This week, classrooms across the U.S. were positively impacted by generous donations made possible by the cryptocurrency company, Ripple.
Ripple, a company that uses digital currency to facilitate international payments, gave a digital gift valued at $29 million, which fulfilled all 35,647 classroom project requests located on DonorsChoose.org. The site is used by public school teachers in need of funding for classroom resources and supplies. The donated money will go to 28,210 teachers who, combined, teach more than a million students in the United States.
This gift is the biggest donation of cryptocurrency to a single charity, and the largest donation ever received in the 18-year history of DonorsChoose.org, according to a recently issued report.
Ripple designed an international blockchain system for banks to exchange the digital currency XRP, of which it owns the biggest share in the world, valued at around $80 billion.
Across the United States, after learning of the donation, many teachers used the hashtag, #bestschoolday, to share their excitement and appreciation for the donation, sharing that their students would get to enjoy new technology, supplies, field trips and more.
One teacher, Joe Somerville, shared, “I logged into my Donor’s Choose account and saw that my project was fully funded!!! @Ripple is allowing my students to experience a week-long trip to Atlanta and Alabama to visit HBCUs. I can’t believe it. Thank you!! #BestSchoolDay #HBCU.”
Yes, another post came from Iris F. Pinheiro, who shared, “Thank you @Ripple for fully funding my @DonorsChoose project!! So excited to get 10 IPad Minis for my kiddos!! @frps_fonseca @frpsinfo #BestSchoolDay.”
Charles Best, the founder of DonorsChoose.org, who created the site while working as a high school teacher, initiated the donation by emailing Ripple’s co-founder Chris Larsen, who had supported the nonprofit in the past.
“I kind of dared myself to send an email pitching an idea 10 times bigger than I’ve ever pitched before,” Best said. “I was almost anxious that they would be offended by the ridiculousness of my ask.”
Boxes containing various supplies and technology for the classroom are expected to ship to over 27,000 classrooms. Included in the donations are 3,500 computers, thousands of packs of construction paper, hundreds of rugs, playground balls, calculators and fossils, among several other items.
Despite many people still being quite critical of cryptocurrency, I believe this is one instance where everyone can agree it has made a real, positive and lasting impact on the lives of many.