Selma businessman brings community together to raise money for teachers

Alabama businessman helps raise funds for teachers

SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - Educators around the area are gearing up to welcome students back for the new school year. In Selma, one business owner’s efforts to give teachers everything they need to start class gained major momentum and support from the community.

When you stop at the KFC in Selma it’s not uncommon to see owner Mark Woodson taking customer orders. At a young age Woodson says his father instilled in him the importance of giving back.

“Selma is my home and you got to take care of your home,” said Woodson.

When a friend in Louisiana shared with Woodson an idea to support local teachers, he jumped on it, committing to giveaway 10 $50 gift cards.

“I have many friends who are teachers here in Dallas County, and they always talk about how they have to spend their own money and funds to set up the classroom,” said Woodson.

Little did he know this post on Facebook seeking teacher nominations would prompt other individuals and businesses to follow his lead.

“A friend of mine from New York - she wanted to add $500 more and after that donation it snow balled," said Woodson.

In less than a week $11,800 has been raised through these efforts and that’s enough for 118 educators from around Dallas County to get $100 gift cards.

“I mean it is just amazing to know this stemmed from one individual with one idea and the response has been overwhelming,” said District 1 Selma City School Board Member Danielle Wooten.

Wooten says the community’s support speaks volumes.

“It shows the teachers educating our children, educating the next generation, that the community really appreciates them," said Wooten.

And Woodson could not be more proud of how every one stepped up.

“Selma really blew this up. Selma shines,” said Woodson.

Woodson says he received more than 250 teacher nominations. The lucky 118 will be chosen at random and announced Monday. Woodson is planning to make this giveaway an annual tradition.

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