Samierra Jones is a senior at Coppin State University, but she graduated from the Baltimore City Public School system, and remembers how many of the district's schools have inadequate heat. During icy cold weather this winter, for example, students had to wear coats in classrooms where temperatures were in the 30s. Jones created a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise $20,000 to buy at least 600 space heaters and winter clothing for the children. Then Baltimore native and former NFL linebacker Aaron Maybin (now 29, and teaching elementary school) spurred the campaign by posting a heart-wrenching video of cold students.
Strangers from around the world donated $80,000. Dozens of locals went further, donating bags of coats, gloves, hats, socks and scarves. Since the video started being shared on the Internet, Maybin has worked with Jones collecting donations at drop-off locations across the city. They are now collaborating with city teachers to distribute space heaters and outerwear to classrooms that need them most. The campaign has raised awareness of the schools' shoddy infrastructure, and city officials are now being pushed to improve classroom conditions.