It takes a village to educate a community. And sometimes it takes the kindness of strangers and other good samaritans.

The Compassion Coalition is a Utica business that for years has offered more affordable food items to those in need. Now they're branching out with donations of school supplies to help teachers do their jobs, and therefore improve the learning process for children.

From the Compassion Coalition's website, here's the skinny on the inspiration for their new Equipped to Teach program:

Compassion Coalition has been a leader in school aid to local schools since our inception in 1999. The national average that teachers spend on their own classroom supplies is $498, but when speaking with local teachers the costs far exceeded $498 due to the impoverished area that we are settled in."

The warehouse is currently staffed by a number of retired teachers who give their time, and the outfit can use donated supplies, and more volunteers to keep its mission humming. Go to their website, distributehope.com, for more info.

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