I chose to highlight DonorsChoose, which makes “it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education” (DonorsChoose.org, 2016). I teach Kindergarten in an impoverished, urban public school district area. I only receive $150 each year to fund my classroom supplies and materials, which is definitely not enough to cover what I need to effectively teach my students.
Therefore, I created a classroom project request on DonorsChoose.org. Donors and supporters from all over the world look at the project request and donate between $1 and millions of dollars, whichever amount that inspires them to fund. After the entire project request has been fully funded, the materials are purchased from DonorsChoose.org to ensure accountability, and delivered to my school. Volunteers offer their services to DonorsChoose.org by making sure these request are fulfilled.
On a personal note, the contributors and volunteers at DonorChoose.org have, positively impacted my students and my classroom environment. Since we are on the receiving end of classroom supplies and materials that are really needed, I can effectively teach, allowing my students to successfully learn. Other public school teachers from all over the country would agree with me. “94 percent of teachers said that their funded projects increased the effectiveness in their classroom” (DonorsChoose.org, 2016).
After I receive the supplies, I send a hand-written thank-you letter, also signed by my students. I take pictures of the students receiving their materials and supplies. People who volunteer and donate love to see the results and get feedback. What I take away in terms of my own volunteer efforts and advocacy work in fostering the well being of children and families is that this type of work allows me to help people in need and worthwhile causes, which also gives me a sense of purpose.
DonorsChoose.org (2016). DonorsChoose.org. Retrieved from https://www.donorschoose.org/about