Online education charity DonorsChoose.org has announced that fans of Adam Lambert, “American Idol’s” eighth season runner-up, donated $229,000 as part of a challenge launched by the star to support high-need public school classrooms nationwide.
In just four weeks, 1,956 fans contributed directly to music and arts-based, classroom project requests submitted by teachers at DonorsChoose.org, providing learning resources and supplies for more than 87,775 students.
A primary component of the initiative was a competition among Lambert’s online fan groups to raise the highest donation total; ONTD_AI took first place by netting $82,700, donated by hundreds of generous supporters of the group.
“I am unbelievably moved by the generosity and resolve of my fans, who have donated beyond what I could have ever expected to help students around the country,” said Adam Lambert. “Although I was on tour during the length of the competition, I frequently checked in on the challenge progress and was so amazed to see the number of donors and total amount donated continue to rise and rise.”
Continued Lambert, “Congratulations and thank you to ONTD_AI for an astounding win — your commitment is inspiring! And above all, I want to sincerely thank all of my fans for being the most incredible people in the world and making the dreams of thousands of students possible. As a result of the tremendous outpouring of support, we’re making it possible to continue to donate at www.donorschoose.org/AdamLambert on behalf of each fan group — which is so exciting.”
Throughout the challenge, a Lambert Leaderboard tracked and displayed real-time progress of the fan group competition. The fan groups, eager to help classrooms in need and win a special chat session with Adam, were enthusiastic and innovative. They sent messages to their members, posted on their blogs, utilized social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook, and created original multimedia content to inspire donations.
“Adam Lambert’s fans fully funded our project to have our students dance and learn about dance,” exclaimed Neme Alperstein, a teacher at a high poverty school in New York.
“The fans are from all over the world and it’s amazing. Words do not adequately describe our gratitude, as the children in our school benefit from this generosity of spirit!”
Across the country, thousands of classrooms lack the materials that are essential for learning. As school budgets tighten, learning supplies and tools become increasingly outdated, broken and scarce. Often, art, music, and drama programs — which Adam Lambert’s challenge specifically targeted — are some of the first to receive cuts. Through it all, school teachers nationwide spend $1 billion out-of-pocket each year, which rarely even covers each classroom’s needs.
“Thank you to Adam and thank you, especially, to all of his fans who have supported students and teachers from coast to coast,” said Charles Best, founder and CEO, DonorsChoose.org. “Your creativity, resourcefulness and generosity have set a new standard for DonorsChoose.org. Truly, your collective action shows that anything is possible when kind, thoughtful people come together around a common goal — and the impact you’ve made is remarkable. We are excited to see more fans support classrooms projects throughout the year because of Adam.”