Know a teacher? Then you should also know nearly all spend their own hard-earned money and their unpaid time providing the materials and the attention demanded by their classrooms.
Educator Janice Pei can bear witness.
"You always end up with a handful of students in your class that just don't have the resources in their family for them to be able to bring in supplies," Pei said.
It's just one of the reasons she and a collection of passionate friends have created the non-profit Local Schools Local Needs, a trailblazing, online matchmaking site which helps pair the genuine needs of classroom educators with folks in the community ready and willing to fill them.
"We just felt like there was a disconnect between the regular average person and what happens at schools and we wanted to bridge that connection," cofounder and former teacher Ron Sung said.
And it's not just teachers doing the asking. Local Schools Local Needs allows concerned citizens the opportunity to offer their materials, their time and their talent to an educational system in desperate need of outside reinforcement.
"We want people to get their skin in the game. You can't make a difference unless you are there," Sung said.
"You feel the effect of the whole village raising a child versus each individual family struggling really hard to make it alone," Pei added.
On the freshly launched site, you can already find hard-pressed Houston area teachers seeking aid and local folks from all walks of life stepping up to answer the call.
Each educational transaction, from tutoring to used typewriters, is privacy protected.
"It's very hard to change things when you are one person, one teacher, one school by yourself trying to fix problems in education, but when everybody pitches in that's when you really see the effect double and triple and quadruple and hopefully change happens faster that way," Pei said.