If there’s a teacher in your life, you probably know just how much they spend out of their own pockets to make sure the kids in their classrooms have the school supplies they need for the year.
A June 2021 survey by AdoptAClassroom.org, the national nonprofit that provides funding for U.S. teachers and schools, found that pre-K through 12th-grade teachers at public, private and charter schools spent an average of $750 of their own money to purchase school supplies during the 2020/2021 school year. As many as 30% of teachers spent $1,000 or more on school supplies. This amount has increased by 25% since the organization began the survey in 2015.
Since 2019, teachers and schools have been using the hashtag #clearthelist on social media to seek help from those willing and able to lighten the financial load. Along with parents, local citizens and others, many celebrities have pitched in to buy items on educators’ wish lists.
Country star Luke Combs recently cleared the list of a teacher from his native state of North Carolina. She is an alumna of his alma mater, Appalachian State University.
Kelly Kirk, who teaches kindergarten at Wakefield Elementary School in Wake Forest, North Carolina, reached out to the singer on Twitter.
“Hi @lukecombs,” Kirk tweeted. “I wanted to reach out and see if you wanted to support an Appalachian Alumni with her teacher Amazon wishlist! I teach kindergarten in N.C. and could use some help with #clearthelist. Appreciate the support!”
“Cleared it for ya,” Combs replied. “Good luck to your students and GO APPS!”
Cleared it for ya. Good luck to your students and GO APPS! https://t.co/SAGlpEktIL
— Luke Combs (@lukecombs) August 8, 2021
Kirk was overwhelmingly appreciative and responded with gratitude.
“OH MY GOSH!!!! You have made my year Luke,” she tweeted. “THANK YOU doesn’t seem like enough! Please know that you have made such a difference in my student’s lives!!!”
OH MY GOSH!!!! You have made my year Luke!!! THANK YOU doesn’t seem like enough! Please know that you have made such a difference in my student’s lives!!! . Go App!!! pic.twitter.com/b9Fe6LRtcq
— Kelly Kirk (@kelly_kkirk) August 8, 2021
Generosity seems to come naturally for the artist. In July, he covered the funeral expenses of three people who died from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at a three-day music festival for which Combs was a headliner. He has also made significant donations to the MusiCares Charity Relief Auction to support musicians in need, the Guitars 4 Vets organization, which promotes music as a therapeutic method for PTSD, Habitat for Humanity and other worthy organizations.