A first-grade teacher needed books for her class so she posted her wishlist on Foster’s “Clear the Lists” and Facebook, but she never anticipated the response she’d receive.
It's back-to-school season for many Americans which means getting the kids ready for one more year in school. Teachers often end up spending a lot of their own money to procure resources for their students. Entrepreneur Erin Foster, empathizing with the burden placed on teachers posted a story on Instagram requesting teachers' for their Amazon wishlists.
First-grade teacher Erin Fuller-Wellman, from Buffalo Elementary School in Wayne County, West Virginia, posted her wishlist on Erin Foster's "Clear the Lists" as well as on Facebook. She never imagined receiving any response but was surprised to find a package on her porch with ten boxes filled with books.
Along with the books, she found a note which revealed who the mysterious sender of the package was. The note read: “Here is to your best year, yet! Thank you for choosing to teach, you have the most important job in the world." It was sent by none other than Jennifer Garner, another West Virginian who is known to spread love and kindness through her actions time and again. The Juno actress must have seen the list online, Fuller-Wellman suspects.
It's not every day you get your porch packed with boxes filled with books - much less with a personal note from actress Jennifer Garner. That was the suprise a Wayne County teacher discovered at her homehttps://t.co/NlqecUkeLT— Eyewitness News (@wchs8fox11) August 16, 2022
Fuller-Wellman posted images of the boxes and books in a post on Facebook and described the whole incident. "The CRAZIEST thing just happened to me," she wrote. "I think, 'I wonder who sent these?'" she exclaimed quoting the note from the actress. "My jaw literally dropped. Every box after was from her."
“When I saw the first note, saying it was from her, my jaw dropped and I thought I was imagining it,” she told Newsweek. She then assumed that "some parents had decided to purchase some items." But, "After the second box, I remembered I had posted my list on Erin Foster's 'clear the lists.' I also remembered seeing I was the only person from West Virginia who had posted mine, so that might be what stick out to Jennifer Garner, since she's from West Virginia," she continued.
Expressing her gratitude for the resources, Fuller-Wellman said, "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,"
Fuller-Wellman said that she loves bonding with her students. However, teaching during the pandemic is "the most challenging thing" for her. She got a job right in the middle of the pandemic, given that she graduated in 2020. "Having to adapt to all different learning methods was a struggle, but this is my third year and I think (and hope) we will have the most normal school year we've had," she said.
According to a 2018 study, 94% of teachers buy supplies for their classrooms with their own money. 7% of teachers spend more than $1,000 while the average teacher spends $479. This occurs at a time when teacher salaries have decreased by almost 4% over the last ten years, inflation adjusted.
Garner has previously advocated for the value of teachers. She expressed her support for teachers last year at the beginning of the academic year, when COVID-19 was making their job even more difficult. She wrote, "Thank you teachers, thank you administrators, thank you school staff — for being on the receiving end of (kids' and parents') big and loud, quiet and deep feelings for a year and a half."
Cover Image Source: (R) Getty Images/ David Livingston; (L) Facebook/ Erin Fuller-Wellman