Together, the three contributions will fund nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at over 375 schools, totaling $800,000. Colbert, a South Carolina native, announced the funding at a conference in New York hosted by DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding non-profit where teachers create projects requesting materials and experiences their students need to learn, and donors support the projects that inspire them.
“I’m so excited to announce we are funding all 1,000 South Carolina projects on DonorsChoose.org today,” said Colbert. “DonorsChoose.org makes it so easy to have an impact and connect directly with the teachers and students you’re helping.”
Damon Qualls, a teacher at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville, SC, joined Colbert for the surprise announcement in New York. Qualls has had 126 projects funded on DonorsChoose.org, including five projects from today’s announcement.
“I was completely shocked,” said Qualls after the surprise announcement. “This means so much to the teachers and students in South Carolina. What you’ve done by funding these projects will make such a difference in the classroom.”
After the surprise announcement, Colbert joined a Google Hangout video conference with Qualls’ school, where students, teachers, administrators, several local officials, and the State Superintendent of Education expressed their gratitude for the funding.
“I commend Stephen, Share Fair Nation, and Greenville’s own ScanSource for the support that they have given the dedicated and hardworking teachers of South Carolina through this gracious gift. I know these teachers will use it in a way that improves the quality of education for South Carolina’s students,” said Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education.
Colbert, a member of the DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors, raised the funds for South Carolina classrooms by auctioning off his desk and set pieces after The Colbert Report ended in December. He was joined by Share Fair Nation, an initiative created by The Morgridge Family Foundation, and Greenville-based ScanSource.
“The team at Share Fair Nation and The Morgridge Family Foundation is thrilled to celebrate our South Carolina teachers and the immeasurable impact they have on the lives of students,” said Carrie Morgridge. “We are so proud to partner with DonorsChoose.org, Steven Colbert and ScanSource to make some dreams come true today! An investment in a teacher is an investment in our future. Join us, because every gift matters!”
“ScanSource was so pleased to bring DonorsChoose.org to South Carolina in 2005, and we’re thrilled to continue our support a decade later,” said Christy Thompson, vice president of worldwide marketing at ScanSource. “Since 2005, DonorsChoose.org has helped fund 13,000 South Carolina projects, investing over $5.6 million in teachers and students across the state. Education funding has never been more critical to the future of South Carolina, and ScanSource is proud to help classrooms in need.”
“We’re so grateful that Stephen, Share Fair Nation, and ScanSource could help the teachers of South Carolina in such a big and magical way today,” said Charles Best, founder & CEO of DonorsChoose.org.