The Exchangeree is a resource center within The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) directed by Debbie Phelps, mother of Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps, that collects school supplies and donations to support BCPS teachers and students.
Alyssa Sooklal, a Water Resources Designer II in our Baltimore office, is a former BCPS student. The Exchangeree's mission of providing free resources to BCPS teachers and students is very important to her as she is familiar with the hardship of having limited accessibility to basic resources for her education.
In the last few years, Alyssa has participated in multiple school supplies drives for The Exchangeree. This summer, she wasn't able to arrange a supplies collection in McCormick Taylor’s Baltimore office due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, she has dropped off personal donations collected throughout the year, most recently in August, where she met with Debbie to discuss the greater need for supplies and toolkits for students and teachers for distance learning.
While BCPS will be doing virtual instruction this fall, The Exchangeree is working towards providing supplies and tools for students and parents to be prepared for virtual learning, as well as a return to the classroom, should it occur in the spring. Principals and teachers can pick up supplies and wellness kits from The Exchangeree on an appointment basis.
Alyssa requested funds from McCormick Taylor's Charity Committee to the Exchangeree. The donation provides school supplies to stock the shelves at both Exchangeree locations. The Exchangeree is funded entirely by community donations. Basic school supplies, as well as backpacks, books, wellness kits, and classroom sanitation supplies are available year-round for free to BCPS educators.
The Exchangeree also hosts many events during the year, such as:
Tools for School: A school supplies drive during the summer that provides teachers with the necessary supplies for the upcoming school year. Teachers can collect their supplies in early September.
Share the Warmth: Provides children who need winter accessories items to keep themselves warm, safe, and healthy during the winter.
Books for Bins: Provides teachers the opportunity to select age-appropriate books for their students to build their home library and summer reading opportunities.
The Hub: A center to provide teachers to collect, redistribute, exchange, and repurpose resources with their colleagues in a collaborative, collegiate space.
About McCormick Taylor's Charity Committee
McCormick Taylor’s Charity Committee helps our employees give back to their communities. By becoming involved with our employees’ different organizations, programs, and charities, we grow closer to our employees and the places we call home.
Click here to see the other organizations we support.