Following many of the great people on @list here's my #givingtuesday story. I donated to Donors Choose: I was lucky to grow up with great teachers with lots of resources, and I try to help those not as lucky. The first 4 bullets here are about the group, from their site, the rest are why I like it & who I gave to.
  1. Donors Choose is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on the site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.
  2. When a project reaches its funding goal, they ship the materials to the school. You'll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you'll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students.
  3. You can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions.
  4. If a partially funded project expires, donors get their donations returned as account credits, which they can use to: 1) Choose a new project to support. 2) Send the teacher they supported a gift card.
  5. Go to the site - it heartbreaking what basic tools so many kids need. But it's also great to see really unique projects that are being created.
  6. On the site you can sort by a ton of factors because different things resonate depending on the individual. You may want to only pick literacy programs or sports projects. You may want to pick the most underserved schools, or schools in your region, or kids of a certain age. You can do all of that and more.
  7. Certain projects are also "matching" projects so if your employer matches your charitable donations you get the information you need to provide them with for the matching amount.
  8. And in addition to teacher-driven projects there are also student-driven ones, so you can support something special a group of students is asking for.
  9. So today I chose to split my donation among five projects, rather than one larger donation to one project. I chose projects in five different areas (math, literature, performing arts, etc. because I wanted to give to projects that resonated with my personal loves in learning and the things that would mean a lot to the kids who loved other stuff.)
  10. "Often times, our special education students are pulled out of Math class to come to resource to get extra 1-on-1 support, test separately, or work on things in a smaller setting. Though this is great, our resource room often does not have the adequate supplies to assist those students. Having these additional calculators will allow our resource room to fully function as the support classroom that it needs be."
  11. "Last year, my English teacher, Mrs. Hollands, found this idea for a Blind Date With A Book. She put a book in a large envelope and wrote a brief description on the envelope. You didn't get to look at the cover or read the back of the book. It was an amazing opportunity for my fellow students and me to be surprised and to jump out of our comfort zones."
  12. "Soccer is accessible to all of us, regardless of our status....With very little experience or instruction, students can be successful on the soccer field. But watch out, because once their skills improve, so does their strategic thinking, and we care very much about that aspect of the game...In order to play, they had to maintain their grades. Shirts may seem like a supply item that has nothing to do with education, but our students care about looking the part on and off the field."
  13. "This theater experience will tie into all of the arts we are currently teaching...Students will learn about the play before it comes by reading the book, then they will have discussions and create art, and finally they will see it all come together in a real and live way. Having this experience will be exciting to them, it will engage their interests and open up a whole new world of make-believe to them."
  14. "My students struggle a great deal with reading comprehension. As a young child this is crucial piece in reading. I have realized that not only can my students play with Lego's they can also demonstrate their understanding of the text through the art of building. As my students read they can build models of their understanding by creating the setting, beginning, middle, and end of their story. The opportunities are endless as my students can even take their imagination to the next level.
  15. Anyhow, I list all these details so you can support one of these projects or another if you're looking for a place to give today or another day. Every little bit helps these kids, and it feels great to get thank you'd from grateful teachers and happy kids when they get what they need.
  16. Happy #GivingTuesday!!!