Wednesday, December 7, 2005

What a world

I'm generally not one to plug specific charities ... I mean, hey, give to whomever you want to give to ... but I want to share something I saw today.

There's this charity called Donors Choose.  The way it works is this:  teachers who want something specific for their students (or their classrooms) submit proposals.  The organization reviews them, figures out how much they'll cost (hopefully getting a discount from the provider) and then lists the proposals on their website.  Then donors (that's you) scope out the website, find a project that appeals to them, and fund it -- either in whole or in part.  The organization also sends a cardboard camera to the school, and has the teacher take pictures of the project in action, and the kids write thank-you notes, and then all that stuff is forwarded to the donor who made the project possible, and everybody feels all warm and fuzzy.

Here's the thing.  I'm randomly poking around the Donors Choose website.  And I see lots of teacher proposals for computer equipment, or digital cameras, or field trips.  And then I think, that's almost a "luxury item," and I'd rather fund something where the need is more fundamental.  And I see proposals where schools need books, or math supplies, or maps.

And then I see a proposal from a teacher who needs paper.

And then I saw this one, from a teacher in a school in Chicago, who is teaching 16 low-income third-graders in a room with no heat, who wants enough money to buy a few portable heaters and a blanket for each student (as many of them lack warm clothes).  I mean, damn.  How can we think we're giving this generation of kids a chance to learn if they've got to sit in a freezing cold Chicago classroom in a t-shirt and some hand-me-down jeans?  Just... damn.


kiskar said...

Thank you so much for posting about this website. I'll definitely check it out and let others know about it. - K. :)

hewasolddog299 said...

I read the posting and suspect the "school" is a private institution, ie. parochial  or other church school. Things are very bad in our inner city schools and the Cabrini Green projects are a nightmare, but I suspect that Mayor Daly didn't allow his public schools to sink so low the children need bring blankets to stay warm. I could be wrong though. An interesing site. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


nzforme said...

Actually, Wil, it's a public school.  The site doesn't accept proposals from private or parochial schools.