I woke up this morning to some uplifting news for a change. As I began reading the EdSurge Innovate newsletter, I was compelled to link out to an article at the San Francisco Chronicle… “crypto king Ripple gives $29M“. I’ve been exploring Blockchain for the past 6 months, so that was a draw, but the added draw was the giving part. There’s been so much self-centered behavior in our country lately, all about me-me-me and take-take-take that the concept of giving was thrilling.
Not just any giving, but giving $29M! Here we are with cryptocurrencies having the perception of just making money and providing no real value to the world, when one of the “kings of crypto” decides to give a good chunk of change to teachers who are trying to scrape together a few thousand dollars to inspire their students and make a positive impact in the world.
For those of you who are not into blockchain, “crypto” has nothing to do with cemeteries or zombies. It’s the concept of digital currency like bitcoin, ethereum and even cryptokitties.
The Ripple currency, XRP, rocketed up to a $130B market value in early January when bitcoin and the other cryptos did the same. It has since fallen to $22B – still a phenomenal number.
What did Ripple actually give? They decided to donate to every cause, every ask, on the DonorsChoose.org platform where teachers raise money for small classroom projects, musical instruments, equipment and other things that will help engage and inspire students. School has become very routine, but creative teachers are doing their best to try to up their game. Sometimes, it only takes a small amount of money.
After the DonorsChoose founder, Charles Best, emailed Ripple founder, Chris Larsen, the folks at Ripple started thinking about teachers who inspired them when they were in school. Where would they be if it hadn’t been for a teacher that cared enough to do something different? We all remember those special activities that stand out from the routine. They stick with us and make a greater impact on our futures. If the special moments involve more learning or new skills, we embrace them.
So, the Ripple folks decided to make the biggest impact they felt they could. They took a drop in their buck – $29M, which is a huge for teachers often spending out of their own pockets – and decided to support all 35,600 projects on the DonorsChoose platform. All 35,600 projects! It’s like Santa being able to bring presents to every single child, even those in the poor neighborhoods, even those who are homeless.
Speaking of homeless children, the article brings to light the fact that in this great country of ours, we have schools where nearly half the students are homeless. How can this be? More here on that.
There is hope in the fact that a company like Ripple – focused on helping the financial services industry that is really all about money this and money that – could show that they are not just about making money but also real people who thrive on tech and want to help others where they can.
This was an inspirational moment for me this morning. It sent me out into the world with a smile and a brain actively thinking about how I could make my own little impact today. Shouldn’t every day begin with this kind of happiness? We can all contribute to helping others when they least expect it and be kings instead of zombies.