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Crestview pastor starts Okaloosa Adopt-A-Teacher supplies program

Special to the News Bulletin

CRESTVIEW — Local resident Joe Butryn, a retired airman and associate and youth pastor at Joy Fellowship Ministries in Crestview, has created a Facebook page to help Okaloosa County teachers.

The Adopt-A-Teacher program helps the teachers get “adopted” so they can receive needed supplies for their classrooms at the end of August.

Christina Brooks, sixth-12th grade intensive reading teacher at the Okaloosa Academy, displays some of the supplies that she received from a donor who “adopted” her on the Adopt-A-Teacher in Okaloosa County Facebook page.

"I frequently substitute teach in the Okaloosa County school system. I’ve personally seen how supplies are not always available in the classroom," Butryn said. "A majority of teachers spend a lot of money out of their own pocket. Teachers are not given a big stipend to help them in their classrooms. As a matter of fact, they are given very little money to purchase supplies for their classrooms and this is a way for our community to help some of our unsung heroes…teachers!

"We are in unprecedented times with COVID-19 and with unprecedented times, there are unprecedented needs for our teachers,” he added. 

Groups for each school have been created on the Facebook page. Schools not listed may contact Butryn and he will add them.

The program uses information from each teacher's Amazon wish list. 

Some of the supplies teacher Christina Brooks received through the donation program are pictured.

Butryn said people who find the school group for the teacher they want to adopt may request membership in the group, which will be approved by him. 

“Once you are in the group, please scroll until you find the teacher that you would like to adopt, click on their Amazon Wish Lists and purchase their supplies,” Butryn said.

He also requested that people share the Facebook page with their family and friends.

The group recently reached 1,000 followers, and some teachers have already received their supplies. 

One of the items teacher Christina Brooks received through the donation program is pictured.

“My heart is overwhelmed by the love and support that our community is showing to our teachers,” Butryn said. “A lot of people have been thanking me for starting this Facebook page to help our teachers. I’m humbled and grateful for their kind words, but all glory goes to God,” Butryn said.

He is exploring the possibility of a 501(c)(3) to collect donations in the future, which would provide tax deductible donations. 

Contact Butryn at joebutryn@gmail.com for more information.

Some of the supplies teacher Christina Brooks received through the donation program are pictured.