Through a website called Donorschoose.org, Kylie Lechleitner finds two projects that benefit Chicago public schools. Teachers post project ideas to the site, then donors choose the ones they want to fund.
Mr. Potter, a Chicago public high school teacher, wants to buy his students copies of the book There Are No Children Here, a 1991 book by Alex Kotlowitz that chronicles the difficult lives of two boys living in Chicago public housing.
Mr. Potter's students will read the book, keep a journal and suggest policy changes based on problems they see in their own communities. Kylie buys the books for $472 and uses her remaining money to send a high school football team to the state playoffs. Paul Robeson High School loses the game, but Kylie is happy they got to go after a winning season.
The experience gives Kylie a greater sense of the need around her. "It's really easy in your everyday life to get caught up in whatever job you're doing or, you know, who's dating who," she says. " This has been a really great way for me to see how many people are doing so much for other people, and it really made me want to do more."