Giving Tuesday Teacher Testimonials from 2021

These are just a few of the letters and notes received from teachers after Giving Tuesday last year. 

I am an English teacher at a Title 1 high school in Auburn, Washington. Our school has always served an extremely diverse population of students, but over the past year, we have seen a huge influx of refugee students from Ukraine and Afghanistan. These refugee students come to us with essentially nothing but the clothes on their backs. Many were living in war zones or refugee camps in their home countries/surrounding countries for months or even years before coming to the US. Last year, I filled my list with not just supplies for my classroom, but clothing items, hygiene products, and non-perishable food items for a student pantry that a colleague and I had started for our refugee students and other students living in poverty. My list was cleared within a matter of hours. Over the course of the next week, boxes of items arrived at the front desk of our school every single day. Our pantry was full by the end of the week….It’s so nice to have a “stash” of items that we can offer to students who don’t have basic necessities at home. It’s a way to help our kids out, while also letting them know we really care about them, and are so glad that they are here with us. It makes them feel welcome, and that makes us all happy.

– Auburn Mountainview High School, WA

There’s not a day that has gone by where I have not benefited from the generosity of Things I Bought and Liked Giving Tuesday. I teach 1st grade outside of Chicago in a 90% low income school. The amount of supplies, coats, food, games, books and other items that were purchased by the generosity of your followers and supporting businesses was truly mind blowing. I never thought sharing a wish list would bring so much joy to myself, parents and more importantly my students. Over the course of this year, I was able to give students supplies when they came to school with nothing. Last spring, I gave snacks to a mom and child when she recently lost her job. Just today, I gave a winter hat and coat to a student who had to leave their home suddenly this weekend because his mom was leaving an abusive relationship. The stories are endless and it is all because of you and your followers. The last three years have not been easy for educators, but seeing the generosity and how much support we received is truly heartwarming.

– Indian Springs School District #109

I teach Physics at a high school with a majority of kids living below the poverty line.  Sleeping in hotels, on couches, 5-6 to a room.   Free school lunch is great, and the ones who play sports get a free “supper”.. but these growing teens are HUNGRY.  They don’t have a cupboard full of snacks at home, or parents who cook dinner or pack lunches or wake them up in time to make sure they eat before catching the bus. You see and hear a sigh of relief when you open up a new box of snacks.  They line up!  I can’t even ask them to take only one, because I know it’s someone’s dinner or they’re sharing it with a sibling or friend.

– Rogers High School in Newport, RI

I teach at a Title 1 school on the west side of Chicago. Every single student comes from a low income household, and unfortunately too many students who are experiencing homelessness. . . Last year not only was my classroom supported at the beginning of the year but a huge hug at Christmas. Most of my students do not have books at home. Because of your organization of wishlists a gym in Chicago purchased over 100 books off my wishlist as well as many kind individuals and family. All students in my grade level were able to pick two books as Christmas presents. Their excitement over choosing books from their interests brought tears to my eyes. They were shouting, chanting, jumping up and down, and hugs went all around. Some chose chapter books from authors they had been reading like Roald Dahl, others books about LeBron James, Simone Biles, Beyoncé, Space Jam, Marvel, or books that resonated with them like “A Black Woman Did That.” Many of them chose books they have already read from our classroom library like “I am Enough” or “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” Thank you, for bringing smiles to their faces and a love of reading books to their hearts.

– Chicago, IL

As a special education teacher in Queens New York- I submitted my wishlist last year thinking I’d give it a shot but thought it was slim to none. Then I received a notification that a NYC resident bought out my list- filled with items from hand soap to yoga manipulatives. This young woman simply stated “New Yorkers have to stick together”. Little does she know- she helped me create a morning yoga and meditation club that has serviced over 50 students thus far. A few days later, Alamo Rent A Car also contributed to my wishlist and sent the rest of the items that weren’t purchased.  In today’s climate where students and adults receive stressors in all forms throughout the day, I was determined to pass along this “good deed” and pay it forward to my students. Every week, the students use the tools we received to learn how to connect with their breath and bodies which not only helps them to learn but creates more mindful, impactful and compassionate people who will grow to be our future.

– PS99 Kew Gardens NY

I can not write this email without tearing up. The amount of joy the donations to my classroom brought my students is truly indescribable. My students received snacks, winter coats, gloves, hats, underwear, and even their own book. Almost every student in my classroom wants to be at school because they are warm, fed, and safe. My 5 year olds will tell me that. How heartbreaking is that? With these donations I was able to create winter break care packages. I sent home food, clothes, and a book to each student. In hopes this helped them over the break to have their basic needs met. Another donation that truly meant the world to my kids was dramatic play toys. My students do not have dress up, pretend play, or hands on learning toys at their homes. They race to the pretend play area every single day and can’t wait to use their imagination. This has helped tremendously decrease undesired behaviors in my classroom. They are learning to play and work together while solving problems.

– Kindergarten, Springfield, IL

Last year my list got cleared and I was in awe. The things I got in the mail literally changed my students’ lives. They enjoyed opening the packages with me and us sharing the excitement. In the Title 1 school I teach at, joy does not come easy and this was probably some of their first times ever getting to open something that was for them. We got things from whiteboard markers that they could use on their new lap whiteboards to snacks. These things gave them a sense of belonging and allowed them to know they were valued. They were able to use materials hands on without having to share. This boosted their confidence and made them want to work. Paper may just seem like a box of plain white paper to us but to them it is the freedom to create and make it become anything they want it to be. It just means so much more…The gifts and the materials were amazing and something I could have never given to them alone but most of all I am thankful for the opportunities and the experiences the students got because of the gifts cleared from my list.

– First Grade, Tuscaloosa, AL

Not only did I have random little gifties filled on my wishlist, but I also had Wrangler Jeans donate JEAN JACKETS TO MY ENTIRE CLASS. Their little faces when I told them they could KEEP them was totally worth being verbally abused for 10 years as a teacher. But in all seriousness, the generosity of random strangers has to be humanity’s greatest gift. At the end of last year, my class tragically lost one of its 3rd grade classmates to gun violence. I still remember the smile on his face when he wore that jean jacket Every. Darn. Day. That jacket was so special to him and to the rest of the class. It created this bond that will never be replicated. There aren’t words to express my abounding gratitude for that donation and for this community!!

– Third Grade, Philadelphia, PA

Monthly Top 5


Leave a Comment


  1. 11.19.22
    Elle said:

    I cried through everyone of these stories. What a blessing to each of these educators and an inspiration to me to help others in need. We need more influencers doing this kind of work. Thank you for your example!

  2. 12.6.22
    Angela Ferguson said:

    I forgot to mention earlier that we are a title one school in Detroit, Michigan. Please see my wish list.