As the summer draws to a close, teachers are preparing to head back into the classroom.
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For most educators, that preparation includes spending an average of $750 of their own money on supplies like books, crayons, pencils, and other necessities. Finding that extra cash has been especially challenging since COVID hit the economy – that’s why teachers like Erin Fuller-Wellman reached out to a celebrity on Instagram for help.
Erin teaches at Buffalo Elementary School in West Virginia. She decided to ask for help fulfilling her Amazon wish list by sending it to writer and actress, Erin Foster, who shared the list in an Instagram story. Since 2020, Foster has shared links to teacher’s wish lists as a way of giving back.
“People really appreciate kindness towards teachers,” Foster said. “That’s sort of a universally understood thing. Everyone’s had a teacher that’s had an impact on them, and everyone knows that teachers have a tough time surviving on their pay.”
Erin submitted her list but didn’t have much hope of getting anything. She had already shared her list on her personal social media pages with no luck. This time, however, Erin hit the jackpot!
“The CRAZIEST thing just happened to me,” Erin wrote on Facebook. “I go outside to see literally 10 boxes laying on my porch. I open the first box and it’s full of books. I think, ‘I wonder who sent these?’ At the bottom, there’s a note, ‘Here is to your best year, yet! Thank you for choosing to teach, you have the most important job in the world,’ from @jennifer.garner.”
“My jaw literally dropped,” Erin continued. “Every box after was from her. I posted my Amazon wish list on @erinfoster’s site. There were hundreds of other teachers’ wish lists, so I knew it was a shot in the dark, but I put mine on there anyway and I can only assume Jennifer Garner saw my list there.”
As Erin opened the packages, she tried to figure out why Garner had chosen her list to fulfill. Then it hit her: they’re both from the same home state! Garner was born in Texas but moved to West Virginia when she was 3 years old.
“After the second box, I remembered I had posted my list on Erin Foster’s ‘clear the lists,’ Erin said. “I also remembered seeing I was the only person from West Virginia who had posted mine, so that might be what stuck out to Jennifer Garner, since she’s from West Virginia.”
“We already knew she was our WV angel, but WOW,” Erin wrote. “She is truly one of a kind & I’m so proud to say I’m from the same state as her! I am in awe and feeling just so grateful. Thank you SO much. I truly can’t believe this. My first graders are going to have the absolute best year with the help of you two, and I will make sure they know you all made it happen!”
When Erin shared her message of thanks online, she soon received a response from Garner herself! The actress and mom-of-three thanked Foster for “making all of this happen,” and wished Erin a great school year.
This isn’t the first time Garner has expressed her appreciation for teachers. In 2021, she shared an Instagram post about sending her kids back to school for the first time since the pandemic began.
“Thank you teachers, thank you administrators, thank you school staff – for being on the receiving end of a year and a half of feelings (kids’ and parents’) – big and loud, quiet and deep,” she wrote.
Way to go, Jennifer Garner! We love it when celebrities use their considerable wealth and influence to improve the lives of their fans. We join the actress in wishing all the teachers out there their best school year yet!
Share this story to thank teachers for the hard work they do for our communities.
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