The holiday season really is the season of giving. Stores and traditions dictate that we spend thousands of dollars on gifts for friends, family members, and of course, ourselves.
This is also the time of year that charities make their biggest push for donations. It’s good to donate to charity, and as long as they’re legitimate, donate all you want and encourage others to do so. If you have extra money after helping fight cancer, you can donate it a needy classroom.
DonorsChoose.org is an excellent organization that allows individuals to buy supplies for a needy school. Upon accessing the site, users are given the opportunity to donate a small sum to one of thousands of classroom projects. The projects have all been submitted by real teachers and verified by the professionals at Donors Choose. Further safeguards include verifying directly with the school principal and other school employees that the teacher is real and the project is legitimate.
Helping a teacher buy supplies is a wonderful gesture for a number of reasons. First of all, recent budget cuts have prevented children from getting their hands on much-needed school supplies. Secondly, even when a school isn’t in dire economic straits, often the administrators don’t spend the funds on items that teachers actually need. I’ve heard of schools in which teachers don’t have access to modern textbooks, while at the same time perfectly good furniture is being replaced constantly.
To be completely honest, I have had a project fully funded by using Donors Choose, and I still have one up right now. The stipend that New York City teachers receive for purchasing school supplies had been cut, and my students needed books for an art project. Donors Choose allowed my students to get their supplies, while requiring me to take certain steps to ensure truth and transparency in my project (such as having the students write thank you letters, and submitting pictures of them using the materials).
I know it’s the holiday season and there are plenty of more worthy causes to donate to right now. So go ahead, donate to cancer research, disaster relief, and poverty alleviation, I do. But if you have any spare capital when you’re done shopping, go on DonorsChoose.org and help a teacher.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.