This school teacher's life was changed by a hashtag and a $1 million donation

Courtney Jones, founder of ClearTheList Foundation, just received the donation of a lifetime - $1 million from Clorox that goes directly to teachers in need of school supplies for this upcoming year. Jones, a teacher herself, understands the struggle that educators face to pay out of pocket for classroom supplies and why clearing the list means new opportunities for teachers and students alike.

Video Transcript

My first year teaching I spent over $2,500 for my classroom, which was not easy as a first year teacher. I was like, there has to be a better way. So I started the first ClearTheList Facebook group. I thought maybe a couple hundred teachers would join, and we would just send gifts to each other, like, to raise spirits. And that's not how it worked out. In three weeks, we had over 30,000 members. In a month and a half, we had over 125,000.

So I realized that there was a pervasive issue here. And inevitably, this is impacting students in their learning. I'm Courtney Jones. I'm the Founder and Executive Director of ClearTheList Foundation and also an elementary teacher.

Teachers on average spend over $400 a year out of their own pocket for supplies. This really goes up if you get into underserved communities or new year teachers just coming fresh in to the field. It really is just astronomical. There are a lot of difficulties this year with back-to-school, whether you're going in-person, online, or a hybrid model.

Teachers are having to find ways to sanitize their classrooms and get them ready for students that are coming in. They're trying to protect themselves and their families at home. But they're trying to protect their students above all. And they need help.

ClearTheList, it's a social media movement turned into a non-profit due to its success. It's a way of raising awareness to enhance the learning of all of our students. We've had celebrities from Jeffree Star, Khloe Kardashian, to presidential candidates, to major league sports teams. They found us. They got involved. It really just proved everyone's touched by education.

Clorox is running this really awesome sweepstakes. They are doing up to $25,000 for a family in their local school. So you can go to their website,, and you'll be able to sign up for the sweepstakes there for a chance to win.

If you are looking to help alleviate the stress off of teachers, one of the biggest ways that you can do so is donating to ClearTheList Foundation. For us to be able to purchase these supplies, go to your student's teacher and say, do you have a wish list? Can I help? Can I send an extra pack of pencils?

That is the essence of clear the list. It's the students learning that matters. We have to enhance it. We have to give them quality education. And that's the best way to do it is to give them the resources to do that.