If you’re in need of a last-minute holiday gift, how about giving the gift of charity and education? I had a series of experiences with DonorsChoose.org this year that exceeded every expectation. Never have I been more appreciated for a contribution, nor have I felt and seen the impact of a donation more directly. The affirmative feelings I received from DonorsChoose.org were so wonderful, I want to share them with you (and I’m giving gifts of DonorsChoose.org to people on my gift list this year).
I came to know DonorsChoose.org through Twitter, which distributed $50 gift cards to attendees of its Chirp Conference in April. (Classy move, Twitter!) I was not familiar with DonorChoose.org and learned that it is a site where public school teachers in the US can post classroom project requests for which they need cash. Visitors can surf the site for projects based on topics or location and may give as little as $1. DonorsChoose.org vets each teacher’s request and purchases the requested classroom materials, shipping items directly to the school.
With Twitter’s gift card in hand, I surfed the site for a worthy school project in my home state of Wisconsin. I found a request from Mrs. D’s classroom in a high-poverty area of the state. Their need was simple: 16 current children's dictionaries and 16 current children's thesauruses. Others had already donated, such as Kirsten from Santa Fe, NM, who had attended the school in the 1970s and Sharon from Bayside, WI, because "I’m a strong believer in Literacy education." I used my $50 Chirp gift for Mrs. D’s request and then chipped in another $25 of my own to help the classroom hit its necessary total.