California is a big state. In fact it’s the most populated state. In that big state, during a recession, there are likely a lot of teachers with wish lists for their classroom. Those teachers that put their wish lists to action via DonorsChoose.org are now through wishing, but are now receiving.
DonorsChoose.org is a website that allows public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from whiteboards for a class instruction, to stages for a school play, to science tables for a chemistry class. Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, the materials are delivered to the school.
Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, recently received a phone call from a person with a seemingly hypothetical question. “What would it cost to fund every California teacher’s wish list posted on your website?” Best gave the caller his best guess of somewhere over $1 million. Only a day and half later, held a check in his hand for $1.3 million dollars covering all of California’s wishes. In his other hand he also held a check for an extra $100,000 to pay for other teachers’ wishes across the country.
Hilda Yao, the executive director of the Claire Giannini Fund, was the caller and generous donor. The fund Yao directs was created in 1998 to honor Claire Giannini Hoffman, the daughter of the founder of Bank of America. Donations have focused on education as well as other issues, including a $3 million gift to the nation’s school libraries from 2002 to 2004. Yao’s mother, Dorothy Yao, the fund’s former trustee, and Claire Giannini both believed education was a penetrating and enduring way to transform lives.