Teachers and kids around the country are celebrating this $29 million act of generosity.

DonorsChoose.org is where teachers go to crowdfund classroom supplies and where awesomely empathetic people go to support them.

It's an absolutely fantastic charity and has helped tens of millions of students since its founding in 2000. Current projects on the site include a teacher raising money to buy classroom laptops for students in Worcester, Massachusetts, a push to buy bean bag chairs for a class in Section, Alabama, and more than 22,000 other campaigns.

For one brief moment in late March, there was nothing on the website. Every single campaign was paid for. What seemed like a glitch turned out to be something much better.


Ripple, a cryptocurrency payments company, donated $29 million, fulfilling every active campaign on the site.

"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert announced the donation on air. A big supporter of DonorsChoose, in 2015, Colbert paid off every campaign in his home state of South Carolina, an $800,000 donation. Ripple's $29-million act of generosity took care of more than 35,647 funding requests.

DonorsChoose founder Charles Best posted a video with Ripple senior vice president of marketing Monica Long, giving some more info on how the donation went down.

#BestSchoolDay 2018: Every Project Funded!

We can’t believe that just happened. With the largest single donation in our history, Ripple just funded EVERY SINGLE CLASSROOM PROJECT on DonorsChoose.org.THANK YOU to Ripple for making it the #BestSchoolDay for 28,000 teachers and over a million students!

Posted by DonorsChoose.org on Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Don't take it from them though. Why not hear directly from some of the teachers whose projects were funded?

Using the hashtag #BestSchoolDay, teachers across the country posted heartwarming videos and notes on social media. Some were on the verge of tears as they posted their videos, and others showed photos of the students who would be helped. There was just a lot of gratitude to go around.

Now imagine what it'd be like if every day was a #BestSchoolDay? Believe it or not, we can make that happen, and here's how.

Again, DonorsChoose is a wonderful organization that does important work in the world — but how messed up is it that teachers are in a position where they need to count on the kindness of strangers to be able to give their students the best education possible? Teachers are real-life heroes, and their time would almost certainly be better spent developing lesson plans and building up new generations instead of trying to find creative ways to supplement their classrooms' shoestring budgets.

In several states across the country, teachers are rising up to demand better wages and working conditions — and it's in everyone's best interest to ensure they get it. At the start of April, teachers in Kentucky marched on the state capitol building to call on Gov. Matt Bevin to veto an overhaul of their pension plan. Oklahoma and West Virginia teachers recently walked off the job for better pay and funding.

Kentucky public school teachers outside the state capitol on April 2, 2018, calling on Gov. Matt Bevin to veto a bill that would gut their pension plan. Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

We have the power to fix this by electing politicians, especially at the state and local levels, who pledge to fund schools and take care of our teachers.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, roughly 90 cents out of every dollar spent on education comes from sources other than the federal government. That means that if you want to change things like teacher pay or school funding, the best place to get started is at the state and local level. We owe it to our teachers and their students to create the best learning environment possible, so let's elect officials willing to give them what they need.

People rallying outside the Oklahoma state capitol for increases in pay and school funding. Photo by J. Pat Carter/Getty Images.

Until then, we can all be thankful that groups like DonorsChoose exist to help bridge the funding gap.

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As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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