HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Most school supply drives end in August but as any teacher can tell you, the needs continue throughout the school year.
By the end of September, crayons are starting to dull, glue sticks are drying up and notebooks are being filled.
So, what's a teacher to do? Use personal money to re-stock supplies for students or dip into those precious classroom funds?
For more than 3,000 Huntsville, Madison and Madison County teachers, there's another option.
Free 2 Teach on Leeman Ferry Road is a non-profit that allows teachers in these districts to "shop" for supplies for free.
All the supplies for children are new, although some of the teacher supplies - such as furniture - are second-hand, donated by businesses.
A combination of corporate donations and individual efforts keep the shelves at the warehouse stocked. In addition, Free 2 Teach members are always looking for sales and special deals.
There are a number of opportunities to help.
Churches, small groups, civic groups and others looking for an in-town outreach, can host their own supply drives.
Individuals who want to pick up a few extra packs of markers or reams of paper, are always welcome.
If you're cleaning out a supply closet at work, local teachers could probably use what you can't.
Monetary donations are also gratefully accepted and help cover overhead costs.
You'll find the store at 3054 Leeman Ferry Road. You can also call 256-886-7065.