FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD)- Teachers are preparing for a challenging school year as they navigate this new phase of the pandemic. All the while, they're trying to make up for learning loss. One nonprofit in Fort Worth wants to make their job a little easier … while helping the environment.

The Welman Project’s mission is simple: fill a classroom, not a landfill.

"We're trying to tackle two big issues in our community," says Vanessa Barker, cofounder of The Welman Project. "And that's waste output generated by businesses and lack of resources in our schools."


The solution? Creative reuse.

Here's how it works-- companies create less waste by donating their surplus items, like arts and crafts, paper, and office supplies, to the nonprofit. The Welman Project then makes the supplies available to teachers, something Barker says is desperately needed.

"Teachers spend so much money out of their own pocket," Barker says. "Many have second jobs just to make ends meet. We exist to support them, not only with school materials but also with high fives and hugs."

She says teachers just need to swing by the warehouse with a valid school ID, and they can take anything the want for free. There is no limit to how many items they can take or how often they can swing by. They don't need to be from North Texas, either.

"We have teachers coming from all over Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico … we had somebody come from Florida," Barker says. "It's really catching like wildfire, which is great, but also speaks to the enormity of the need."

More information about The Welman Project, including how to donate, can be found here . The warehouse is located at 3950 W. Vickery Blvd. in Fort Worth and is open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.