Submitted by WSECU
In a year with incredible pressure on educators, WSECU went directly to the source on Giving Tuesday to surprise classroom superheroes by donating more than $25,000 to teacher fundraisers across Washington State.
“Even in a regular year we think teachers are rock stars,” said Ann Flannigan, VP of Public Relations. “This year, teachers were asked to navigate new technology and many new challenges in their classrooms. We wanted to make sure they heard how much we all appreciate their work by paying off their classroom-based fundraisers to give back to students they teach.”
The Washington-based credit union used DonorsChoose, a non-profit charitable giving site that receives and vets teacher fundraiser requests, then fulfills the teacher’s order when the funding goal is met. The projects are focused on enhancing K-12 student learning and engagement by raising funds for things like tools students can use for learning remotely, books, molecule models and math manipulation tools. With the total donation, WSECU was able to fully fund or complete funding on 64 projects, impacting 5,179 students, 40 schools and 56 teachers across Washington.
“We know many teachers dip into their personal funds to cover expenses that arise in the classroom, we even saw many teachers had donated to their own projects as we were paying them off.” Flannigan said. “These are people who have an incredible amount of compassion and want only the best for their students. We hope to foster and protect that in this difficult time.”
In addition to making the donations, the WSECU team reached out to several teachers to personally thank them for their work and surprise them with the news that their project would be funded. With the support of co-conspirators in the form of school principals or other colleagues, a handful of teachers were invited to a staged meeting. WSECU representatives joined the video call and announced that the credit union was finishing off the teacher’s fundraiser to get the project working for kids sooner.
“Their responses were incredible, beyond anything we had imagined,” Flannigan said. “We hope seeing those reactions will inspire others to join us in giving back this year as we work together to support our communities.”
WSECU has been participating in Giving Tuesday for more than seven years, designing new initiatives each year to join in the national movement of spreading acts of kindness and generosity during the holiday season.