Teachers work tirelessly for their students, but one South Carolina elementary school teacher went above and beyond to make sure her students made the most of their childhood.
First-grade teacher Katie Blomquist always makes sure her students are learning and having fun while in the classroom, but about a year ago she started worrying about what happens when they’re outside the classroom since many of the students from her school live in poverty.
It all started when she heard a student talking about how he wanted a bike for his birthday, but his parents couldn’t afford it. “I started thinking about all the other kids who might not have bikes. We take a lot for granted and we forget that there’s a large category of kids out there who don’t have bikes,” Blomquist said. “That was such a large piece of my childhood memories, and I immediately thought, ‘oh, they’re not getting that!’”
The 34-year-old wanted to raise money to get the boy a bike, but then thought about her other students and then every student at the school and decided to raise enough money to get them all bikes. “I don’t want to leave anybody out,” she said.
Blomquist started a GoFundMe page to raise $65,000, which was enough to buy bikes and helmets for all 650 students at her school. Three months later, she raised $82,000. “This was an entire second job for me, when I got home from work until midnight every night,” she said. With help from Radio Flyer and a local business, Affordabike, and finally had 650 bikes. “I just thought this would be a nice thing to do. Then things started rolling. It was first local, and then it became this country-wide thing. All these people who don’t know our kids, who don’t know our school, gave their hard earned money. It was actual people’s dollars.”
Blomquist finally got to surprise the students with their gift, and she knew all the hard work was worth it when they saw the excitement in their faces. “I made a really conscious effort to watch their faces and let it soak in and imprint in my brain when those tarps went up,” she said. “It was that moment I’ve been waiting for seven months.”
“I just knew it would happen for her because she’s one of those spunky people who gets things done,”school principal Tanya Underwood said. “She’s bubbly, energetic. Loves her students. She’s an out-of-the-box thinker. She’s full of life and energy and she shares that with her kids every day.”
Can you believe this teacher managed to raise enough money to buy every single student a new bike? Let us know what you think in the comments below and please SHARE this with friends on Facebook.
[Featured image: Facebook/Charleston County School District]