Prepare to have your faith in humanity restored, because one elementary school teacher just bought bikes for all of the students at her South Carolina school, and we can’t stop crying happy tears.
Katie Blomquist is a first grade teacher at Pepperhill Elementary School in North Charleston, South Carolina, a Title I school that receives federal funding because most families at the school are low-income. Last year, she found out that one of her students wanted to get a bicycle but couldn’t afford it, so Blomquist decided to launch a GoFundMe campaign to raise $65,000 to get each one of the school’s 650 students a bike.
Fast forward seven months — to 2017 — and Blomquist had raised more than $80,000 for the bikes, receiving donations from as far away as Australia.
“It just took off,” she told ABC News. “It just shows you that there is still kindness out there. It was actual people who gave actual, hard-earned money to [the students] to spread some joy.”
Blomquist not only furnished each child with a set of wheels — she gave them all custom bikes. She designed them with a local shop called Affordabike, which helped Blomquist pick out colors, features, and even a name for the ride: “The future, let’s go places.”
Blomquist delivered the bikes to Pepperhill’s students last week — an “early summer gift,” she said — along with helmets and bike locks. The school says it plans to install bike racks to accommodate all of the new wheels.
“This is a chance for them to truly own something of value. It’s a sense of therapy,” said Blomquist. “It’s exercise. It’s a way of getting to school…But the number-one thing is it’s joy. Every single child deserves that.” We couldn’t agree more!
Thanks to the success of the campaign, Blomquist has started a nonprofit called Going Places, which aims to raise funds to provide “swim lessons, camp experiences, Halloween costumes” and more to students at Title I schools.
See? Faith in humanity = officially restored.