SAC school supply drop off with students and teachers behind boxes
Theresa Grigger (third from right) and other members of the Staff Advisory Council dropped boxes of supplies off to Cleveland schools at the start of the new school year.

Staff Advisory Council collects 62 boxes of school supplies for local students

By Kaitlin Murphy

When Theresa Grigger arrived at a Cleveland city school in late August, she was greeted with a warm hug from a teacher.

But Grigger wasn’t there to start a new school year. Rather, she and members of the Staff Advisory Council were dropping off school supplies to help the teachers and students get off to a good start.

This year, the Staff Advisory Council collected a record amount of school supplies from members of the Case Western Reserve University community: 62 boxes full.

“Some of the inner-city schools don’t have a lot of money,” explained Grigger, a member of the Staff Advisory Council and drive co-chair.

The teacher told Grigger that, due to a lack of supplies, they had to ask each time they removed learning tools from the communal cupboard. And teachers often foot the bill for supplies to create a more enriching learning environment.

Students also were at the schools when members of the Staff Advisory Council dropped the boxes off—and seeing their reactions was incredibly rewarding, said Grigger,coordinator in [U]Tech’s research computing unit.

“When they opened them, it was like Christmas,” Grigger said. “They were just so excited.”

The annual drive got its start six years ago and previously was held in conjunction with CWRU’s Case for Community Day.

At the start of the drive each year, Grigger and her co-chair, Laura Huffman, curriculum manager in the School of Dental Medicine, encourage the campus community to donate at a variety of campus donation sites through announcements and advertisements in campus media.

After the collection, members of the Staff Advisory Council loads supplies into campus vehicles for distribution at three Cleveland schools: Daniel E. Morgan PreK-8, Mary McLeod Bethune PreK-8 and Michael R. White.

The drive has proven so successful that one principal requested her school be added to the list after transferring from one of the two original recipient schools.

Missed the school supply drive but still want to get involved? Members of the campus community can continue to make a difference throughout the year with other Staff Advisory Council events, including the annual Benefits Fair basket raffle that aids Hands-On of Northeast Ohio and the Steps for Staff two-mile walk to support the Staff Educational Enhancement Fund.

To learn more about the Staff Advisory Council and their other initiatives, visit