GoFundMe awards $10k to North Charleston elementary school

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (WCBD) — GoFundMe has announced that Pepperhill Elementary School in North Charleston, South Carolina, received a $10,000 donation as part of the #GFMtoSchool Competition.

Katie Blomquist, a first-grade teacher at Pepperhill Elementary, set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for bicycles for every one of the 600 students at her title 1 school.

Katie started a GoFundMe campaign after she learned that many of her students couldn’t afford their own bicycles. In addition to learning inside the classroom, recent studies have shown that play and recreation are just as important to a child’s development.

To date, over 240 people have raised more than $14,400 to help purchase the bikes. A local bike shop, Affordabike, has offered to design and build the bikes for the kids at a discounted price. But Katie is still hoping to raise $65,000 because, as she says, “every kid deserves a bike!”

“At GoFundMe, we see incredible stories every single day of people coming together to make sure students get the education they deserve,” said Rob Solomon, GoFundMe CEO. “Katie Blomquist’s GoFundMe campaign is a perfect example of what can be achieved when a community unites to help their kids and educators. We’re excited to donate $10,000 to her school, and hope her bicycle campaign will continue to be successful.”

Pepperhill Elementary School will use this $10,000 to hire a substitute teacher to assist in classrooms and conduct small group tutoring, allowing teachers to spend more time with each of their students. The award will also be used to supplement the cost of professional development sessions for teachers.

In addition to the support of Katie’s community, TJ Maxx was inspired by her story and has donated $2,000 to her cause. They’ve also launched a Twitter campaign and will donate $1 for every tweet or retweet her story, up to $5,000. To find out more, click here.

From August 17 to September 16, any GoFundMe campaign started for or by a K-12 teacher that raised $250 or more, from at least 5 donors, received a $100 donation from GoFundMe. Education is the fastest growing category on GoFundMe, with more than $100 million raised in the past two years. Over $620,000 was raised by more than 1,700 campaigns as part of the #GFMtoSchool contest.

With roughly 77% of teachers paying out of pocket for supplies at an average total of $500 per year, it’s no wonder that more and more educators are turning to GoFundMe for help. In the last two years alone, donations to education campaigns have tripled, with over $100 million raised.

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