Camp KEEP’s Cathy Chambers utilizing Donors Choose to help fund science education equipment, projects
DonorsChoose.org is an online community that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. All educators have to do is ask for their projects to be funded.
Requests range from pencils for a poetry-writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. Individuals can browse the requests and give any amount to a project that inspires them. Once a project reaches its funding goal, Donors Choose sends the materials to the school.
Cathy Chambers, a longtime Camp KEEP naturalist, realized the web site’s potential and made her first “ask” about two years ago. She has never looked back.
“Cathy is an experienced leader who always sees the big picture,” said Elizabeth Roberts, KEEP’s program supervisor. “She so often takes care of additional projects outside of her regular duties.”
Cathy has posted more than a dozen projects through Donors Choose — for items that KEEP would not be able to otherwise afford. In all, more than $10,000 has been raised for items like binoculars, microscopes, a reptile terrarium, a laptop, gardening equipment, composters and field guides — all of which have helped KEEP educate visiting students, adult chaperones and teachers about science and how it relates to our environment.
In addition to the financial support from community members, some of the larger organizations that have donated are Chevron, Disney, Chase, Kia, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Cathy has now begun training additional KEEP staff members on how to use this amazing resource.
To see KEEP’s current Donors Choose projects, visit www.donorschoose.org and search for “Kern Environmental Education Program.”