Now in its 14th year of operation, The Academy of St. Louis assists K-12th grade students with cognitive learning disabilities, specializing in students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental delays. The organization provides students with a safe and nurturing environment, individualized and challenging curriculum, social integration skills and faith formation. The Academy aids each student in reaching their highest potential, providing them with the confidence and knowledge to succeed in life.
The organization needed various equipment and supplies, everything from desks to air purifiers, and had a limited budget. The Academy’s leadership thought they would have to settle for acquiring certain items in stages and believed there were some pieces on its wish list that may never be a reality.
That was until the organization’s executive director connected with WIN Warehouse…
Recommended through a family friend, Executive Director Terri O’Daniel contacted Tony DiFranco, program director at WIN Warehouse to find out more. With the excess inventory available to its members, WIN Warehouse was the answer that the Academy was in search of.
The Academy of St. Louis’ membership with WIN Warehouse has allowed the organization to receive equipment and supplies to further its mission to help students in need. Additionally, the staff at WIN Warehouse has greatly helped O’Daniel determine exactly which pieces of equipment would benefit the Academy the most.
“It’s not only the inventory they offer, it’s the staff at WIN Warehouse that makes the difference,” says O’Daniel. “They regularly go out of their way to understand my needs and find the right fit. They invest time to learn about our organization to best provide knowledgeable recommendations.”
In addition to new desks, refrigerators, lunchroom chairs, storage cabinets, etc., WIN was able to help on a much more personal level. Recently, the Academy had a student graduating who did not have access to a suit. Through their membership with WIN, the organization was able to provide this student with new shoes, socks, a belt and suit so he could look great on graduation day.
More than 75 percent of the equipment and supplies that the organization has acquired through WIN would not have been feasible otherwise. For the remaining 25 percent, the organization estimates that it achieved 50 to 75 percent in savings.
“The most beneficial part of our membership with WIN is the relationship,” continued O’Daniel. “I feel very welcome when I head to WIN to see what kind of inventory is available, and Tony has been out to our place to take a tour, meet the students and teachers, and really make the time to learn about our mission.”