DonorsChoose.org helps teachers around the nation and in Auburn - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

DonorsChoose.org helps Auburn teachers fund educational projects

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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

Nancy Chastonay, a second grade teacher at the Auburn Early Education Center, learned about the online charity DonorsChoose.org from a co-worker last fall.

She wasted no time logging on to ask for help.

"I immediately went to my room and worked on a grant to fund some of those essentials; paper, electric pencil sharpeners, electric hole punch, some of those things that were no long working in our hall that we really needed to use," explains Chastonay.

The grant for these essential items was funded in January.

On Friday, Chastonay received word that her second grant for enrichment materials had been fulfilled by a resident of New York and Kia Motors.

"The great thing about Donors Choice is these supplies were already ordered by Friday afternoon and I will get them this week," says Chastonay.

DonorsChoose.org was started in 2000 by CEO, Charles Best, a history teacher from the Bronx.

After spending a lot of his own money on supplies, Best figured there were people around the nation who would want to help teachers and children in need.

"Since we launched out of my classroom in the Bronx, there are now more than a million people who have given $230,000,000 to classroom projects and to half of all the public school in America," explains Best.

Best was the keynote speaker for the Women's Philanthropy Board spring event in Auburn this afternoon.

He says teachers in Alabama have been funded for over 3,000 classroom projects.

"All it takes, and this is something we don't do a good job of, is telling teachers to be creative, be innovative and let organizations like this help connect you with funding sources rather than waiting on somebody here in the state to do it for you. It lets the teacher have the voice," explains Alabama State Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Bice.

"The premise of our website is that anyone, even if you have only $1 to spare, can be a philanthropist," says Best.

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