PALM HARBOR — Teachers in Pinellas County received lunch boxes filled with school supplies this week, thanks to a family-run, nonprofit organization that made it a priority to give back to our heroes in the classroom.
From markers to glue sticks to post-it notes, it was a back-to-school buffet, courtesy of Lotz of Blessings.
“Teachers spend over $800 a year of their own money, and they shouldn’t have to,” said founder Heather Lotz. “It's just that little thing that we can do to bring a smile to somebody’s face and know that they are loved.”
Lotz started the nonprofit in 2018 as a way for parents and their children to work together to help others.
“Our mission is to empower and inspire today’s youth to give back to the community, and that's exactly what we are trying to do,” said Lotz. “I love when I see my kids do something, I’m like, ‘we are doing it right, we are teaching them.’”
The organization is mission based, going out into the community, setting up shop, and inviting other families to participate. This week’s event was at Little Explorers.
“When you are as fortunate as we are to have a space and be able to utilize it the idea is, ‘why not utilize it for something that’s positive, and something that’s good,’ and we can model it to our children,” said Little Explorers manager Mallory Radcliffe.
More than 100 teachers and aids returning to Paul B Stephens Exceptional Student School in Clearwater will be receiving these classroom supplies, plus a little extra treat.
“And, of course, a piece of chocolate,” said Lotz.
“I think they are actual angels, and I’m so grateful that they show up every day. We say thank you for showing up again today; what can we do, how can we be of service,” said Radcliffe.
The kids and parents will deliver the lunch boxes right to the school, which they agree, is the best part of the mission.
“It’s so fun. It’s the best day of the year for us because they are so appreciative,” said Lotz.
For more information on Lotz of Blessings, click here.