Online Charity Fulfills Schools’ Wish Lists
DonorsChoose.org is a national online charity that helps fund projects submitted by public school teachers.
Currently there are between 25 and 30 projects listed by teachers in the state that need support.
Meg Takahama, early childhood special education teacher at Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School, has been utilizing DonorsChoose.org for about a year, and she couldn’t be more thrilled with the success she’s seen in just that short time period.
“There’s a connection with this charity that I find really appealing,” Takahama said. “It’s not just a check in the mailbox.”
Those who choose to donate receive a personal confirmation thank-you letter from the teacher and can view photographs of students using the donated items. When Takahama receives a notification of a donation no matter how large or small she responds with a thank you. According to DonorsChoose.org, all donors also receive a cost report listing how each dollar was spent.
The projects submitted by teachers will be posted on the DonorsChoose website for five months to solicit contributions, and if it does not reach the monetary goal, the money goes back to the donors.
Takahama received a new classroom rug in the middle of January, and the children adore it. More recently she got an email saying her project for a specialized chair for children with posture problems and low muscle tone was funded.
“Every time I get an email saying, ‘Congratulations, your project got funded,’ I get choked up and teared up,” Takahama admitted. “It’s really the kindness of strangers that has transformed my classroom for my students.”
To browse various Hawaii-based projects, visit DonorsChoose.org and click “Projects” in the top right corner, and then click on “State” and type in Hawaii. Each project has a short description of the students and their needs, as well as the supplies needed.