A woman who revealed her teaching salary on Facebook is now thanking a man she’s never met for adopting her Arizona classroom.
In 2018, Elisabeth Milich captured national attention after she disclosed her annual income — which was $35,621.25 at the time — while thousands of teachers marched for the #RedforEd movement at the Arizona state capitol to demand a 20% pay increase and better education funding.
Milich is a second grade teacher at Whispering Wind Academy in Phoenix. Whispering Wind is a Title 1 school, which means it has low-income students and receives federal funds to help meet educational goals.
However, Milich often dips into her own pocket to meet her students’ needs, she said.
“It’s hard to make a decision to spend money on your home, your own kids or spend money on your school kids that desperately need the help,” Milich, a mom of three, told “Good Morning America.” “I feel fortunate and blessed that I’m not a single mom. I have my husband’s income where I can buy [lunch] for kids that don’t have lunch for field trips but as for fun stuff, I can’t buy a set of 20 paints.”
Courtesy Elisabeth Milich Elisabeth Milich, an educator at Whispering Wind Academy in Phoenix, had her second grade students create this piece of art for Ben Adam, a man from New York who adopts classrooms in Arizona.
Milich’s story was featured on news outlets across the country and little did she know, a New York man named Ben Adam was watching.
Adam reached out to Milich on Facebook and asked if she needed help purchasing school supplies for her classroom.
“I’m thinking, ‘This is crazy. This is a total stranger from New York,'” Milich recalled. “When school started, I started getting Amazon packages. I thought it was a one-time thing.”
Courtesy Elisabeth Milich A photo of Amazon boxes is seen inside Elisabeth Milich’s classroom at Whispering Wind Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, for a teacher who requested school supplies through Ben Adam, a man from New York who adopts classrooms in Arizona.
Adam continued to send Milich classroom supplies well into the second semester of school. She received colored paper, books, paints, paintbrushes, snacks for the kids and more.
Later, Adam asked if he could help other teachers in Milich’s school.
Courtesy Elisabeth Milich Seen in this undated photo is children’s artwork inside Elisabeth Milich’s classroom at Whispering Wind Academy in Phoenix.
“I’m sensitive to the people that get the short end of the stick and without complaining,” Adam, a dad of three and owner of a real estate company, told “GMA.” “Teachers work very hard and don’t get much in return.”
Adam ended up adopting five more classrooms in addition to Milich’s. And last month, he launched a website, classroomgiving.org, to help other teachers who are in need of supplies.
Courtesy Elisabeth Milich Ben Adam, a man from New York who adopts classrooms in Arizona, has been fulfilling the wishes of six teachers in Arizona for classroom supplies.
Adam said that unlike crowdfunding sites, his website allows you to purchase an item off an educator’s wish list, which will be sent directly to them.
“We are not asking for donations and we are not raising any funds,” he explained. “It takes you to Amazon and you enter the classroom address into your Amazon address book. You send whatever you can afford and you know that item has gotten exactly to the person you sent it to.”
Courtesy Elisabeth Milich Elisabeth Milich, an educator at Whispering Wind Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, received school supplies from Ben Adam of New York.
Adam’s goal is to make his site go national since he received requests from teachers in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and California, for their wish lists to appear on his page.
Milich said she’d like to meet Adam in person and give him a “big hug” for making the kids “light up” in her classroom.