ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. - School might be out for the summer, but the classrooms are definitely full at Pare Elementary School.
The St. Clair Shores building is where the We Are Here Foundation is getting local schools ready for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
"We supply needy school districts with new and used truckloads of office and school furniture," said Tom Cleaver, of the We Are Here Foundation.
The school furniture they provide fills several classrooms at Pare Elementary. For Cleaver, this kind of work brings him joy.
"Well, this is my happy space, right?” Cleaver said. "It's my happy place to come in here. It's incredible going into a school before and after they receive a few truckloads of our furniture. These teachers are our heroes, right? They’re working with literally nothing and making a difference in every school district that we send truckloads of furniture to."
Providing furniture and supplies for schools can be costly. Cleaver and the staff at the We Are Here Foundation have formed great partnerships to make it all possible.
"So, we're teamed up with staples,” Cleaver said. “We're the redistribution center for Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. So that's all new office furniture. And Green Standards is a nonprofit group in Canada that provides us with truckloads of furniture, gently used furniture, cubicles, everything school desks, chairs that we then give to needy school districts."
The classrooms at Pare Elementary are where they stockpile all of the items that they are going to give away.
"(Items such as) filing cabinets,” Cleaver said. “We give them tables of all sorts, student desks, the new Google open air style desks where the teachers can conform it in any formation they want, student chairs. Basically anything you can find in the office at WDIV."
The foundation receives wish lists from area schools and in a few months, they fulfill those lists and deliver the needed items directly to the school, free of charge.
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