Dothan teacher finds crafty way to raise funds

Published 08/28 2014 04:44PM

Updated 08/28 2014 09:33PM

The days of neighborhood fundraisers are all but dead. Stiff regulations from Washington have eliminated the bake sale, cookie dough or candy bar efforts.  Teachers are forced to think outside the box and by outisde the box that means find donations from all over the country.

In the era of viral videos and social media, anything is possible, and one local teacher is taking advantage of that. Tara Singley is using the website donors choose and raised her classroom almost $1,500.

"I was amazed, I never dreamed it would happen that quickly at all,” said Mrs. Singley, a sixth grade teacher at Beverlye Magnet School. “I knew they were doing a push this past week for donors because the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had actually done a back to school promotion and they were offering to match any donors pledge that came in."

Mrs. Singley wrote an essay on Donors Choose stating she needed two class sets of novels and business supplies. Then, it was up to the public to fund her project.

Surprisingly, the donor who funded the largest amount came from over a thousand miles away.

"I know that some were from our local area, but the main one who provided most of the resources for my project was a lady from new york,” said Singley. “I've never met her, I have no clue who she is, she just picked my project off of the website."

It took a week for the project to reach its goal and now the supplies will be shipped right to Mrs. Singley's classroom.

"These notebooks will be things that we'll work on all year. They're hands on manipulative that the kids can actually have them at the end of the year they can take them home and use as a massive study guide to get ready for state testing,” Singley said.

"Some kids don't have all the stuff they need so it's good that she'll be able to get it. It feels good that I'm getting all kinds of new stuff,” said student Bobby Cosby.

To fund a project you go to Donors Choose and either select a category you'd like to donate to or type in the zip code for an area you're interested in.

Teachers who would like to use the website need to set up a free account and then write an essay on what exactly they would like to do with the donations. The administrators will choose to approve or deny your project and then you have four months to raise the money before it's taken down.

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