The Teacher’s Fund celebrated its 20th year by hitting a significant milestone — surpassing the $2 million mark — thanks to strong community support during its annual Back-to-School Drive. The nonprofit serves Santa Barbara-area educators.
The Teacher’s Fund set an ambitious goal this year for its drive, and far exceeded it, due to the generosity of residents, local business leaders and entrepreneurs. This year's drive raised $85,000.
The owners of Village Properties created the Teacher's Fund in 2002 to directly give to teachers, who know best what their students need. Since then, the money donated by the nonprofit has been used to buy printers, art supplies, rugs, iPads, musical instruments, scientific calculators, and hundreds of other items.
“We hope the overwhelming support sends a signal of how important our children and teachers are to our community," said Village Properties Realtor Brianna Johnson. "We will do whatever we can to support them and their teachers.”
With this year’s money, teachers will be able to equip their classes with enrichment activities to facilitate learnings and design solutions to make students’ environments bright and comfortable.
“Teachers are working harder than ever to ensure students are successful after the tumult of the pandemic,” Johnson added.
Renee Grubb, owner of Village Properties Realtors and founder of the Teacher's Fund, said she knew community members would answer the call for help, as they have over the past two decades. But it was still heartwarming to see, she said.
“We feel privileged to be in a position to be able to continue supporting our youngest, most precious resources — the children,” Grubb said.
Grubb credited the work of the full committee: Natalie Grubb, Sheela Hunt, Ruth Jackson, Brianna Johnson, Dianne Johnson, Alyssa Jones, Juliet Parsons, Samuel Seibel, and Angel Speier. “Each year, the committee works harder and harder, if that’s even possible,” Grubb said.
All money brought in from the fundraiser goes directly to local kindergarten through 12th grade teachers to help them buy educational materials that enhance their students’ learning.