There’s no doubt about it, teachers everywhere have been going above and beyond for their students since the pandemic began. One teacher from Pennsylvania saw a need and set out to fill it. Using his stimulus check he made a difference in his students’ lives.
Matthew Pierce, a teacher at Milton Hershey School wanted to help support his students who come from low-income families. As someone who grew up in a low-income household himself, Pierce used his stimulus check to buy Uber Eats gift cards to help provide meals for more than 40 students and families.
“When I knew that some students were going back to their home communities during the pandemic, I knew that there would be a challenge for their families to meet all of their basic needs. I decided that one thing I could do was to help with ensuring that they had one special meal at least. That this meal would alleviate at least one day’s worth of worry from the students and their families,” Pierce said.
Pierce inspired by the generosity he was shown when he was a child. He said, “In particular, I had a paper route in middle school and my teacher, Mr. Fred Davis, would show up on harsh weather days at 5:30-6 a.m. and help me deliver papers. He did this unannounced and with no fanfare. He did this to help one of his students who had a need.”
To help Pierce’s efforts go further and to thank him for supporting his community, Uber has matched the $1,200 in gift cards to help Pierce provide even more meals for his students who are at home learning virtually. He said, “When I was contacted by Uber Eats I was humbled and excited. I was also stunned by their generosity. I am excited that Uber Eats’ kindness will give me the opportunity to help even more students than I was able to before. With Uber Eats’ matching donation, my goal is to help 50 or more students and their families.”
As for the families, they have been very appreciative. Pierce shared, “A student let me know that they became the caregiver for their siblings when their single parent went to work. Because they had received the gift card, they were able to purchase food for them and their siblings during this time.”
All photos courtesy of Milton Hershey School