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The Teachers Desk: Supporting Our Students

If you were to ask John Mika about why he started The Teacher’s Desk, he would probably give two reasons.

The first and most altruistic reason would be to help provide teachers and students with school supplies that they may not be able to obtain otherwise. The second and more personal reason is that John believes that he received a mission from God to create The Teacher’s Desk and to help underprivileged students in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. Both of these reasons have helped guide John Mika and his nonprofit organization, The Teacher’s Desk, to sustained success as the 2022-23 school year approaches.

The Teacher’s Desk is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose primary goal is to provide free school supplies for Western New York schools that may not be able to receive these supplies otherwise. Since opening in 2011, The Teacher’s Desk has given out around six million dollars’ worth of supplies to area schools. The organization has specifically given tissues to around 6,000 teachers in 250 WNY schools, which in turn helps around 150,000 students at those schools.

Most teachers can shop free at The Teacher’s Desk website, The only requirement for free school supplies is for each of these said teachers to work at a school where at least 70 percent of the student population qualifies for the Free Lunch or Reduced Lunch program. On the website, teachers can apply for a time to “buy” school supplies at the organization’s Buffalo location. Teachers can shop between 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays.