Remember when Stephen Colbert raffled off his iconic desk from "The Colbert Report" to help raise funds for charity? On Thursday, South Carolina educators discovered first-hand where a good chunk of that cash would be headed. In a surprise announcement during a teacher's panel in Greenville, S.C., the future "Late Show" host declared $800,000 in funding for all grants listed by state educators on the site DonorsChoose.org.
"Using the proceeds of the sale of my old set on "The Colbert Report" which we auctioned off, and with the generous matching funds from The Morgridge Family Foundation and ScanSource, DonorsChoose is going to flash-fund all 1,000 projects in South Carolina," Colbert said in a video. "Enjoy your learning, South Carolina."
Examples of grants funded include requests for new computers, tablets, and professional development for teachers. According to state schools Superintendent Molly Spearman, the announcement likely made a tremendous amount of people happy.
"There are going to be some happy, happy teachers across the state," Spearman told Greenville Online. "This is Teacher Appreciation Week, so what a great way to say 'thank you teachers for what you're doing every day.'"
While Colbert and his partner organizations received praise across the U.S., the awareness also brought to light the sad fact that teachers must rely on generosity to get school supplies and other needed tools.
Inspired by the news, Reddit users took to DonorsChoose.org to help fund grants for high-needs schools all around the U.S. As it stands currently, more than 65 projects have met their goals over the last 24 hours.
"Thank you so much for donating regularly," wrote one teacher on the social media site. "I'm a teacher and I've gotten 4 projects funded through donorschoose. I buy a lot of things for my classroom, including prizes, items for experiments, etc large ticket items like renewable energy kits, 3-D printer or plastic for the 3-D printer are way out of my budget. DonorsChoose has come through on those big items! The kids get really excited when they find out that someone has donated to our classroom."