Inspiring Little Artists!
Inspiring little Artists!
I stumbled upon a very fascinating website called donorschoose.com. On the website schoolteachers from America can post material and item requests for their school. This can start from crayons, poetry books to microscopes. They state the specific cause they need it for and why it is essential for the kids to work with it. The website them features all school projects and the amount they need to make it happen. As a pure online charity the website it is easy to use. The user can pick and choose a cause they wish to support and donate to it directly.
Once the requested materials have arrived, the website posts feedback for the donors to follow. You can find a lot of very happy school children using the materials and items in the classroom. Donors who choose to donate $50+ will receive a hand drawn thank you card from the children together with some images. I think this is a very personalized way of donating and feedback. It feels very tangible to see how the kids engage with what you helped achieve.
I was so excited about this idea I decided to donate myself. I found a very moving project supporting 5-year old children to express themselves through art. The school is located in Rock Island, Illinois, USA, a high poverty area with financial struggles. The teacher Ms. Brumbaugh wants to support the creative expression through visual art of her students. They are in need of art materials such as craft sticks, glitter and art frames.
Coming from an artistic background myself I thought this is the right cause to support. There were $69 dollars left to donate. I thought to myself in order to get handwritten thank you letters I need to donate $50, I might as well top it up then to the full $69 and finish their funding project. I was about to donate this large amount of money (for me, as a student, it is a lot!) until I realized they only send out cards to US residents. Slightly disappointed I thought it’s not worth blowing my own budget and then I went back down to $20, the amount I initially intended to donate.
I must say this experience taught me that a reward is very motivating and if you don’t get what you expect it turns down your motivation. However I did not resign, I still donated a decent amount of money and I felt thrilled afterwards. The thought of helping out those children and imagining them engaging with the materials made me more than happy, it made me feel like I supported something that played a big part in my life, expression through visual art. I wish I were there to see them and encourage them personally.
After I transferred the money I was asked to write a short feedback message, mine was as followed:
Hello my little creatives!
I stumbled upon your project and it really moved me. I come from an artistic background myself and art as brought me through good and bad times; it made me who I am today. Seeing your children all exited with little supply motivated me to support you, every child deserves to have access to art. Enjoy!! All my best!! ❤
I am very happy I could share a few of my thoughts with the teacher and their children and I can’t wait for the images of the little artists to be posted on the website.
I will try to find something similar in London.
I love this idea!!
(Donors Choose, Teachers ask. You choose, available at http://www.donorschoose.org, accessed on the 03.11.2012)
Image1 (Donors Choose, Ms. Brumbaugh and her students, available at http://www.donorschoose.org, accessed on the 03.11.2012)
Image2 (Donors Choose, Ms. Brumbaugh and her students, available at http://www.donorschoose.org, accessed on the 03.11.2012)
Image3 (Donors Choose, My e-mail verification, received on the 03.11.2012)