My $20 Challenge: Year One Results

Updated: Dec 17, 2019



What started as a way to honor my sister Katie, my $20 challenge has grown into something even more.


Over the course of this school year, my 47 students spent $940 spreading kindness and helping others.


They donated to some amazing organizations, fed the hungry, put their craftiness to good use, and even used their $20 to simply bring some joy or fun to others.


But most importantly, they learned the importance of human connection and how easy it is to be kind.


I am so proud of my ninth graders this semester. They went beyond my expectations and I am in awe of their maturity. They have impacted so many people through their actions and have inspired others to pay it forward.


I hope you enjoy their reflections on this project as much as I did. 14 years in and I continue to learn from my "kids" every day.

$940 went to:

  • Several free meals and drinks to strangers to brighten their days

  • A donation to the school library to pay off outstanding library fines

  • Sanitary products for a women's shelter

  • A donation to the Girl Scouts who were selling cookies

  • A gift card to give to a family friend who was about to have a third child

  • A donation to the American Cancer Society

  • 20 dinners for Meals on Wheels

  • Supplies for an animal shelter

  • Dance supplies to Traveling Tutus, an organization that provides dance attire to children all over the world

  • Jared boxes for kids in the hospital

  • A donation to the Devereux Foundation

  • Flags on veterans graves at Whitemarsh Memorial Park Cemetery for Memorial Day

  • A donation to THON, an student-run organization that raises money for kids with cancer

  • A donation to For Pete’s Sake, an organization that provides respite for those battling cancer

  • Care packages for the troops

  • Handmade blankets for animals in an animal shelter

  • A donation to the World Wildlife Fund

  • Handmade contracture carrots for stroke patients at a nursing home

  • New clothes for the nurse's office for students who need extra outfits after having accidents

  • Free rides to strangers at a local fair

  • Groceries donated to a food bank

  • Homemade cookies baked and delivered to the local volunteer fire department

  • Cakes given to the local fire station and police station

  • $20 tips left for waitresses

  • A donation to Fox Chase Cancer Center

  • A donation to LIDÈ Haiti, Rainn Wilson’s organization, to provide writing materials for a girl in Haiti

  • Free donuts to strangers walking by

  • A donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation

  • New school supplies for Simmons Elementary School

  • Free food at Dunkin’ Donuts for anyone who cannot afford their meal

  • A donation to an infant diagnosed with cancer

  • A donation to a local soup kitchen

  • Spools of thread given Pennsbury Manor’s historic sewing program

  • Handmade pillowcases made for Ryan's Case for Smiles (formerly ConKeer Cancer), an organization that provides fun pillowcases to kids going through chemo

  • A donation to a friend whose father had just passed away and needed money for immediate expenses

  • Handmade crocheted NICU baby hats for newborns with heart conditions donated to the American Heart Association's Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign


VIDEO REFLECTIONS





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Meet Kristina

proud mother of two
passionate educator
edtech enthusiast
lifelong learner
future minivan driver
forever optimist
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© 2019 Kristina Ulmer/Tea with Teacher

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