HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Getting a classroom stocked is a huge undertaking for brand new teachers. Many, starting with bare walls, desks, and some storage space.

“There are just so many things you just need,” Ian Williams, a 2nd-grade teacher at Legacy Elementary School, told News 19.

He is just one year removed from that sinking feeling.

“I was constantly running out of supplies and I was having to spend a lot of my own money just to get supplies for the classroom and then also spend money to get rewards for the kids. I was spending maybe $300, $400 a month just on the kids alone,” he said.

While it is costly, Williams said making sure students have a comfortable learning environment is crucial.

“A lot of the kids, they don’t have people at home. So it’s really important, in my eyes to make sure this feels like home to them,” he said.

Williams has since discovered Free 2 Teach, a nonprofit that provides free resources to teachers just like him.

“If I wasn’t able to go to Free 2 Teach I would basically be broke trying to spend enough money, that way the kids have everything they need,” he said.

It is also one of the five organizations that will receive supplies donated from Bank Independent’s School Share 2022 supply drive. Williams said, having a well-supplied classroom, will make all the difference.

“It helps your kids, your neighbors kids, and it helps us, teachers, be able to teach your kids with most resources as possible,” he said.

News 19 and Bank Independent teamed up for School Share 2022 to help alleviate the costs for teachers and parents this school year. If you’re interested in donating or helping the cause, click here.