My name is Katie Blomquist and you may have heard in the news about the GoFundMe campaign that I did… I was that N. Charleston teacher from Pepperhill Elementary that raised over $80,000 and got all 650 kids in my Title 1 school a new bike, lock and helmet. The story went truly viral! The Steve Harvey Show flew me out to Chicago to be a guest on the show where Steve donated a generous $20,000. The NBC New York Nightly News with Lester Holt even covered the bike reveal as well as The ABC World News! My work was in Time Magazine, Women’s World Magazine, The Post and Courier, Huffington Post, USA Today, and online The Today Show, Inside Edition, and Good Morning America…to name a few.
The tremendous success of this campaign led me to make the difficult decision to leave teaching and create my nonprofit, Going Places, so that I can further this work on a much larger level.
A bike to these title 1 kids means a sense of freedom, escape, ownership, and innocence which are all dire to many of them.
Our mission at Going Places is to provide low income, high poverty kids with the most basic childhood right; a right to joy. Currently that joy is in the form of a bike.
?Our goal is to get every child all 33 title 1 elementary schools a new bike, lock, and helmet as fast as we can (max 8yrs) and then continue to our neighboring districts, state-wide, and become a national nonprofit!?
Going Places also has a program that spreads joy to the teachers and staff (this includes day-porter, kitchen staff, front desk, etc) that work in these schools. There aren’t many funds in the PTO or PTA to celebrate them and having been a title 1 teacher for 6yrs , I know all too well the stress that comes from working in a title 1 school… any bit of joy given to them, whether it be a gift, a cup of coffee, or a free lunch, can really go along way in relieving some of the stress of their day.