This blog post was written by Debby Guardino, a self-described "DonorsChoose.orgteacher" who has been using DonorsChoose.org since January 2009:
On Thursday, September 22, I boarded a plane headed to New York. I was traveling at the invitation of DonorsChoose.org to present to their Board of Directors on my efforts to help teachers in Joplin, MO. It was an unexpected honor to be invited. As I left Virginia, it began to sink in just how much my life had changed because of my involvement with DonorsChoose.org.I shared with the Board of Directors the story of how I had traveled to Joplin, MO, a small town devastated by an EF-5 tornado on May 22nd. The tornado left 260 teachers without classrooms or resources. As I recounted personal stories about the remarkable teachers I met in Joplin, I felt an extreme sense of compassion and empathy from the board members. Many members expressed that they shared such a sense of pride that DonorsChoose.org/Joplin had raised over $400,000 in funded projects and that we were able to accomplish so much in just 4 short months. At the end of my presentation, Peter Bloom, the Chairman of the Board presented me with an iPad2 and expressed the board's gratitude for my part in assisting Joplin teachers. It was a surreal moment and something I had not expected.I was really excited that I was allowed to stay for the entire board meeting. Every board member was involved and 100% engaged in the meeting. Each brought with them their individual expertise and insights to create a productive meeting. Senior DonorsChoose.org managers presented insightful presentations on their portions of the operation. As senior teams reviewed these functional areas, their discussions focused on what went well, what went wrong, and then the board discussed what the goals should be moving forward.I will never forget this remarkable experience and the pride I took as a public school teacher watching DonorsChoose.org staff and board members working together to enrich the lives and education of students across the country. I am so proud to be part of this amazing organization!Visit Debby Guardino's Teacher Page and the Joplin Giving Page to see the amazing impact Debby has had on students in her classroom and in Joplin.