For teachers, it's always been tough to make ends meet, and when it comes to the classroom supplies, they have to dig even deeper.
"So far this year, I've spent over 15 hundred dollars of my own money on supplies and we haven't even made it past the third quarter," says Howard Art Teacher Elizzabeth Biel.
The Hamilton County PTA Teacher's Supply Depot opened its doors to help out, letting teachers like Biel get those supplies for free.
"I'm not joking when I say this has been a life saver because I'm now going to double my supplies, so it's a lot of money, I'd say I'm saving at least five hundred to a thousand dollars today."
"A lot of their students can't afford to pay their school supply fee and they can't afford to bring their school supplies to school at the beginning of the year. What a lot of people don't realize is, in the middle of the year after Christmas break, all the school supplies from the fall are gone, and all the school supplies need to be replenished," says Scottie Summerlin, Director of Communications for the Hamilton County PTA.
Volunteers like Ellis Wiltshire says with kids of his own in school, it's nice to help teachers get the supplies they need the most.
"Teachers came here the most things they asked for was paper, pens and pencils. Papers, pens and pencils. They really don't really get paid as much as they should get paid in comparison of profession. I think it's necessary we should do more to help the teachers, especially our local teachers because of the tough times we are in right now."
The supplies come from donations through the United Way "Stuff the Bus" campaign, but the depot is in constant need of supplies that help teachers like Biel expand their kids horizons.
"The variety of supplies today has greatly changed my curriculum. There's a project that I'll be able to do know because i found the wallpaper and other paper products that were here for free today. It's going to dramatically change the way I teach my art curriculum at Howard."
If you'd like to donate, you can drop supplies off at the downtown United Way of Chattanooga Offices on Market Street.