(CBS Local) — West Virginia teachers striking for better wages will be marching with a picket sign in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other thanks to a fellow educator’s crowdfunding campaign.
Lita Blanc, president of the United Educators of San Francisco, started a GoFundMe page on Mar. 4 to raise money to feed the protesters at the West Virginia state capitol building. In less than 24 hours, Blanc’s page reached its $10,000 goal for the three-day pizza delivery. “The first pizza delivery is already scheduled for noon on Monday, March 5th at the State Capitol in Charleston,” the UESF president wrote.
The West Virginia teachers strike reached its eighth day on Mar. 5, shutting schools for about 277,000 students and 35,000 workers throughout the state. The teachers are refusing to return to the classroom until state lawmakers agree to give them a raise in pay. “You’re looking at people here who every day care about other people, other families. People’s kids,” elementary school reading specialist Kristie Skidmore said, via CBS Pittsburgh. “But at the end of the day, now we’re forced to be able to figure out how to care for our own families. That’s what it’s all about.”
West Virginia educators have vowed to strike indefinitely after West Virginia’s state senate lowered a five percent raise to four percent on Mar. 3. The five percent promise was agreed to by Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia House of Delegates before the senate changed the deal.
Lita Blanc’s pizza fundraiser will reportedly feed up to 3,000 teachers each day as the strike enters its second week. The GoFundMe page adds that any leftover funds will be donated to the three unions representing the striking teachers.