I come from a family of teachers: my grandparents were teachers, my parents were teachers and while only one of my siblings went on to be a teacher, we all married teachers. So I have witnessed first-hand my whole life how hard they work and I know how frustrating it can be when you are trying to do such a difficult job and you don't have access to the resources and tools you need to do that job properly. I have also witnessed how much petty bureaucracy and red-tape and paperwork most teachers have to battle in order to get what they really need in the classroom, rather than what some administrator thinks they actually need.
This is why I am so drawn to this week's charity: Donors Choose. This organization lets teachers request funds for specific programs and then lets donors choose which program to fund. You know exactly where your donation is going and what that teacher is going to do with it. You can browse all the various requests by geographic location or by subject type and you can refine your search by student age, school type and lots of other criteria. If you really want to fund a set of left-handed scissors for a class in West Virginia, I bet you can find a teacher who needs those.
For me, the only difficulty was narrowing down my selection to a manageable list. There were so many exciting projects I wish I could support. It's great to feel like I am helping out in the classroom without having to actually BE in the classroom.