CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side wants to make sure everyone has what they need to start the school year off right, and that includes teachers.

This year our Operation School Supplies drive is helping to stock teachers’ closets through a partnership with the Hampton Roads Corporate VOLUNTEER Council, part of Volunteer Hampton Roads.

Last year they helped 100 local teachers, including Christin Griffin, who teaches first grade in Chesapeake.

“I love teaching because every day I know I’m making a difference,” she told

At Rena B. Wright, the school where she teaches, more than 80% of students live in poverty.

“I can honestly say I’ve spent over $1,000 each year. I don’t know if that’s just from being in a Title One school, but they become your kids,” she said.

She buys them school supplies, and has even purchased other necessities, like coats and shoes.

“They’re your kids, and it’s what you want to do, you want to give back to them because they give a lot to you.”

Teachers Closet is helping her give more to her kids, and hopefully keep more of her paycheck. “It’s just a blessing to be able to help them in a small way,” explained Michelle Ellis Young.

Young, director of the Retail Alliance Foundation, has been working with the program for three years. She told us that Teacher’s Closet handed out supplies to 100 teachers last year.

This year about 650 signed up. “That’s a huge jump for us, and that’s why we need huge supplies!”

That’s why 10 On Your Side teamed up with them, and when you drop off donations at one of our Operation School Supplies events, you’ll be helping too.

Part of the donations we collect will go to Teacher’s Closet and fulfilling local teachers’ wish lists.

Griffin is excited to to see what Teacher’s Closet and the new year bring,

“You’d be surprised how excited a first grader gets to use a click pen, or a colored pen, or something other than just their pencil.”

If you are a teacher who needs supplies, or a company who would like to donate supplies or your time for the drive, contact VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads.