The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2015, May 2-3

Companies to Classrooms

Companies to Classrooms links communities and schools by reusing business surplus as supplies for local classrooms. We collect donated reusable materials from businesses at our 8000 square foot warehouse in Bloomington, MN. Using volunteers, we sort, clean and repair items received and then stock our store area at the front of the warehouse. Teachers then visit our store and, for little or no cost, select supplies to enhance their classroom curriculum and to distribute to their students-in-need. We inventory hundreds of items including all basic school and office supplies along with tables, chairs and other small business furniture. Since our opening in March of 2006, we have distributed over $3,000,000 worth of product into local schools. That includes over 143,781 pencils to students in our community. That's a lot of learning!

Free-and-reduced-lunch students struggle to acquire even the basic supplies that are necessary for learning. Typically the concentration of these students is thought to be in the inner city but more and more suburban poverty is becoming an increasing reality. As school budgets have become tighter, teachers reach into their own pockets to fill in the gaps; on average, spending $1000 or more per year to supplement their classroom needs and help students with supplies.

On the other hand, businesses constantly need to dispose of excess supplies and inventories due to changes in an ever-increasingly competitive business environment. Studies have shown that corporate waste totals over 300,000 tons annually; 90% of which is reusable. It is simply not cost-effective to find a secondary user so usable waste continues to clog our landfills year after year. When given a viable option, businesses are very willing to support education by recycling excess product through Companies to Classrooms.

Companies to Classrooms is a WIN-WIN solution for any community:

1. Free-and-reduced-lunch students are equipped with school supplies at no cost to them, the teacher or the school.

2. Additional supplies are made available to our schools without increasing taxes or educational funding.

3. Local businesses have an easy way to support education in their community by recycling their reusable waste.

4. Tons of reusable product are kept out of landfills.

What new functionality we are looking for

1) Companies to Classrooms serves multiple groups--Teachers, Businesses, Sponsors/Donors & Volunteers. We need a website structure that allows us to provide the appropriate messages to each of these visitors.

A) For Teachers: We want them to better understand how the Companies to Classrooms store serves them and what kinds of supplies, products, tools and resources are available to benefit the students in their classrooms. Plus at some point in the future we might need to schedule shopping trips. It would be nice to be able to do this through the website.

B) For Businesses: We want to create more awareness of this service and how it benefits education in the communities where they operate. We need a clear message about how they can donate their surplus; keeping reusable products out of landfills and possibly realizing a tax benefit. We also want businesses to be aware of the sponsorship opportunities we offer and how they can support us financially. Again we might want to schedule and pay for pick up services over the website if possible.

C) For Sponsors/Donors: Our contributors are from all over. We want our website to be able to allow people to make donations effortlessly.

D) For Volunteers: Be able to fill out and send in volunteer forms and possibly do scheduling on line.

2)We use our Facebook and Twitter accounts to update teachers on what is in the store, but that visibility is quite limited. We would love to have a website that would be more interactive with teachers. We could show current inventory, fun project ideas and more. We also want to keep a current "Report Card" that shows number of teachers shopping, pencils distributed, children served, etc.

3) We would like to more visually promote our services. We have wonderful photos, videos, testimonials and great quotes from our teachers that we would like to share with our website visitors. It is important to highlight these stories as well as help our website visitors understand how all these supplies translate into real impact in the classrooms in our community. In addition, we want to recognize the people who volunteer with us and companies that donate.

4) We would like to better present our news coverage. A new website could help us generate more coverage of Companies to Classrooms in the local media.

How the new functionality will help

Critical to the Companies to Classrooms mission is the need to educate our community about what we have to offer. An updated website can help us communicate more efficiently with school boards and other local officials, parent/teacher associations, teachers, donors and companies wanting to donate surplus or make a financial donation. We have not updated our website since its creation in 2006. It is extremely limited in its ability to interact with our visitors. A website is one of the strongest marketing tools that everyone can access to learn more about an organization. We want to communicate our mission to others the best way that we can and with a louder voice. An upgraded website would do wonders.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

129 Messages from Supporters

2015-04-01 23:06:08 UTC
Barb Kallstrom

As a volunteer for Companies to Classrooms I get to see the gratitude of teachers and other school personnel when they shop our store. It saves them from buying necessities at retail stores plus it's often a treasure hunt because we get such a variety of wonderful donations from Companies. Small examples are large rolls of colored paper, backpacks, reams of printer paper, envelopes, classroom decor, books, and all the 3 ring binders they want. First time shoppers are amazed and we have many repeats because of the savings for them.

2015-04-02 02:32:57 UTC

As both a long time "shopper" and volunteer at Companies to Classrooms I am ever amazed at the quality of products that Cary and her volunteer staff receive, catalog, organize, display and distribute. It is so not a "second hand" experience. A 21st century website could enable potential fianancial supporters to see more clearly the service provided by C2C; and the necessity to fund the utilities, rent, truck for product pick up and barebones staff. Even more so it could clearly present just what C2C is and broaden their potential service area to other districts in the metropolitan area. In an age of shrinking educational budgets, many new graduate teachers with huge student loan debt, and ever increasing numbers of students who can't get everything needed to simply be in class; Companies to Classrooms fills a void like no other place can.

2015-04-02 03:22:32 UTC
Brad Pederson

AS a long time volunteer at Companies to Classrooms I have seen joy on many teachers faces when they see something that would fit into their classroom program. Many times I don't see it but teachers are very creative people. I wish every business could see what we are trying to do. The idea behind this business is a Win-Win situation. Businesses can donate office supplies to a non-profit and c 2 c receives useable items for teachers and students. BUT we also need money. We have bills to pay just like everybody else. Rent, lights, internet, employees. For every dollar donated many many dollars of items are returned to the school system. Please get on board with Companies to Classrooms and lets make this a business that truly gives gives back to the community.

2015-04-03 03:12:41 UTC
Roni Faber

Companies it Classrooms is a wonderful organization that matches teachers and school staff members to much needed supplies for their students and school. As a volunteer I see the excitement teachers feel when they discover items that fit into their curriculum. A new website would allow teachers to see specific supplies that are only available at certain times. It would also allow new shoppers to see the many new and recycled items available for them to use.

2015-04-03 15:54:25 UTC
Jordan R

Companies to Classrooms is a great resource for teachers and provides an easy opportunity for businesses to reuse and recycle! More marketing through a website update would really to get the word out about this organization!

2015-04-03 15:29:47 UTC

This is a great organization that I have supported since it started with a simple concept - provide teachers at no cost with items no longer needed and donated by businesses! It's a win win for many!!
They really need more marketing - a website update would really help to get this great organization more exposure - help more schools and students, raise funding and to present a more professional image. Marketing is an area where they do not have the resources or expertise to commit - your help would be amazing!!

2015-04-03 18:06:39 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is such an amazing organization, it's a fantastic solution for teachers with limited budgets and organizations trying to find a green solution to excess supplies.
An updated website would allow C2C to expand their reach to teachers, businesses, and philanthropists.

2015-04-03 19:13:38 UTC
Blanche Fong

Help keep unwanted stuff out of landfills by going green. Companies to Classrooms is part of that green movement. Companies to Classrooms has a great concept of redistributing, recycling and re-purposing excess supplies and materials from companies to public school classrooms and teachers. This non-profit organization runs on a very tight, shoe-string budget and is operated by a small, but dedicated crew of volunteers. Its needs are great, but the rewards of reaching out to teachers and schools have been enormous. Companies to Classrooms has a vision for expansion, but does not have the resources or expertise to update their website to a more polished look and to maximize tools for donors and users. Please consider your vote towards Companies to Classrooms. Students throughout our communities thank you.

2015-04-04 16:45:35 UTC
Ellie Spencer

I am a volunteer at Companies to Classrooms and it always amazes me how surprised the teachers are when they come in to shop and realize all of the great items they can choose from. I know that it has greatly impacted the school that I worked in over the years. Budgets are tight and this place has helped stretch the school budget for supplies, furniture, paper and everything else you can think of.

2015-04-04 01:14:45 UTC
John King

As a business, I have been donating office and school supplies to Companies to Classrooms for many years. It is an easy way to re-purpose unneeded supplies and equipment that would ordinarily go to waste. The teachers and students that receive the supplies are SO GRATEFUL for the donations that I have received several hand written thank you notes. Cary and her volunteers do a wonderful job of organizing the donations in a retail type store where the teachers can shop. Companies to Classrooms is a great organization that could use a new website!

2015-04-04 14:55:41 UTC
Kirsten Dunstan

Companies to Classrooms has done a lot for my classroom over the past years. When my classroom opened they helped to outfit it not only with supplies such as pencils, eraser, papers, folders, etc but they also supplied us with furniture. Over the years they have given us so much in supplies I cannot even imagine the total cost, but I am beyond grateful. At one point when my students needed community work I went to Cary and she gave my students a job when we were struggling to find volunteer work. When we were starting our in house vocational program in Bloomington, I again approached Cary and she was more than willing to help our kids. Companies to Classrooms is more than just supplying to is recycling, providing volunteer jobs and getting high quality office supplies into schools. Why pick Companies to Classrooms? This organization does good work in not only Bloomington but globally through recycling and with an improved website could reach many more potential donors. Please pick them. I cannot think of a more deserving, hardworking group of people!

2015-04-04 15:59:16 UTC

Companies to classrooms is Awesome! Starting with nothing for a classroom is tough, but companies to classrooms made it a little easier. Volunteering there was fun and I can't wait to volunteer again for this great organization!

2015-04-04 15:03:56 UTC
Debbie Carlson

I love Companies to Classrooms! Without it, I would not have a whiteboard in my classroom and many other important supplies my students need to learn each day. I appreciate the time the volunteers give and the wonderfully generous businesses that make the donations. Please help CtoC do an even better job!

2015-04-04 15:28:05 UTC
Gail Girard

Companies to classrooms has been such a great service. I am not the typical classroom teacher and yet I have found sooo much that has helped me over the years. I purchase items as it is for my classroom but with Companies to Classrooms I have been able to do so much more. I have gotten items such as chairs, large map, white board, yoga mats, pedometers, plus all the day-to-day materials that my $100 school budget does not cover! Please help this group continue to be such a great resource to the many teachers they help. Thank you!

2015-04-05 03:01:31 UTC
Mrs. S

I have been a teacher shopper at Companies to Classrooms since day 1. Thanks to Companies to Classrooms, I have been able to supply my classroom with pencils, crayons, scissors, games, paper, notebooks, books, binders, and so much more. I have been able to keep a couple backpacks on hand to give to students who need them. This year upon moving into a space that was not previously a classroom I was able to obtain a white board and a bulletin board. I would have otherwise had bare walls. Please help Companies to Classrooms, as they help so many teachers and students.

2015-04-05 03:56:02 UTC

As a volunteer who started when the Companies to Classrooms doors first opened, I have been witness to the hard work Cary and her staff continue to do daily to provide this wonderful resource to so many well-deserving teachers. It is such fun to watch the teachers come in and "shop till they drop" - finding so many necessities as well as "treasures" that fit into their curriculum. Having this resource available for teachers has been such a wonderful gift - so many have benefited from the generosity of the community that has donated and supported this venture. A website makeover would be the icing on the cake for C2C - and a deserving gift to those who give to so many!

2015-04-05 09:55:31 UTC

C2C is the best! When you walk into the building think, all this stuff would have gone to a landfill instead it is helping educate our children. Win win!

2015-04-05 16:34:16 UTC
Mary Udseth

This organization is great on so many levels:Recycling & Reusing, Supporting Education, Fostering Creativity, Community Support, Community Involvement, Connecting Various Groups to Work Together, Etc, Etc, Etc!!! A very broad reach to help communities help themselves.

2015-04-05 22:32:30 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is a fine example of a "why didn't I think of that?" It's a simple concept that came to life through lots of hard work and dedication. I see things in the classroom everyday that came from C2C and is serving the students and teachers, and providing for a much richer learning experience. Hundreds of dollars in savings for educators, and supplies not being dumped in landfills by companies! Gotta love it!

2015-04-06 16:48:24 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is amazing! Great way to utilize resources to help our students and staff. A true, operational example of "one person's junk is another's treasure!"

2015-04-06 20:43:51 UTC

Companies to Classrooms has provided an amazing way for businesses in the community to donate supplies that would otherwise end up in our landfills. I've also seen firsthand the impact it has in the classrooms - seeing teachers bring supplies and resources back to their classrooms with little to no financial impact on the teacher's budgets. It ultimately helps create a much better experience in the classrooms for those that need it - the kids!

2015-04-06 23:08:13 UTC
Marilyn Benson

Companies to Classrooms has been a valuable resource to our elementary school for years. Our teachers pick up supplies needed to run an efficient classroom and to be used by the students in their many projects. Our office staff also pick up items to support the staff and student body. My staff have saved hundreds of dollars and my sister works for one of the companies that has supplied the items in order for them to save the hundreds of dollars. We appreciate Companies to Classrooms so much and they are the right choice for the website update. They help so many!

2015-04-07 00:04:24 UTC
Missy Davey

C2C makes schools work by getting much needed supplies into the hands of teachers and more importantly, into the hands of our students. Their efforts ease the burden on teachers and families by providing high-quality, redistributed supplies that are necessary for student success.

2015-04-06 23:04:19 UTC

We are so blessed that Cary's idea became a reality benefitting our communities and giving a positive boost to staff and students. AS we sort through donations we are often skeptical of the item's destination only to find a clever way teachers use it, i.e, restaurant menus as an effective learning tool in math classes.

2015-04-07 00:26:27 UTC
Melissa Williams

Companies to Classrooms has been such an incredible resource, providing a wide variety of supplies as well as creative ideas for using items in non-traditional ways. They have something for everyone! It's also nice to be able to re-use things that companies want to get rid of but still have a lot of life in them.

2015-04-07 02:46:42 UTC

I love how companies to classroom is an easy access place for teachers to grab supplies for their classroom and it's also a great place for volunteers, whether teens or the elderly, to volunteer and serve their community.

2015-04-06 23:47:36 UTC
Marit Oberle

As a long time shopper at Companies to Classrooms I can honestly say that the supplies I've received from C2C have changed the educational experience of my students. From getting whiteboards so that my math students can practice teaching small groups of students concepts they are studying to the colored paper that we were able to use to help self paced learners find their color coded tasks (that SIGNIFICANTLY freed up our math department budget) to the labels that we have used for everything (think kinesthetic math problems, name tags for field trips, and more!). They have helped hundreds and hundreds of my middle school students!

2015-04-07 03:08:27 UTC
Laura Ramsborg

As a new teacher almost 5 years ago, Companies to Classrooms helped me get started with the supplies I needed for my students and classroom. I have been a shopper ever since and am always amazed at what the store is able to offer. My school serves many students with socio-economic challenges; 70% of our population is on Free and Reduced Meal plans. From markers to pencils to file folders to large bulletin boards and pillows, Companies to Classrooms has been such a blessing for me and my students. I am so thankful for this amazing non-profit and hope that it is selected for the Overnight Website Challenge!

2015-04-07 03:50:44 UTC
Kirsten Morcomb

Companies to classrooms has been vital in supplying our team of 120 6th graders with needed supplies-we outfitted every student with a binder, pencil pouch, dividers, folders, paper, and pencils for two years using resources from C2C! Along with the vitals, I always find treasures...and sometimes even furniture! Most people have no idea that classrooms don't usually come with even a bookshelf, but Cary and her staff do-we appreciate them so

2015-04-07 00:39:13 UTC
Jackie Conrad

Where to begin is the question, with what this organization has done not only for the building's Ive been in over the years at Bloomington Public Schools but what it has done for the entire district. I live and breath to others of where to go when looking for something for the classroom they are in or the building. It saves so much money which in the public schools today is such a needed thing. If they dont have something at Company's to Classrooms you can add it to a list they have and when they run across that item they call you. How much special care and attention can one get today. The people that work/volunteer there are so helpful, kind & retired many of them. I have volunteered myself many, many times as others in our district have done because we reap the rewards from helping where we can. The lead staff at this business are so very well versed of how to do for others as the need arises. Please consider them for a makeover and help them to a continued service to our district.

2015-04-07 01:26:01 UTC
Maureen Bartolotta

I have watched as Cary's dream for the teachers of Bloomington became a reality- not just for Bloomington teachers but now Richfield, Shakopee, Robbbinsdale, Brooklyn Center,Hopkins and St Louis Park. Companies to Classrooms keeps reaching out farther and farther to help teachers and students in other areas. As a member of the Bloomington School Board, I know what a great benefit C2C is for teachers and in turn, the students of Bloomington. Please help to update the website and to attract more teachers for the benefit of the students, and therefore our whole community.

2015-04-07 01:52:14 UTC

This is such a terrific resource for teachers. I have gone here countless times. Not only is it saving me money, I appreciate that I can give something a second life that otherwise may have ended up somewhere else. That story gets passed on to the kids and they get to see recycling in action. They have so many neat little things and ideas on how to use the most basic products. Love this place!

2015-04-07 04:08:42 UTC
Mike Hastert- Robbinsdale Middle School Dean

C2C has suppled our middle school students with free binders for two years and we can only continue to thank them for all their support. The leadership and the volunteer staff has always been professional yet also very kindred of spirit when it comes to getting our students what the need to be successful. If you support C2C you are support our youth and their education. Thank you

2015-04-07 10:24:00 UTC
Adele Binning

Companies to Classrooms makes great things happen for my students. As a Science Specialist, I am continually looking for supplies to offer my students hands-on activities. This adds up to expenses that are too great for me to shoulder alone.

I also sometimes need 100 duplicates of a simple object because I see 100 different students and each needs the supplies for an activity. Companies to Classrooms is a place where I can go to find these bulk items.

Also, the Companies to Classrooms store is an inspiration. Sometimes I go with only one thing in mind…perhaps some essential supply that I know they have. Once I am there, I see something unique or hard-to-collect and I am inspired ("Look at these tubes! What can we do with these?"). Sometimes great lessons are born when I get to Companies to Classrooms.

In my previous school district we did not have anything like C2C. When I came to C2C for the first time, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Thanks to you on my behalf and on behalf of my 450 Science Students

2015-04-07 12:01:43 UTC
Kimsure Proeung

As a shopper and volunteer I love C2C! C2C provides many staff, students, and classrooms extra supplies! Whether it be big or small it makes a difference! C2C has personally helped me with activity supplies for student groups.

C2C has been such a great resource that I have brought student groups to help volunteer. Students themselves see the support that C2C has provided to them and staff.

THANK YOU C2C and of course the many wonderful staff/volunteers there!

2015-04-07 13:52:34 UTC

As an administrator in Bloomington schools I was looking for furniture to update our conference room. Companies to Classrooms was the answer to our "remodeling"! After calling to inquire about furniture we were put on a "call list" if they received some donations that would fit into our space. From that time on we received frequent invitations to come visit and see something "new" that came in. Now we have a "world class" conference room with matching chairs, lamps, tables and a wonderful whiteboard! The volunteers were so friendly. They even helped deliver and set up our room. THANK YOU to everyone at C2C!!

2015-04-07 14:34:12 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is an amazing resource to our teaching community. As a teacher, I truly appreciate the generosity of all the companies who donate to help our schools maintain excellent levels of instruction. I have been able to obtain resources to run classes that would not be possible if these supplies were not available. I have also had the pleasure of volunteering at Companies to Classrooms and seeing the amazing work that all the volunteers do to keep this program running. Thank you to all companies and volunteers for supporting the education of our children. Dianna DiPalermo

2015-04-07 14:48:37 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is a wonderful 'resource' for our community. And, it has provided my son with many volunteer opportunities. Brie Kageyama does a wonderful job training the volunteers and is always very flexible/accommodating. A new website would be a 'far-reaching' for our community.

2015-04-07 16:11:51 UTC
Mrs. C

Companies to Classrooms has been a staple for teachers and schools in the Bloomington Public School District. From a personal side, C2C has been a go-to spot for finding materials and resources that can help my students organize and learn. It is a necessary spot for many to visit not only the first few weeks of school, but throughout the year. Many of my favorite classroom additions have come from C2C- three ring binders in perfect condition, plastic sheet protectors... all materials which are then used to create resources like portfolios for students that can then be used year after year. Accessibility to these resources open up a world of possibilities for teachers and students.

2015-04-13 00:55:07 UTC

I used Companies to Classrooms to get items I needed for my new classroom this year. After spending hundreds of dollars of my personal money, it was such a relief to find a place to get items I needed for my classroom for free! It has been a wonderful resource for my classroom and my students.

2015-04-07 19:03:44 UTC

We try to do fun, academic based project throughout the year that use consumable supplies. We have a high percentage of free and reduced lunch families who would not be able to afford supplies and our own budgets are limited. Because of the things Companies to Classrooms has for us, we have been able to provide students, free, hands on activities to help further their academic understanding.

2015-04-07 20:09:52 UTC

Wonderful staff and volunteers that serve our communities so well with their undeniable devotion to teachers and our schools. The flip side is they are also doing a great thing for the environment by reusing thousands of items a year that would otherwise likely end up in the landfill. A great organization all around!

2015-04-07 22:11:32 UTC
Pam Dyer (Richfield STEM School)

Over the past 5-10 years I have counted on Companies to Classrooms for those "I didn't know I needed this" type of stuff! I have sooooo many organizers ALL over my classroom! I would have spent thousands trying to replicate the stuff I chose... for FREE!

I have used stickers, labels, books, desk organizers, paper, folders, games... YOU NAME IT! Companies to Classrooms DESERVES IT! Thank you donors and volunteers!

2015-04-08 03:57:35 UTC
Christy Kudek

I am very grateful for the generous supplies provided by companies and the positive atmosphere that Companies to Classroom volunteers provide. As a new teacher, I started the year with very few supplies and virtually no money for supplies for my 550 students. It is quite intimidating trying to create quality lessons with no pencils, colored paper, fun stickers, organizers, staplers, tape etc. Thanks to the caring and dedicated help of Companies to Classrooms I have had access to supplies that I need with only a very minimal cost to me. THANK YOU for making creative and hands-on learning experiences possible for guiding student learning in my classroom. ¡Muchísimas gracias!

2015-04-08 12:34:47 UTC
Liz D

Companies to Classrooms not only benefits the schools, but also helps to reuse supplies that would otherwise be thrown away. I have both volunteered and benefited from this wonderful organization. They go the extra mile for teachers who are in need of anything/everything to help their students succeed.

An updated website would be AMAZING for them! They run on virtually nothing with one staff and a handful of volunteers. It would be great to see a more mobile-friendly site, drop-down menus, news updates on their main page, even a place to see what items they have in stock, integrated forms, etc. They would be a perfect choice for this challenge!

2015-04-09 14:43:19 UTC
Kim Latterner

Educator's love Companies to Classrooms. We value the partnerships with business in reusing and repurposing items that support the classroom and instruction. We understand the funding challenges that non-profits experience and the ability to use technology to communicate with their users and clients. Please get on board with Companies to Classrooms and lets make this a business that truly gives gives back to the community.

2015-04-09 17:27:18 UTC

Companies to Classrooms has been so beneficial to this 2nd year teacher! During my first year teaching, my school didn't have adequate supplies for me to pull from, so C2C was a Godsend! I was able to build up my regular supplies, always have pencils on hand, and even start the foundations for my bookshelf in my classroom. For larger items like bookshelves and office chairs, it would be fabulous if the website showed what is available so I could make sure to stop by when items are available, instead of it being "hit or miss". I so appreciate this gift to teachers, especially new teachers, that a great website would only give more positive publicity and donors.

2015-04-08 23:56:59 UTC
Kay C.

I love Companies to Classrooms!!! I shop there every month for supplies for my classroom. I stock up on pencils, markers, tape, folders, notebooks, or whatever I need at the time. I also buy prizes for students that reach homework goals. The students are so excited to see the small, but wonderful prizes I bring back from the "teacher store." THANKS to the volunteers and donors that make Companies to Classrooms an amazing resource.

2015-04-09 12:42:09 UTC
Ms Rients

I love and am so thankful for Companies to Classrooms! They have supplied my students with fantastic resources to increase engagement in learning!! I do have to say, it is quite a drive out there to get these resources, and sometimes they have what I am looking for and sometimes they don't which may mean an additional trip to the store. With 2 young children at home, this isn't always possible! An overhaul of their website to make it more user-friendly, help me see what is there that week, and give me ideas for using the supplies to best serve my students would be SOOOO helpful!!!

2015-04-09 13:33:53 UTC
Liesl Bell-Fleming

I LOVE Companies to Classrooms! I have been able to provide valuable resources to my students and improve my classroom teaching with the resources I have received from C2C! I have only visited their website for updates on hours, but being able to see ahead of time what the inventory is currently like would help even more! The traffic on I-494 going to C2C and returning home from Shakopee is HORRIBLE in the late afternoon...I go because the resources are important. Having access to the current inventory would allow me to use my time more efficiently and choose better when to visit the warehouse. Please help C2C better serve the teachers and students of our area!

2015-04-09 12:19:21 UTC
Ms Hook

Companies to Classrooms has so many supplies and resources, when I find time to drive there. I just wish I could see what's available so I know the best time to go. I love using their resources to create class sets of supplies. This means that all students have opportunities to be creative and inventive with engaging materials. Art projects can be more complex with oil pastels, crayons, colored pencils, markers, chalks, and even paper crafting supplies. Best of all, Companies to Classrooms is redistributing supplies that would have been thrown away or sat unused in some storeroom.

2015-04-09 13:27:15 UTC
Ms Ringsmuth

Companies to Classroom is great--but their website isn't so great! It has been a great resource, but it is a bit of a drive from the district in which I work. It would be extremely valuable to have general and special inventories listed on the site. Some months, I wonder if it's worth the gas to see if there is anything new or interesting in stock. Please help C2C improve their web presence!

2015-04-09 15:16:25 UTC

When I started teaching for Shakopee Schools a few years ago, it was amazing to learn of Companies to Classrooms and be able to get a wonderful variety of supplies for my classroom for free or little money. This means SO much to teachers as we are always paying for things for our classrooms out of our own pockets. What a wonderful concept to have donations of things businesses are getting rid of (or even thoughtful donations on the part of local businesses), to be able to go to local classrooms that are always in need of these supplies! I was literally teary-eyed my first time leaving Companies to Classrooms with my cart of supplies. I had already spent hundreds getting ready for the school year and to find some things as simple as staples, pens, pencils, and tape were so appreciated. Teachers at my school are completely on their own for those basic supplies which was surprising to me. Even though they are "small" items many people may not think much of, they are necessary to our daily functioning and can really add up. In addition, I've been able to find bigger supplies like storage containers and nice lap-top bags that my students use to carry home on-going book projects. These would add up quickly in a store and I'm so grateful to Companies to Classrooms and all the wonderful business partners that donate these items. It has made a huge difference to me and my classes! I would love to see Companies to Classrooms win the website challenge! It would be wonderful if they could have a website that was more functional for the teachers they serve, their business partners, and themselves. They work so hard for all of us daily, they really deserve to get some help with their website and take one thing off their very full plate.

2015-04-09 18:07:05 UTC

I love Companies to Classrooms! It's so nice to have a place where I can go and stock up on supplies for my classroom and not have to pay a fortune of my own money. I also like the fact that things are being recycled and reused and saved from the dump. Visiting Companies to Classrooms is not a convenient trip for me so it would be great if I could browse the current inventory before driving all the way there, even though I always find something I can use! I also think a better website would entice teachers who've never visited before to go. Please help this wonderful company better help teachers!

2015-04-09 19:25:10 UTC
Brie Mays, Manager

As a former volunteer, employee in a local public school, and presently, the only staff member at Companies to Classrooms, I have gotten to see the impact of this unique operation from many angles. We are that vital connection between a business that would love nothing more than to see their excess/obsoletes be REUSED, and teachers/schools who are always stretching their small budgets so thin. Teachers are beyond grateful when they come in to shop. Sometimes you can see their creativity overflowing over the most simple items. Most people know teachers don't make much, but they don't usually realize how much teachers spend on their own classroom and supplies for students that don't have much. They are out there trying to make a difference in children's lives, and we are trying to make that easier for them to do.

On that note, I would love to see our website be updated to more accurately convey our mission and impact. Making it a one-stop-shop for teachers who want to sign up, check our inventory, stay updated on current news, etc. To better convey our current needs (and non-needs) to prospective donors would be fantastic. To appeal to financial donors is crucial. I think a more professional web presence is very much needed, without feeling cluttered. Our budget would never allow for this level of "nerd service", let alone a web overhaul at all, and we would definitely make a great "Before and After" candidate. Just sayin.

2015-04-09 19:48:23 UTC
Shane Peters

I really enjoy going to companies to classrooms to get the resources I need in order to be an effective teacher. It also has many things that my students need in order to be successful. Many of my students have a hard time trying to afford normal classroom supplies. I think it is great to have a place to go where I can these materials for very little money for my students.

2015-04-09 20:37:38 UTC
Mark Wheatley

As a business in close proximity to C2C, we are always looking for opportunities to impact our local communities in a positive way. We met the C2C team and learned about what they do, what they need to succeed, and how they impact the teachers and students. We were hooked. We reached out to our customer base to raise awareness and they responded with goods and donations for C2C. We then had the unique perspective to work with the C2C team to stock and organize the shelves and assist with counting, checking items and meeting the teachers that are planning their school year. C2C has a well-organized process and the hours spent in categorizing and prepping the donated items, is evident. We appreciate the partnership with C2C and look forward to being involved whenever possible.

2015-04-10 02:21:25 UTC
Christine Boniarczyk

I became involved in Companies to Classrooms when our business liquidated office supplies, I was asked if I had spare time once a week, and became involved as a volunteer. I see the need for the schools and teachers and the opportunity it gives them to be able to receive supplies for their classrooms, office furniture, books, and the creativity they can accomplish with the items they receive. As a non-profit their income is minimal and the opportunity to upgrade their website would be very beneficial. Their is a need to reach out to others through their website and keep the teachers updated as to what new items are available. As a volunteer, I see the need for the teachers and students on a weekly basis, and the excitement when they find new items that can aid in the teaching. We are excited to be able to meet their needs. A strong website may increase our outreach. Please help Companies to Classrooms update their website.

2015-04-10 02:26:43 UTC
Lynnae N.

Many excellent comments have already been made in previous testimonials but please add my wholehearted endorsement for Companies to Classrooms. As a C2C volunteer for many years and a paraprofessional in many classrooms, I've seen mountains of items come in to the store and out to classrooms and school offices -- from chairs, bookcases, desks, and file cabinets, to copy paper (white AND colors!)and art supplies, craft items, novelties, waste baskets, clocks, organizers and sanitizers, to essentials like backpacks, 3-ring binders, folders, pencils and white board markers, all used daily in our classrooms. C2C benefits school districts and entire communities by making a HUGE number of quality donated items available for REUSE. That reduces waste, saves a lot of people (parents, school districts, individual teachers and other staff, donor companies, etc.) a lot of money, fosters creativity and, best of all, enhances "school" for kids. Please pick C2C!

2015-04-10 13:25:31 UTC
Germaine Flaxman

I have volunteered at C to C since its inception, and it is one of the most rewarding things I have done in the world of volunteering! Teachers are dedicated to giving our children opportunities to learn and develop into citizens with an education that enables them to be productive, intelligent contributors to our society. They need tools and materials to make lesson plans come alive for children raised in this age of fast-moving technology. It isn't easy to keep kids excited about learning in the classroom.
Companies to Classrooms works with the business community to use thousands of items that businesses
no longer need, but teachers, with their creative minds, can use to make lessons come alive. In addition, many small items are used as rewards for the children or as incentives to work harder.
Every teacher has to spend some of his/her own money for materials needed to teach, so Companies to Classrooms tries to provide as much as possible in materials to lessen the financial burden for teachers.
Our children are the future presidents, governors, business leaders, religious leaders, health professionals and parents. We have to help the all teachers who are in the classroom every day trying to prepare our children for their future roles in society. Companies to Classrooms performs a vital role in this endeavor!

2015-04-10 15:49:00 UTC
Sheila Snapp

Thomson Reuters has had the pleasure of being one of the first corporations to partner with Companies to Classrooms in support of their mission. We've had the ability to provide both funding and donation support over the years. Companies to Classrooms efforts in making gently used office items available to local teachers has been a win-win situation for all involved. It definitely saves these teachers from spending their own hard earned money on necessary schools supplies. But it also gives companies like Thomson Reuters a way to support our sustainability efforts by recycling items that are no longer needed or outdated thru this great program and it provides us another unique way to partner with a great organization such as Companies to Classrooms to support our local community.

2015-04-10 22:10:14 UTC
Karolyn Lee

C2C has been an excellent example of not only supporting teachers/staff but also helping companies that have products that no longer is needed. Cary has worked hard to stock shelves with items needed for teaching that companies would be throwing out and filling our landfills! Environmentally this is what we all keep our landfills free of items that could be used in our classrooms! Help us develope a website that tells our story!

2015-04-11 13:52:15 UTC
David Jenson

Companie to Classrooms is a very lean and efficient organization that does a lot to help teachers and students on a shoestring budget. A professional website redesign could really help this very deserving organization grow.

2015-04-11 18:07:26 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is amazing. The website update would be beneficial in getting the word out to more people. Please help this organization continue to grow and thrive by helping them develop an awesome website.

2015-04-12 19:46:10 UTC

As a new teacher, Companies to Classrooms helped me set up my new classroom with many essential supplies. They saved me hundreds of dollars and hours of time.
They also provided my class with supplies for 2 different projects that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

Thanks so much!

2015-04-12 01:42:25 UTC
Karen S.

I have taken advantage of Companies to Classrooms for many years. They are an amazing warehouse full of treasures for educators. They have helped in so many ways and the ones who really profit are the students who are our future leaders.

Each time I shop, I am warmly greeted by the volunteers and each time I leave, I am super excited to use all the items to benefit the kids.

Whether I am looking for bulletin board items, books, furniture, art supplies for the kids, paper, pencils, color crayons, you name it, it is there!!

I have really relied upon Companies to Classrooms to supplement and supply our classroom with the things the kids need to help them to be successful in learning.

The website could really use your help! They need it to reflect the fun and opportunities that are in the store behind the door!

2015-04-12 18:19:22 UTC

Companies to Classrooms has been the best thing that has come to teaching in a long time! I have been going there for years for literally everything that I need in teaching. Over the years they have saved my bank account time and time again. Companies to Classrooms is two thumbs up!!

2015-04-12 18:26:07 UTC
Les Fujitake Bloomington Schools Superintendent

Our School District is engaged in discussions with Prime Academy President Mark Hurlburt about collaborating to help both our organizations be successful.

Companies to Classrooms helps our District be successful.

The Nerdery helping Companies to Classrooms be successful will in turn help the Nerdery be successful.

2015-04-12 18:26:55 UTC

Companies to classrooms really helped me get my classroom on its feet when I first started many years ago. I have gone and collected many various tools to help students complete fun projects and have gotten many supplies to help me reach students better. The products that are there are always changing and always help you to use your creative side to find a way to use it in a classroom.

2015-04-12 18:37:37 UTC
Dr. Janet Pladson, former Assistant Superintendent for the Bloomington Schools

Companies to Classrooms is a great resource for the staff and students in our area. This organization has had a wonderful impact on our communities -- both for the schools and for the donating companies. The ability to increase the awareness and use of the supplies and equipment will have many educational benefits. A big "thank you" to Cary for the vision and making it come true!

2015-04-12 18:47:42 UTC
Deb Dargay

I look forward to my monthly Companies to Classroom visits. I sometimes have a list of things I need/want, but usually go expecting little and finding a lot. I usually stock up on pencils, paper, etc., then go for things that will fit certain lesson plans or projects. Imagine my joy to discover that the StarTrib donated aprons. I was doing a cooking show for my Spanish 4 class and the aprons were perfect! Who needs paper towels for the classroom when there is an endless supply of coffee filters? Little items that can be used as prizes - you can find them here. Last summer we took a group of students to Argentina. I found journals for all, plus a variety of things that represented Minnesota or the USA that they could give to their host families, including some shirts that had 'Bloomington' on them. I am very thankful for all of the wonderful things I have found and have been able to use over the years. The crew that work and volunteer there are wonderful and they really could use help with things outside of the site itself, including the web page. The impact that this place has on staff, students and communities is immeasurable. Please choose them!!!!

2015-04-12 18:52:50 UTC
Greg Gilbert

C2C has been a great resource for me to help my students have lots of supplies for different science projects. What an asset and resource. Not to mention all the landfill space they are saving by up/recycling so much to help the process of raising all our children.

2015-04-12 19:08:02 UTC
Karolyn Shelstad

Companies to Classrooms has been an incredible resource for hundreds of teacher in the metro area. I have personally saved more than $1000 by picking up binders, pencils, staplers, tape dispensers, and so many more supplies for my classroom.

2015-04-12 19:09:49 UTC
Karen Qualey

Companies to Classrooms provides a great service to our schools. They are very organized and able to help when you need a particular item. For instance, C2C knew I needed over 800 reusable name badges for a reading event and kept me on their list of requests. They promptly called me when enough badges became available. Their contribution made our all-school reading event a success. The staff are always willing to go the extra mile for teacher and student needs.

2015-04-12 19:16:54 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is like Christmas once a month! They provide typical classroom supplies as well as items that add creativity to lessons. I feel blessed to have this available, and want the world to know about this amazing organization.

2015-04-12 19:18:04 UTC
Jeremy Kuhns

Thank you Companies 2 Classrooms for helping the teachers in Bloomington have easy access to supplies that they need to operate their classrooms efficiently. Often times educators spend money out of their own pockets to have essential office items to use. Because of your willingness to seek out businesses that are willing to donate gently used supplies our teachers and students benefit. Thank you for providing this service. We are very fortunate to have you as a partner!

2015-04-12 19:24:22 UTC
Mary Kay

Companies to Classrooms is such a great organization and a WIN WIN WIN! Corporations win because they get to find a new home for stuff they no longer need or want; Schools and teachers win because they can't afford to buy everything schools need in order to properly educate our students, and students win because many of them can't afford to buy things they need either! The environment wins because all these useful items from furniture to notebooks to paper used to end up in landfills! EVERY school district in the country could have a Companies to Classrooms organization. Companies to Classrooms runs on a shoe-string budget. They need all the support they can get to grow, and a website is KEY to that growth and support. They need your help!!!!

2015-04-12 19:25:18 UTC

As a special education teacher in Bloomington I work with many students who are in need of school supplies. Companies to Classrooms has always come through for me at no cost. I have always tried to be a "green" teacher so I feel good about the use of recycled materials. Rather than items winding up in landfills they are put to good use.

2015-04-12 19:39:50 UTC

As a teacher, Companies to Classrooms helps to provide my students with the resources they need to learn. It's a phenomenal organization!

2015-04-12 18:05:10 UTC
Laurie Espe

Five years ago I was hired as a first grade teacher in Bloomington, five days before the start of school. When I walked into my classroom, aside from student desks, a teacher desk, a flag, and a teddy bear, my room was bare. I was in a little bit of panic because I hadn't had my own classroom in 7 years, and my resources were a bit scarce. Not too worry though, because my first grade team and Companies to Classroom came to my rescue. My teammates loaded me in the car and took me to this amazing, free, teacher warehouse wonderland of "stuff." We then proceeded to load my cart with paper, envelopes, clipboards, notebooks, borders, pencils, crayons, containers, staplers, scissors, books, cut-outs, folders, and a plethora of other teacher stuff. I felt like I had just won the lottery. Companies to Classroom was my hero that day, and it continues to be a wonderful resource to me and my coworkers.

2015-04-12 18:16:19 UTC

Everybody should know about Companies to Classroom, a gem of a resource for teachers and parents. Not only should teachers and parents know about this great place, much needs to be done to raise awareness in the business world, because they supply the goods. An updated website could be the answer! I am confident the business world would jump at the chance to help those in the world of education if more could be done to raise awareness of the magnificent work done at Companies to Classrooms.

2015-04-12 19:27:00 UTC

Some of our students come to school with little or no school supplies. Educators already often spend money out of their own pocket in order to meet their needs. Companies to Classrooms has been and always will be an excellent resource to serve students and educators.

2015-04-12 20:07:45 UTC
Terry Cooper

Companies to Classrooms helped me set up my art room in ways that my district could not afford to do. They provided me with furniture as well as classroom materials that ultimately helped students. This is a vailuable resource for me personally. I don't always have to use my own money to supplement my very limited art budget. Classrooms has ALWAYS been generous and we are so fortunate to have this resource available to us!

2015-04-12 19:32:14 UTC
Diane Rogers

I have known the founder of Companies to Classrooms for almost 25 years. She and her team have amazing dedication to supporting the teachers and students in the public school system; there is literally, absolutely nothing she wouldn't do to enhance the educational experience. She has done an outstanding job of reaching out to corporations to re-direct precious resources to provide a complete win-win for the giver and the receiver. An enhanced website would allow her to take this concept so much farther to helping her do even more to ensure no corporate "left-overs" are wasted on landfills, but instead are put to excellent use in our classrooms. This is one of the finest non-profit organizations in our Twin Cities helping supplement our teachers and parents so they can better educate our students for a brighter future!

2015-04-12 19:32:53 UTC

Companies to Classroom provides teachers with needed materials and supplies. This us made possible through the brilliance of the creators of this company. Businesses are able to donate; teachers are able to benefit. As an educator, I truly appreciate the dedication of all involved in Companies to Classroom!

2015-04-12 20:07:38 UTC

I have shopped at Companies to Classrooms since the beginning and the organization has provided my students and me with so many needed materials and supplies. As a non-classroom teacher, I do not have a "supplies list" that I give to my English Learners. Before Companies to Classrooms came to Bloomington, I bought all consumable supplies such as notebooks, folders, crayons, markers, pencils and even tissues, with my own money for my classroom. Each year I have worked as an EL teacher, I have had between 50-100 students that I see every week. In the past, this has meant easily spending between $50-100 on classroom supplies in August or September--and that's when supplies are on sale at our local retail stores.

I am so glad that I have had the ability to get these items at Companies to Classrooms for the last number of years. It has saved me hundreds of dollars and provided my students with supplies that we use in our classroom. To everyone who has worked so hard at Companies to Classrooms, thank you for all of your hard work and your continuous commitment to providing a place where teachers can get what they need for their classrooms free of charge, or at a substantial savings, and for recycling/upcycling products that would otherwise end up in our landfills.

Please choose this wonderful organization and group of people.

2015-04-12 21:46:00 UTC
Renee Raming

Companies to Classrooms is a wonderful organization that meets the needs of so many students and teachers. I encouraged the corporation I worked for to donate unused and good quality office items to this organization. By done so, we put a trunkload of supplies into the hands of people who could use them, rather than the trash bin!

2015-04-12 21:59:48 UTC

C2C is such a great organization, I tell all of my fellow teachers to shop there and I have enjoyed volunteering. Please help them with a new website!!! They deserve it!! Thanks

2015-04-12 22:29:04 UTC
Ann Hanson

I started teaching in a new program in Bloomington eight years ago. I am still sitting on a lovely chair that was free to me at C2C. I get paper, organizers, art supplies and so many miscellaneous wonders there each fall before we start the new year. It has been a great asset to area teachers. Thanks!

2015-04-12 22:34:06 UTC

Companies2Classrooms sooo deserves a new website! Please help them out by choosing C2C for the overnight web challenge!

2015-04-12 22:37:59 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is a great resource for teachers! It was especially helpful when I was a brand new teacher and didn't have any of my own materials.

2015-04-12 23:11:21 UTC
Carol Frisch

As a new resident of Bloomington I heard from the outset what a wonderful resource C2C is for teachers and consequently for students. The widespread reach it has to other Metro communities is impressive. I respect the way it provides necessary articles to those who can make choices and serve the youth of our communities.

2015-04-12 23:27:38 UTC

C2C has been very helpful in providing supplies to use in my classroom. I got a lot of the little extras there that add up when they have to come out of my. I have very much appreciated the volunteers there as well. Thank you for everything!

2015-04-13 00:00:30 UTC

Companies to Classrooms has been such a wonderful resource for our school. So many odds and ends that are needed day to day are available at Companies to Classrooms saving budgets and letting short funding stretch further. Thanks C2C!

2015-04-13 00:03:34 UTC
Anna Stinson

At the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, we have partnered many times with Companies to Classrooms. Each year we send a team of volunteers from our member companies to help sort, clean, and organize inventory at the warehouse. It's a win-win for our businesses - a place to take their otherwise unused materials while keeping them out of the landfill plus a great way to network with each other while giving back to the community. Imagine how many more companies C2C could reach with a new and improved website! Please help them reach that goal!

2015-04-13 00:08:45 UTC

As a first year teacher I entered my classroom with absolutely nothing to make it my own. Companies to classrooms was a life saver! During back-to-school week I visited Companies to Classrooms three times and had my classroom fully equipped for students within a matter of days. From glue sticks and scissors to tie backpacks and stuffed animals I use as prizes for classroom competitions, Companies to Classrooms has me fully covered! I had never heard of a company like this for school districts but now I don't see how a teacher could survive without it!

2015-04-13 00:28:23 UTC
Beth Kiene

In this world where every penny means so much to an educator, it is refreshing to know that there is a place where one can go to get the necessary items to help both teacher and student get the most out of each class period. At the same time, it's like going to a second hand shop and finding that unexpected item, the "find", as some people call it. That extra item, you didn't plan on coming across, but now that you have, you can have use it for/with your kids, and it won't cost a thing. What a blessing CTC has been for so many from those who have witnessed the benefits of "giving" on the front end to those who are able to take the items, free of charge and use them to help shape the youth of tomorrow. Of course, we can't forget the amazing staff and volunteers who have put in hour after hour making CTC a reality. Please consider being a "witness of benevolence" for our beloved CTC. You will not be disappointed. Thank you so much for your time.

2015-04-13 00:43:52 UTC
Mary Arnold, COTA/L

Companies to Classrooms provides me wit great materials that I would otherwise be buying with my personal tiny income. I always go to C2C before anywhere else when I need school materials. C2C has also provided me with some unique materials that have spurred fun new ideas for the classroom! Moreover, I use C2C supplies to design functional materials for special needs students. I really don't know what I'd do without C2C!!

2015-04-13 00:45:00 UTC

I have used Companies to Classrooms since they first opened near the Valley West area. I initially went there because it was close to my school, but I've continued to go several times during the school year for anything from folders to pencils (how can kids go through so many pencils?!) to 3 ring binders for my organization purposes to glue sticks to name it! I have been impressed with the number of businesses that donate new items to C to C such as backpacks. I have often given deserving students a new backpack when it's clear they've been using the same one for many years. Companies to Classrooms is a goldmine for teachers and I don't know what I'd do without that resource!

2015-04-13 01:47:22 UTC
Joe Meuwissen

C-to-C is such an invaluable asset to teachers that it is hard to accurately describe. I have been there to get basic office supplies and the like, which helps me cut down on personal expenses for my work. But I know of many teachers who go there to get things that the normal person may see as junk, but the turn it into amazingly creative teaching materials to supplement the curriculum. Our district administration continuously makes cuts that reduce the dollars available for supplies and materials. C-to-C makes up for the lack of support by the district. And their effort is supported by a corps of volunteers. Please help support Companies to Classrooms!

2015-04-13 00:30:53 UTC
Mary Schatzlein

I have known Cary for 20 plus years. She has always had
"volunteering" as a priority in her life. She sponsored and supported a young mother with 4 small children as a friend, mentor and financially through the last 15 years. 3 of these 4 children have completed college, a goal of the young mother. Cary changes lives. Her dedication to others in need is remarkable. Cary's dream of helping teachers was realized by her several years ago. She is not afraid to dream, but more importantly to produce and make sure that a dream becomes a reality. Raising dollars for such an endeavor is very challenging. Products are donated to teachers with out cost to enhance their classrooms and to help low income children who don't come to school with a back pack full of materials. Unlike their peers, they struggle with basic at home, food, heat, clothing, etc. Without C2C these children would suffer, not be equipped like their fellow students to be ready for school, each and every day. Teachers are also blessed that they can fill a cart with the everyday needs of all children in their classrooms. Improving the web site for C2C would enhance their ability to raise funds, have a stronger presence in the community, and to stay current with teachers, schools, donors, etc. C2C is a worthy organization and offers and meets a need in our community. You will be proud to choose this organization for your award!!

2015-04-13 02:32:58 UTC

As a first year teacher, Companies to Classrooms has been a valuable resource for me! It's so great to know that I have the option of finding what I need there. When I am planning projects or activities I always do it with Companies to Classrooms in mind, knowing it offers me an affordable option to get what I need.

2015-04-13 12:07:26 UTC

C2C has been an absolute godsend for my classroom. From basic office supplies to office chairs and furniture, C2C has always been there for me to make up the difference between what I need and what the school district provides. Thank you for this invaluable resource!

2015-04-13 12:20:13 UTC

I work as a school social worker with many students who do not have resources to purchase their own school supplies. By going to Companies to Classrooms I'm able to provide them with supplies they would otherwise not have, or that I would end up purchasing for them on my own. There are many students I work with that are able to express their emotions through art. I also obtain supplies from Companies to Classrooms to use in working with these students in using art.

2015-04-13 13:08:25 UTC
Tim Girod

I am a teacher with Bloomington Public Schools, ISD 271. It has been wonderful to get classroom supplies for my students, I also pick of supplies for kids who cannot afford pencils or paper etc. Most of my classroom materials like staplers, hole punches, paper, pencils, colored pencils and markers have come from C- to C. I feel that it has been an invaluable asset to my classroom.

2015-04-13 13:22:51 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is a great resource for getting the year started off on the right foot. For many students resources are hard to come by and this organization does well to close the gap.

2015-04-13 16:45:31 UTC
Devin Tomczik

Companies to Classrooms is an important resource for me as a teacher. Many of my students do not have the funds to purchase even the most basic supplies, like pencils and paper. On top of that, C to C has provided my students with the materials they need to learn organizational skills and things that help make my classroom an effective learning environment.

2015-04-13 17:04:03 UTC
Gina Carpenter

Companies to Classroom is an essential partner for our Adult Basic Education, Volunteer and Adults with Disabilities programs. Over the years we have saved thousands of dollars on basic office supplies and program materials by getting these free items distributed by Companies to Classrooms. This has enabled us to keep program costs low for participants, as well as use our limited funding to directly impact the students we serve. Our volunteer program would be lost without the help of Companies to Classrooms. Cary and her team have provided us with great items over the years that we have used as thank you gifts for our volunteers. Thousands of students, teachers, volunteers and administrative staff have directly benefited by the services provided by Companies to Classrooms.

2015-04-13 19:44:48 UTC
Martha Parish

We recently moved our company headquarters, from a building we had been in for 95 years. Our friends at Companies to Classrooms were a big help. They kindly sent a truck over to pick up several oversized items, and a wide variety or useful office items. The team of staff and volunteers are a real joy to work with. Their kindness made our move easier. We are looking forward to working with them again soon.

2015-04-13 00:56:58 UTC
Maren Magsam

Companies to Classroom is amazing. It is so wonderful that teachers are able to go and get the must needed supplies for their classrooms. The first time I went, I was amazed at how many different supplies were available. It really is a godsend. Please choose them for your award!!

2015-04-13 01:16:44 UTC
Anonymous - Special Ed Teacher

Companies to Classrooms is such a great resource for teachers! It is a great place to go and get basic supplies for our classrooms and students who may not be able to afford the basic supplies. It is also great for hidden treasures - games, classroom decorations, prizes, holiday decorations, and even backpacks. It has saved me hundreds of dollars, which I am so very grateful for!!

2015-04-13 02:42:34 UTC
Kari Toensing

Companies to Classroom is a tremendous resource to the community. It helps companies recycle their unwanted or unneeded materials and gets these materials into the classrooms of teachers who are inspired by them! I like that teacher come into the warehouse and select what the need so that the materials are not sitting unwanted in the classroom. I appreciate how the organization treats their materials and the teachers who "shop" there with respect. Materials are presented in a well organized and appealing fashion that creates a positive and supportive environment for everyone. It is an organization that should be available in every community and I am so proud that it is available in our community.

2015-04-13 02:53:06 UTC

As a new teacher, I needed many things to start the year. Companies to Classrooms helped me get all of the essentials for free.

2015-04-13 03:42:20 UTC
Ann Tillotson

It's a win-win for everyone! Companies to Classrooms serves as a resource for teachers who increasingly face budget cuts, provides supplies for kids in need, recycles office goods that otherwise may be tossed and offers school clubs and fundraising groups with basic products needed for marketing. Cary and her staff have worked tirelessly to build a non-profit organization that helps our learning community everyday. As the winner of the Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, I know C to C would make you proud by transforming your work to that of helping others.

2015-04-13 11:00:07 UTC

I can't express in words how Companies to Classrooms is a huge asset to our community in so many ways.
Our educational communities of teachers, staff, students all benefit from this organization, when funding is tight. They provide supplies of all kinds for the educational community, and also help our environment by recycling papers, office materials, furnitures, and many other things companies are ready to dispose. The staff of Companies to Classroom work extremely hard to maintain and provide high quality items to help everybody involved. They are just the BEST organization available helping so many.

2015-04-13 12:34:00 UTC
Penny Thompson-Burke, Bloomington teacher

My first year of teaching, I spent over $1000 out of my own pocket on supplies for my classroom. Most of my students couldn't afford their own school supplies, so I provided pencils, notebooks, paper, folders, enrichment materials--you name it. Companies to Classrooms has been a big help!

2015-04-13 13:05:02 UTC

I don't know what I would do without companies to classrooms! I routinely shop there for necessary school supplies such as pencils, paper, and white board markers for my students to use. The opportunity to have a place where I can get FREE essential materials for my students to use is invaluable!

2015-04-13 02:41:38 UTC
Greg Wammer

I have been going to C to C for years now. All the basics that teachers need for a classroom are there. There are materials you can find to outfit students who aren't able to get what they need from home. And, beyond the basics, there is a wealth of things that make the classroom an engaging place to be: games, posters, bulletin board borders, supplemental curricula, books, prizes - you name it and you can probably find it. While it may appear that Companies to Classrooms just provides 'stuff', in reality, it enriches students' classroom experience.

2015-04-13 08:02:31 UTC
Tom Ringdal

Our program works with students from across Bloomington to create school related TV programming for the community. C2C has been a fantastic resource for us. We've often made use of odd technologies that have been retired by companies and had the students repurpose them to assist in productions. When we have a special need, we put it on the wish list, and - like magic - we'll get a call saying they've tracked it down. I love to tell people all over the metro how this win-win-win organization is just doing great work. An expanded web presence will help C2C to better reach and communicate with both Donors and schools/teachers in need and will be critical as they continue to expand and serve more districts

2015-04-13 11:42:49 UTC
Joe Zimmermann

I am a teacher in the Bloomington School District and visit C2C 2-3 times a year. It's so nice to have access to supplies that many students just do not have or cannot afford such as binder and backpacks. It's also nice being able to stock up on classroom supplies without using the limited department money. Thank you C2C.

2015-04-13 13:34:23 UTC

Companies to classroom has provided me with school supplies and office type furniture for several years. This has been a huge help when districts don't have funding to pay for classroom needs. The staff is helpful and will inform teachers when they have products in their warehouse, that have been requested.

2015-04-13 14:53:33 UTC
Wes Oian

Making sure kids have school supplies is a good cause and Companies to Classrooms could benefit from a website redesign. Teachers are doing a great job and having to come out of thier own pocket so often should not be needed.

2015-04-13 15:28:23 UTC

I really like what this organization does. I do believe getting the word out through a better web presence would be very helpful.

2015-04-13 17:00:24 UTC
Mary Jo Bayliss @ Metro South Adult Basic Education

From C2C's Community Education Partnership Award nomination:
"I can think of no other person or organization who has found such a unique way to contribute to her community. Companies to Classrooms is the kind of initiative that people think about and say, “somebody should do that!” Cary actually did. Cary possesses all the qualities needed to be successful in a venture like C2C. She has the business savvy, creativity, and relationship building skills that have put C2C not only on the local map, but on the national map as well. From renting/finding space to staffing C2C with volunteers to making sure donations are distributed fairly and effectively, Cary is a wonder.

We would like to use Metro South’s Mission Statement to help us provide this statement:“Supporting the efforts of all adults who wish to improve their lives through literacy, education, career development, and life long learning”. So many people have benefited from Cary’s work. First and foremost are the students who are often from low-income, high-need families. We are able to supply students with pens, pencils, binders, folders, notebooks, and organizers. Our teachers and staff are able to find so many items like dry erase boards and markers, scissors, bookshelves, file cabinets, and sheet protectors just to name a few of our favorites. Cary even facilitated the donation of swivel chairs from Josten’s for our computer labs. For our volunteer appreciation event each spring, Cary has provided us with so many items that have made nice gifts and saved our program countless dollars while still making it possible to give something nice as a token of our appreciation for all our volunteers do for our program. In addition to all of these benefits, having Companies to Classrooms in our community allows us to participate in recycling that goes far beyond paper, glass & plastic.

Seven years ago Cary Weatherby saw the need to help companies more easily recycle and donate their unwanted items and also understood the limitations of public education funding.
With vision, determination, and heart, Cary has turned challenges into opportunity, castoffs into assets, and has become the conduit for companies to give and schools to receive!

2015-04-13 13:14:44 UTC
Jeff Huenecke

I have been going to Companies to Classrooms since they started and could never have afforded the things that I have been able to provide for my students without them. Right now we are doing a unit on nature, Companies to Classrooms (C to C) provided all the artificial flowers for our "flower shop". The chairs that staff use have all been provided by C to C, the garbage cans and recycling cans...yup, C to C. I needed a place to show videos that tied to themes, C to C provided a large white board that doubled as a place for students to practice writing and signing in (pre-SmartBoard era) and C to C also provided the dry erase markers too for the kids to use. Health theme? C to C had all the stuff so each child could make a first aid kit for the home or car, one little guy said, "this is great, we don't have any bandaids in our home." I have a "prize box" in my room that kids get to take a prize home after reading ten books at home, without C to C there would be no prize box. Thanks for all you do!

2015-04-13 13:54:14 UTC

I am a teacher, and the supplies provided by Companies to Classrooms have been a great help to what I do. My students are able to do all kinds of coloring and constructing of cards for Halloween and Valentines Day, for example, with what they have provided. School budgets are limited, and it is great that Companies to Classrooms greatly augments what a teacher can get to use in the classroom. The students have enjoyed more fun, engaging activities, while learning all the while, because of what Companies to Classrooms does. Please help them carry on!

2015-04-13 14:33:38 UTC
Barb Parrish

As a teacher in Bloomington, I have benefitted from the hard work of Companies to Classrooms. So many of my students do not have the capability to purchase supplies, and C to C has proven invaluable in getting them the items they need.

2015-04-13 16:47:31 UTC
Melanie Larson

The teachers in Bloomington are so fortunate to have access to Companies to Classrooms! Over the years, I have been able to get many supplies for my classroom without having to pay for them by myself. I always get colored paper while I'm there. My team makes award certificates at the end of each trimester for students who have earned them for various things. I have picked up binder clips for students to use in their planners. I also work with a mentorship group, and at the end of each school year, the girls make gifts for their mentors. I found some scrapbook kits that contained note cards, stickers, and decorative papers. The girls used these to write thank you notes for their mentors. These are just a couple of ways that I have used products that I have picked up at Companies to Classrooms. This is such a great resource for teachers!

2015-04-13 19:31:19 UTC

Companies to Classrooms is a wonderful resource for teachers in the Southwest suburbs of Minneapolis. We all know the drain on a small budget that teachers face every year, so any opportunity to get free stuff goes miles to help us.
The donations at Companies to Classrooms have provided so many items for my classroom, and I so appreciate all their work organizing and preparing for us.

Our Mission

Companies to Classrooms is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports teachers and students by providing educational supplies through the operation of a store, staffed by volunteers and stocked with reusable supplies and inventories donated by local businesses. Currently we serve public, private and parochial schools in Bloomington, Richfield, Shakopee, Robbinsdale and Brooklyn Center, Minnesota with plans to expand to St. Louis Park and Hopkins in the next 6 months. This means that we touch the lives of over 36,000 students currently and climbing to nearly 50,000 with the additional 2 districts. We also make product available to any teacher through the use of an on-line ordering system. Through this method we have helped teachers in an additional 16 local school districts.