The third-graders eagerly tore into the boxes full of new gardening tools when they arrived in their classroom at Poplar Elementary School in Fontana.

They liked the small blue gloves most of all.

“No longer did they have sore fingers from working in the garden,” their teacher, Shayne Riggs, wrote to his anonymous benefactor, who contributed about $500 on the Web site In turn, DonorsChoose bought the supplies and shipped them to Poplar Elementary.

DonorsChoose matches teachers, who post descriptions of their class and what they need, with people who want to help.

Begun in 2000 by a Bronx teacher, DonorsChoose gradually spread to major cities and a few entire states before becoming available to all public schools last September.

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