California teachers experienced perhaps the best first day of school this year after receiving a check in the mail for more than $1.3 million, plus an extra $100,000 for classroom materials.
The windfall came after DonorsChoose.org's founder, Charles Best, received a call from Hilda Yao, executive director of the Claire Giannini Fund, which provides money to educational causes in the name of the late Claire Giannini Hoffman.
What would it cost, the caller asked the founder of DonorsChoose.org, to fund every California teacher's wish list posted on the Web site?...
"Something over $1 million," he told her.
To Best's surprised, Yao wrote back and agreed. DonorsChoose.org received a check for $1.3 million, and all of the site's educational projects in California were immediately funded.
One of San Francisco's Monroe Elementary School teachers, Laura Edeen, had several projects on DonorsChoose.org and was shocked when the money came.
"I actually e-mailed my husband thinking he funded it," she said laughing, adding she couldn't imagine how else it was all paid for. "It felt like my birthday yesterday."
The idea behind DonorsChoose.org started in a Bronx High School and has become a hub for public school teachers, allowing them to post requested classroom materials on the site. Users can browse projects and give any amount to one that inspires them. In exchange DonorsChoose.org asks kids to take pictures and send thank you notes to the site.
The charitable contribution will cover the costs of every single California teacher's wish list and is among the largest gifts received by DonorsChoose.org.