Tulsa teacher turns to panhandling to raise money for classroom supplies

TULSA, Okla. — Quick facts:

  • Teresa Danks is a Tulsa teacher.
  • She says she spends a large portion of her paycheck on classroom supplies.
  • Danks went to a local intersection to ask for money in order to pay for supplies Wednesday.
  • Donate to Danks' cause HERE
  • Danks's story is getting national attention, she told FOX23 she's getting a huge outpouring of support from the community
  • A Tulsa teacher's bold statement is now making the rounds nationally after her story aired on FOX23.
  • Danks says the outpour from the community both yesterday and since her story aired has been incredible.
  • So far, she's received about 100 emails from people in the community who are mailing supplies to her classroom.
  • A business has even given Danks a $250 gift card for supplies.

A Tulsa teacher is making a bold statement about the state of education as she pleads for money at a local intersection in order to pay for classroom supplies.

Teresa Danks is a third grade teacher in the Tulsa Public Schools systems.

As a result of serious education budget cuts, Danks says she is now spending between $2,000 and $3,000 of her $35,000 salary on supplies for her students.

Oklahoma ranks nearly last in teacher pay when compared to other states across the U.S.

“It all adds up week after week and month after month,” Danks said. “So, it’s a huge need.”

Danks says she decided to ask the public for help after she learned lawmakers weren’t going to help her.

SOUND OFF: This Tulsa teacher made a bold statement on Tuesday as she has resorted to panhandling in order to raise...

Posted by FOX23 Sara Whaley on Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In six minutes Tuesday, the veteran teacher made $55 standing on the street corner near 193rd East Avenue and I-44, more than double what she makes per hour in the classroom.

Danks says she was overwhelmed by the response, and she became emotional talking about it.

She says her unusual fundraising style not just about the money, but she says she is setting out to bring awareness to the budget cut crisis and how it affects Oklahoma’s education system.

Danks says she hopes that other teachers will join her in the effort.

She urges people to donate to their local schools, because she believes other teachers are likely in similar situations.

If you would like to contact Danks, you can email her here.

She released a list of needed supplies Wednesday:

"Local Friends, 

"With more budget cuts to our schools, I am in need of some help. If you already have, would be willing to save up for me, donate or sell cheaply for the 2017-18 school year it would be greatly appreciated. Just comment if you are able to help. Thanks so much." 

Any and all things crafty:

  • Egg cartons
  • Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
  • Yarn
  • Old, leftover party paper plates
  • Straws
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Broken costume jewelry
  • Beads
  • Craft wire
  • Silk flowers
  • Plastic water bottles
  • Gallon size plastic jugs
  • Sewing needles/Thread
  • Buttons
  • Fabric pieces
  • Cotton balls/Pom Poms
  • Safety pins
  • Stencils (letters & pictures)
  • Stamp pads
  • Large felt board
  • Sandwich bags

Other items:

  • Treasure box single wrap candy
  • Single electric hot burner
  • Board games and card games for ages 6+
  • Big Joe black bean bag chair
  • Yoga balls
  • Protractors
  • Microscope
  • Small dorm size refrigerator
  • Small microwave

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