TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — For all the stories on the struggles of educators brought out into the light by the walkout, and possible solutions to help solve them, it was Alisa Andrews who noticed one glaring blind spot.
"I haven’t found anyone that’s giving money to teachers for personal use, everything I’ve found is for in-school," she said.
A former teacher herself, she decided to launch UpliftEd, a 501(C)3 with a mission to directly impact the bank accounts of teachers by taking in donations from the community...
"And give them as gift checks to teachers with financial hardship to try to help them stick it out," she said.
It's brand new, no money to hand out yet, but at the Flying Tee Monday evening, in their effort to raise awareness, it was Teacher's Appreciation Night.
"I would have loved to have been doing this all along the way," said third grade teacher Susan Boyd. She knows all too well the challenge of making ends meet on a teacher's salary.
"It's paycheck to paycheck, just trying to meet the needs for my family," she said.
When deciding to launch the program, UpliftEd did an informal survey and asked teachers...
"If you had an extra $2,000 what would you do? And so over 50 percent of the teachers said we would spend it on debt, school loans, credit cards, whatever the debt was, there was a lot of debt burden that the teachers are holding," said Andrews.
With UpliftEd, says Alisa, the community can get directly engaged through their two cents initiative.
"We’re asking every Tulsan to give two cents a day, which comes to $7.30 for the year, so if everyone would just pitch in a little then we’ll be able to provide very sizable gift checks to these teachers who qualify," she said.