TULSA -- The candy company that Anthony Archie started earlier this year wants to make a dollar and a difference.
He pours 20 percent of the profits from the Oklahoma Toffee Company into buying supplies for public school teachers strapped for cash.
"Whatever is not provided by the state or by the school district, it comes out of a teacher's pocket," Archie said, "and we want to help bridge the gap."
He credits his wife, Chelsea, for inspiring the idea to give back because she currently teaches science to seventh graders in Owasso.
"Her supply list of things she needed kept growing, and our budget kept getting smaller," Archie said. "We kept hearing on the news about budget cuts to education, and funding was drying up. We said, 'How can we help teachers across the state who have supply needs in their classroom?'"
rchie started the Oklahoma Toffee Company in April this year. He's whipped up one batch after another from the kitchen at Kirk of the Hills, the south Tulsa church where he used to work as a youth minister. He's sworn to keep his grandmother's recipe for the toffee secret, and she thinks what he's doing with it is pretty sweet.
"She's so proud of me," Archie said, smiling. "She says, 'Baby, you help as many teachers as you can.'"
He set an ambitious goal this year to give away $5,000 in supplies. During the past few months, he's already given out headphones to a teacher at Union as well as supply organizers to another teacher in Mannford.
He expects more requests for help to keep coming in because school districts are still making deep cuts, while the state struggles to fill a budget hole of almost a billion dollars.
"Until that changes, people have to step up and say what can I do to make a difference?" Archie said.
If teachers would like some help buying supplies, they can log on and fill out a form on the Oklahoma Toffee Company's website here.
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