What started out as some simple pledges by Texas country artist Casey Donahue to help a few Texas teachers fulfill their supply lists for the upcoming school year has morphed into a cultural phenomenon in Texas music and beyond, with artists and fans signing on to the cause to get classrooms filled with the items teachers need.
Like many Texas teachers are doing ahead of the school year, Air Force Veteran and 3rd Grade teacher Lori Wroblewski reached out on Twitter to solicit for help clearing her school supplies list she posted with the help of a special Amazon program. “You can help my students who come hungry, abused, and neglected. I get to be the best part of their day,” she posted on August 2nd, tagging both regional and national celebrities such as Ariana Grande, Ivanka Trump, The Texas Rangers baseball team, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott in the post. She also tagged Casey Donahew, one of her favorite music performers. Casey was the one who responded.
“Lori, we just cleared your list with a little help from The Randy Rogers Band,” Donahew responded on Saturday (8-3). Then another Texas teacher, Alexis Arriaga was the beneficiary of Casey’s altruism. “Alexis, we just cleared your list! My fingers are going numb from all the shopping this morning! I think we’ve gotten about 25 of you teachers so far!” Casey then added, “Looking for some help…” tagging many of his compatriots in Texas music.
This opened the floodgates of requests from teachers to Casey Donahew and other Texas performers. And not only are many performers stepping up, so are their fans who want to help ensure Texas teachers have the supplies they need for their students this upcoming year. Using the hashtag “#clearthelists,” teachers are posting their requests, and many are being fulfilled as the movement took its momentum into Sunday (8-4).
“Fellow Texans, I need help to keep #clearthelists,” Casey Donahew posted late Saturday morning with a link to a Go Fund Me page he set up to help fans get in on the action. “This problem is bigger then I can handle on my own! Donate now 100% of everything given goes to if you’re a teacher who has sent us your list, we won’t stop till we have you all cleared!”
Along with the aforementioned Randy Rogers Band, William Clark Green, Flatland Cavalry, Josh Abbott, and Bart Crow have stepped up helping to spread awareness of the effort. “I’m clearing all that I can afford… But this situation is ridiculous…Teachers should not be in this position…C’mon,” Bart Crow posted on Saturday. Even after his funds were tapped, he kept retweeting requests to him from teachers needing help.
“Hey Bart Crow!! Thank you for supporting teachers!,” Susana Rogers posted on Twitter. “We saw you not too long ago at a private party in Scurry, TX! I am an ESL teacher in Crandall and would love for you to share my list!”
Wade Bowen also stepped up to help. “Join me in helping #clearthelist to help our teachers stock their classrooms!,” he posted on Saturday. “Teachers, keep posting your lists and let’s knock these out together!! Who’s with me?!”
A Texas teacher named Charlene Hering reached out to Wade Bowen directly, and Bowen helped clear her list. “Special Education teacher of students with disabilities and autism!” Hering said on Twitter. “My list includes sensory items for my students, would love to #clearthelists and provide amazing resources for my students! (My husband is from Waco and knows your family).”
The movement has also taken on special significance after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas at a Wal-Mart that was packed with families purchasing items for the upcoming school season. Over 20 people were killed, with over 20 more injured.
Casey Donahew posted an update Sunday evening saying, “Just a quick update with #clearthelists we have over 5k request for help and that’s probably a light estimate! Please know we are doing our best to help, so be kind, patient, and understanding as we navigate this effort, God bless.”
At time of posting, The Go Fund Me Account for the movement had raised over $32,000 and counting for school supplies. If fans or artists want to help, they can donate there, or search social media for the “#clearthelists” hashtag, find a teacher in their community or otherwise, and donate using the Amazon portal linked by the teachers.