The season of giving is upon us and in lieu of yet another, virtual holiday party – Notarize has instead looked for ways to invest those funds into giving back to our local communities.
This past #GivingTuesday, Instagram influencer things.i.bought.and.liked (TIBAL), who typically shares reviews of things she has ‘bought and liked’ but prides herself herself on not accepting free gifts or products from brands, decided to use her influence towards clearing Title 1 school teachers’ Amazon wishlists.
The initiative took off much faster than anticipated. So, she decided to call on all of the brand Social Media Managers she had typically ignored and asked them to put their money and social platforms to good use. If a brand like Lowes, for example, donated – she’d respond by reposting to her story and calling out a competitor like Home Depot in the hope this would encourage them to donate too. You can see how it all played out in her story highlight titled Tuesday Trolls and Trolls 2 on her Instagram page.
As soon Notarize saw what was going on, we couldn’t pass up the chance to get involved. We reached out to TIBAL on Instagram initially pledging $4,000 (in honor of the 4 million Notaries across the US) to clear teachers’ wishlists. She posted our contribution to her story and the DMs started flooding in from teachers in need across the United States.
We had elementary school teachers looking for books & pens, but also gloves and coats for their students whose families simply don’t have the means to purchase these items for the winter months. We had High School teachers explain that their classroom is a repurposed supply closet and their desk was simply two file cabinets pushed together due to lack of budget for furniture. Some of the stories were simply heartbreaking to read of how many everyday items these teachers and students were in need of.
The news spread quickly in our fully remote organization as family and friends of our employees started sharing the Instagram story around saying, “Hey isn’t this your company?!”. That’s when our employees stepped up personally. In our general Slack channel, some team members asked that we share all of the names of the teachers that had reached out via DM so that they could use their own money to help clear items off teacher lists. That’s when our CEO, Pat Kinsel, got involved by chiming in “Let’s double it and help some more kids. What a great cause,” thereby doubling our donation to $8,000 from Notarize.
With that donation, combined with countless other donations from our team, we were able to help clear the wishlists of over 30 teachers – purchasing everything from snacks and books to gloves and diapers. The response was overwhelming:
“You guys have made this the best week of my teaching career. I am crying. This is the best gift you could give us. THANK YOU SO MUCH I cannot thank you enough I am speechless”
“Amazing! This is great news to start off a Friday with. You guys are awesome! Thank you. Our kids rarely even get Christmas gifts because of their financial circumstances and they are going to be so excited about these new things in the classroom! Thank you a million times!”
“Oh my gosh!!!! Thanks so much. You just made my day, month actually. Later this year I’m hoping my adoption of one of my Foster kids finalizes and I think I will need a notary then! So I will definitely use you.”
Notarize was so thrilled to be a part of this initiative, and believes strongly that all communities should have equal access to education and digital services – and we’re committed to educating our employees, the communities we serve, and our partners about the importance of this mission. We look forward to finding more opportunities to support teachers, students and education as we grow.
TIBAL’s Holiday Teacher Wishlists blog still has over 13,000 comments from teachers in need. If you’d like to help some teachers and students this holiday season, head over to the comments section of TIBAL’s blog to purchase any items from a wishlist!