via Paypal. Free 2 Teach is a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

They also rely on donations of supplies to keep their inventory stocked. A full supply wish list is available on their web site, but their most needed school supplies include:

  • Crayola Colored pencils – 12 count
  • Crayola Markers- 10 count
  • Crayons – 8/16/24 count
  • Glue Sticks
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Copy paper
  • Facial Tissue
  • Paper Towels

How to Contact Them and Learn More

You can call (256) 886-7065 for more information. Their retail and warehouse is located at 3054 Leeman Ferry Road, Huntsville, AL 35801. Their mailing address is P.O. Box 1405, Huntsville, AL 35807. You can visit them online at their website or on Facebook.