Small Gifts Create Big Change for Teachers and Students

By Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

This December the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation is pleased to welcome DonorsChoose to our Grantee Blog. Since its inception in 2000 by a high school teacher in the Bronx, DonorsChoose has connected millions of citizen donors with teachers and classrooms in need. As a result, over $1.5 billion in support has been given to classrooms for essential books, art supplies, and materials. 

Courtesy of the DonorsChoose Team

Even the smallest acts of giving can create tremendous impact. For teachers and students, basic resources can take learning to new heights—not to mention the power of knowing people are rooting for your success.

Through education nonprofit DonorsChoose, 6 million donors have filled classrooms with learning resources and materials, one request at a time, with donations as small as $1. Since our founding in 2000, more than 850,000 teachers have received resources, and they’re constantly sharing just how much small acts of support mean to them.

Read five of the most heartfelt thank-you notes from teachers to donors that described what receiving donations means.

Mr. Perez: Unleashing Boundless Potential

Unpacking boxes filled with supplies was a profound moment for Mr. Perez and his students. The joy and excitement were palpable as each student saw the new opportunities for learning in front of them.

“Your support has rippled beyond individual moments, becoming an integral part of our daily learning environment. Students from other classes often stop by, knowing that our room is a place where they can replenish what they lack to continue their studies without interruption. This constant use is a vivid illustration of the need that existed, and the incredible impact your generosity has had. You’ve given more than just school supplies; you’ve provided a daily reminder to my students that there are people who believe in their potential.

Mr. Kiczek: A Ticket to Possibilities

Thanks to a group of caring donors, Mr. Kiczek’s classroom is now filled with an abundance of paper that opens the door to infinite learning, creativity, and exploration.

“Your gift means more than just paper. It shows us that there are awesome people like you who care about kids and their education. You’re our secret ingredient to success! It makes us feel really special and encourages us to work super hard and dream big dreams.

We promise to use the paper wisely and make the most amazing things with it. Your gift will stay in our hearts and make our classroom a better place for learning, growing and most importantly, MAKING ART!”

Ms. Douglas: Fostering Imagination in Record Time

Ms. Douglas’s request was funded in just 2 hours and 22 minutes—breaking her personal record for fastest-funded request—and filling her classroom with new stories for students to explore.

Your support of our classroom and our children…and children yet to enter our classroom…deeply touches me, and you hold a very special place in my heart.♥️ Because of you, our children will get to experience these award-winning stories and connect themes such as acceptance, kindness, friendship, and perseverance to their personal lives.

Thank you so very much for helping my students reach for the stars and develop their imaginations!🌟🌟🌟”

Ms. Richards: Meeting Heroes without Capes

Thanks to a new shipment of pens and writing prompts, Ms. Richards’s students are able to bring their most creative ideas onto the page with confidence—and they know donors made that possible!

“You’re our literary hero without a cape! We can’t thank you enough for making our creative writing dreams come true. Your support has been the ink in our pens, the spark in our stories, and the icing on our metaphorical cake (because, well, cake can be a great source of inspiration, right?).

From the bottom of our writerly hearts, thank you for believing in us, for nurturing our creativity, and for being a part of our story. Your contribution is like the plot twist that makes our narrative unforgettable.”

Mrs. Ibarra: The Power of Community

Dry erase markers are an absolute staple of every classroom, and donors stepped up to make sure Mrs. Ibarra had enough to last class the rest of the school year—and they gave her so much more.

“Your donation has not only enriched our classroom environment but has also instilled in my students a sense of appreciation for the power of education and the importance of community support. Your generosity has shown them that there are people who believe in them and their potential, and this has boosted their confidence and motivation.

At DonorsChoose, we’re deeply grateful for everyone who gives to make sure students in every community have the resources they need for an amazing education. Your support, no matter how small, has immense power to change lives, ignite passions, and unleash potential. Find a classroom to support.

About DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose is the leading way to give to public schools. Since 2000, 5,995,471 people and partners have contributed $1,584,195,782 to support 2,824,290 teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. As the most trusted crowdfunding platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets each request, ships the funded resources directly to the classroom, and provides thank yous and reporting to donors and school leaders. Charity Navigator and GuideStar have awarded DonorsChoose, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, their highest ratings for transparency and accountability.

Learn more about DonorsChoose by visiting