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A Circle Swap Gives Free School Supplies For Chicago Teachers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It might all have ended up in a trash heap. Instead, piles of paper, pencils and other supplies are headed to Chicago classrooms thanks to a circle swap.

CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez reports what local businesses didn't need, some Chicago teachers were thrilled to receive.

The crowds were large enough that a volunteer directed traffic outside as teachers loaded up their cars with school supplies donated by local businesses.

Seven thousand square feet of supplies. Open only to Chicago teachers.

They hit the aisles with bags, boxes and carts. The teachers said they spend hundreds to thousands of dollars of their own money each school year on supplies for students and classrooms.

A kindergarten teacher searched for any items she could use or reuse.

"I can't even express how important it is and my heart is humble and grateful for this generosity," she said.

"It's awesome," said Maddie Shearer. "It's great to just be able to come through and look at all this stuff and pick and choose."

Barbara Koenen, founder of Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange, said the businesses that donated are equally happy.

"They love finding a home for the stuff that was too good to toss." said Koenen.

It's the organizations third swap circle.

"It's just the tip of the iceberg of what could really happen in Chicago."Trash is just a failure of imagination."

The event continues Saturday at a North Side warehouse.

The address is 3031 N Rockwell in Chicago from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

It is only open to Chicago teachers. They may ask for a W-2 or pay stub as proof.

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