We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexia McCartney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexia, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I was a teacher for 7 years, 3rd Grade and Kindergarten. When I first started teaching, my now husband and I were dating and putting together our budget. He noticed that I was spending a lot of money on my classroom and asked me if I was going to submit an expense report for reimbursement. After a quick laugh, I kindly told him that it doesn’t work that way in teaching. What we spend on our classroom comes out of pocket. Some basics are supplied, but classroom decorations, organization, extra supplies, activities, etc. are not. Over the next few years, we began talking more about how we could help teachers and decided on a nonprofit. One night in 2020 we were brainstorming names and decided on Teachers Need Us. We purchased the domains that night and started our mission.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Teachers Need Us is different because we give grants directly to teachers for their specific needs. Teachers can choose a teacher store gift card or an Amazon wish list. Teachers have purchased organization, supplies, decorations, furniture, books, STEM activities, and more. Each classroom is unique and has different needs. We randomly select teachers from applications submitted on our website. My favorite part is getting to call teachers to tell them they have been selected. The teachers and very thankful and are eager to get things to engage their students!

We have just started year 3 of Teachers Need Us. We have given grants to 43 teachers in 16 states. Finding teachers to help has been easy, but getting the word out to donors has proven to be more difficult, We’ve grown in donations and have tripled our grantees each year.

We are a team of 3 and all volunteer our time. We are passionate about helping teachers and work hard to continue growing our nonprofit!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Max’s Wine Dive Ninfa’s

Rudy + Pacos (in Galveston) – we love this spot for special occasions!

Merlions (in Seabrook) – this is our favorite date night spot!

Tiny’s No. 5- Great food and outdoor area

Grab a burger at Vic and Anthony’s before an Astros game.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion for a concert – bring your own gallon size bag of food!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to all the hardworking teachers around the country! Teachers work long hours, sometimes including weekends, and have many other duties outside of just teaching students. They do important work and need our support!

Website: www.teachersneedus.org

Instagram: Teachers Need Us

Facebook: Teachers Need Us

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.