At Back to School Teachers Store, we completely rely on volunteers. In 2014 alone, we had about 150 volunteers give 15,000 hours to sorting donations, stocking shelves, helping the teachers shop, and lightening the load of administrative work.
We’ve recently enjoyed having a Ball State student who performed all of the duties above, and then some. Sam Hovanec came to the Teachers Store through BSU’s Student Voluntary Services program. As an elementary education major, she was excited by the prospect of volunteering at a free resource store for teachers.
Sam was required to volunteer 50 hours in the community as a part of her coursework, but she well exceeded that requirement, putting in 25 hours of volunteerism with another organization in town before spending another 45 hours with BTSTS. So why did she keep coming back? “Not only is it an amazing organization that supports the schools,” said Sam, “but there are amazing people who work and volunteer here. I can come in here after a horrible day, and after two hours, everything is better. I love helping teachers find what they need!” Sam has enjoyed BTSTS so much, she even brought her friend, also named Sam, to volunteer with her.
Before Sam moved home to Valparaiso for the summer, she brought her parents to the Teachers Store for a tour, and we saw that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. Richard & Debra Hovanec, having learned about BTSTS through Sam’s passionate volunteerism, brought donations with them all the way from Valpo!
Throughout the summer, Sam has continued to stay engaged with Back to School Teachers Store. She recently celebrated her 20th birthday, and true to what we’ve come to know as her giving and thoughtful nature, Sam asked her friends and family to make $20 donations to BTSTS in honor of her birthday. We can’t wait to watch Sam grow into an excellent educator!
If you’d like to volunteer with Back to School Teachers Store, we could use your help! Please fill out the volunteer information form, and we’ll be in touch soon!