By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For David Sauer, teaching is not just a job — it’s a calling.

“We just love being around students, love interacting with students, working with them on a daily basis,” Sauer said.

Over the past 30 years, he has seen his students grow, and his budget shrink.

“Some of our classroom budgets have been cut, so teachers really have had to dig into their pockets a little bit more,” Sauer said.

From book sets to art supplies, it all adds up, with much of the burden falling on the teacher’s own pocketbooks.

That is what inspired the Forest Lake Lions to create a fund for educators in their community who spend their own cash on school supplies.

(credit: CBS)

“We had the money and it doesn’t do any good in our checkbooks, but it will help these teachers out here,” said Lion Rich Jabas.

The Lions Club was able to raise the money through charitable gambling and fundraisers. Each teacher can apply for a reimbursement of up to $100.

“We have no restrictions on what they can use it for, it’s just to help kids,” Jabas said.

Within an hour of announcing the fund, the Lions Club got 22 applications, and it is easy to see why.

Earlier this year, a WCCO-Education Minnesota survey revealed more than 1,000 educators in the state spend hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars on school supplies.

The money being gifted on Thursday is not only for the teachers, but for the students.

“Hopefully, they will understand that giving, when you give, it always comes back tenfold,” Jabas said.

Here is where Forest Lake teachers can apply for a reimbursement.

Mary McGuire

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