EDITOR'S NOTE: Morgan Fichtenmayer's name has been corrected.
Though the school year has already started, packages still show up on teachers’ doorsteps, thanks to a trending topic on social media.
The hashtag #Clearthelist began a few weeks ago on Twitter, and now even has a Facebook page for Lamar County teachers. The Lamar County Teachers: Clear The List page has posts for each school so teachers can post Amazon wish lists for their classrooms, including everything from basic supplies like pens and pencils to flexible seating and learning resource answer buzzers.
Morgan Fichtenmayer said she got the idea from a band.
“I saw it pop up on Twitter,” she said. “The Casey Donahew Band really promoted it. I thought, ‘this is great, but what can we do more locally?’”
Fichtenmayer said her mother has been a teacher for 29 years with North Lamar ISD, and she said her mother has always used her own money to purchase supplies for the classroom.
“I’ve seen the amount she’s put in since I’ve been alive,” she said.
Since starting the page Aug. 6, many teachers have in fact cleared their lists, Sichetenmayer said.
“I just think that Lamar County has always been so supportive,” she said, adding it has even lead to teachers supporting other teachers financially. “I think they’ve been the most active on the page recently. Teachers will buy something for another teacher and that teacher will turn around and do the same thing right back.”
Businesses also joined in the support, she said, with many of them adopting a teacher or helping a little bit for multiple teachers. Thanked on the Facebook page are: Joey Copeland with C4 Construction; Mihir Pankaj with Hampton Inn & Days Inn; Courtney Parker with Creekside Outdoor Spaces; Brent and Suzy Beaird with Screen Graphics; Austin Anthony: Texas Furniture and Appliance; Hickory Street Emporium; Law Office of Edward Ellis; Inflatable Fun Rentals; Cave Wave Car Wash; Howland Pecan; Zamora Insurance Agency; Ballard Insurance; Exum Plumbing ; Pynes Auto Sales; and Road Runner Service and Tire.
Some have purchased items, and some, like Donna Ellis, with the law office of Edward Ellis, just purchased a gift card for the teacher from the business.
“They work so hard and put so much into their classrooms,” she said. “We just donated a certain amount. I heard the young lady was in tears when she heard.”
And each of those gifts to Lamar County teachers has been very much appreciated, according to Bailey Intermediate School math teacher Addy Johnson.
“Every teacher I talk to has been so thankful,” she said. “I just got something in the mail, and it was pencils and rulers. I’m pretty sure I was jumping up and down. It feels so good to be appreciated.
“I can’t believe people are being so supportive.”
There were on Saturday only seven items left on Laci Carr’s list for her classroom at Higgins Elementary School.
“It makes my heart swell,” she said. “We just don’t get the funding we need. Even a $5 item, that’s $5 I don’t have to spend.”
Lauren Stogsdill said she “feels bad” for her mailman.
“I have had 30 people send me things,” she said. “It’s been a blessing.”
As teachers have cleared their lists, they’ve taken down the links, Fichtenmayer said, but there are still plenty of lists for donors to contribute to if they so wish.
“I’ve just been amazed,” she said. “I hope it continues on.”