The announcement that Ripple was donating $29 million to help support schools across the United States spread like wild fire. The donation which was made through DonorsChoose.org was the biggest ever received by the not-for-profit organization and fulfilled very request that had been made up to that day.
What most of us are unaware of was how it all started and the projects that the donation went into. It all started with an ambitious pitch by Charles Best, the CEO and founder of the New York-based organization to the executives at Ripple.
Best reached out to Brad Garlinghouse, the Ripple CEO who has been a longtime supporter of the organization’s noble goal of helping teachers acquire essentials they need in the classroom. Brad was receptive to the idea and invited Best to San Francisco to make the pitch to the other executives. Best made a very bold request to the executives; what if they fulfilled every request made on the website?
A few weeks later, Ripple had consented to Best’s request and had agreed to donate to his course.
One of the projects that were fully funded by Ripple’s donation was a Leveled Book School Library that was requested by Ms. Delong, a teacher at Philip G. Coburn Elementary School. Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, most of the students in the school (85%) are high needs with some of them having lived in refugee camps for a long time. The library was fully funded by the donation and would help the students access the latest books and other resources.
Hawthorn Dual Language school was another beneficiary with the donation going to buying Chromebooks for the students. The Chromebooks would help the students in the school, over 60% of whom are Hispanics to capitalize on personalized learning and broaden opportunities created by technology.
Heather Vibbert was yet another teacher whose six requests were fulfilled as a result of the donation. Ms. Vibbert is a teacher at Marina Del Rey Middle School in Los Angeles and her students will benefit from art supplies, DVDs, individual whiteboards and more that were purchased with funds from the donation. Ms. Vibbert was however most excited about the purchase of a Google Expeditions Kit which will give her students the ability to take virtual field trips from the comfort of their classes, enabling them to better grasp concepts learnt in class.
The donation benefitted 16,500 public schools across the entire country. It was the biggest donation ever made to the organization with the previous record having been $9 million. A commendable gesture from Ripple indeed.