If you’re a teacher, been a teacher, know a teacher, or had a teacher, you know they’re the kind of person that gets nothing but gives everything. More often than not, the students in their continually bulging classrooms mean the world to them.
This is exactly the kind of teacher Chery Sutjahjo is to her first grade class in Baltimore, MD. When she realized the 30 students in her class wouldn’t be getting any presents for Christmas, she set out to buy every student a Christmas gift. Since a first grade teacher’s salary doesn’t give her the freedom to pay for the gifts on her own, Sutjahjo turned to crowdfunding and raised enough money to buy every student a $40 gift.
After graduating from UC Irvine, Sutjahjo joined Teach for America committing two years to teach and effect change in under-resourced urban and rural public schools. When describing her students, she says some can be wild at times, some don’t get good meals every day, some love her enough to call her Mom, but all of them live below the poverty line.
What’s worse, is with Christmas teaching Americans about all the stuff they should ask Santa for, it can be tough for children who don’t realize they won’t actually be getting anything - Or even tougher for Sutjahjo who’s poured her hearts into the lives of these 30 students.
To help these children experience the joy of receiving at least one gift, Sutjahjo sought out to raise $10-$15 per student to buy one present for each of them. She set up a crowdfunding project on GoFundMe, one of our Merry partners. Her ambitious goal of raising $450 was quickly trumped when 73 people donated a total of $1,400 - Enough to give $40 worth of gifts to each of her 30 students.
Thanks to the generosity of Sutjahjo, friends, family, strangers, & GoFundMe, at least 30 underprivileged children in Baltimore will have something to open on Christmas. Doesn’t everyone deserve at least one gift for Christmas?