After Successful GoFundMe, First Grade Teacher Surprises 600 Elementary Students with New Custom Bikes
After raising $80,000 on GoFundMe, teacher Katie Blomquist will give bikes in a big reveal and announce her new charity to help all kids have joyful childhoods
Redwood City, California | March 30, 2017 — Today, first grade teacher Katie Blomquist surprised her entire student body at Pepperhill Elementary School in North Charleston, South Carolina with new customized bikes after raising more than $80,000 on GoFundMe. Blomquist originally set out to help one student get a bike, but her goal changed to helping an entire class, and then the whole school. Thanks to this dedicated teacher and over 1,000 generous donations, more than 600 students received the surprise of a lifetime: getting their very own bikes, helmets, and locks.
“Over the years, after talking with students, I came to the realization many have never ridden a bike nor do they have the means to own a bike, especially one that is new,” said Blomquist about starting the campaign. “I envisioned how each student's quality of life could improve if they had more freedom to ride around their neighborhoods. A bike provides a sense of freedom, a sense of escape, a sense of ownership, and more than anything a basic, untainted childhood joy.”
Through GoFundMe, Blomquist rallied her community and spread the word. Not only did donations come in from all over the city and state, but across the country and world with donations from almost every state and more than 10 countries. In less than 6 months, she raised over $80,000 and started designing the bikes.
Her campaign also won the #GFMtoSchool competition. The $10,000 donation from GoFundMe to Pepperhill Elementary helped with hiring a substitute teacher to assist in classrooms and conduct small group tutoring, allowing teachers to spend more time with each of their students.
Moved by the experience and seeing the community rally together on GoFundMe, Blomquist is not stopping anytime soon. Today she also announced her new charity called “Going Places,” with a mission “to bring joy to deserving children from low income families by providing them with bikes, swim lessons, summer camp opportunities, and more. This will enrich their growth and fuel their imaginations, supporting the most basic childhood right - a right to joy.” With this announcement, she’s started another GoFundMe for her charity to help more schools and kids.
“At GoFundMe, we see incredible stories every single day of people coming together to make sure students get the education they deserve,” said Rob Solomon, GoFundMe CEO. “Katie Blomquist’s GoFundMe campaign is a perfect example of what can be achieved when a community unites to help their kids and educators.”
To visit Katie’s GoFundMe for Going Places: https://www.gofundme.com/GoingPlaces2017
To visit Katie’s original GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/everykid
For media requests, images and video, please contact Kelly Galvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.