KFC owner raises money for classrooms

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mark Woodson, of Selma Kentucky Fried Chicken, set out to raise money for Selma – Dallas County teachers over the weekend with a Facebook fundraiser.

Woodson got the idea for the fundraiser from a friend who works as an insurance salesman in Louisiana.

Originally, Woodson planned to just personally donate 10 $50 gift cards to teachers in the area, but after a friend of Woodson’s donated an additional $500, other people began to reach out to Woodson with donations for more supplies.

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“I never expected this,” said Woodson. “I had people just coming up to me with 100-dollar-bills and checks. My wallet is about a foot thick right now from all these donations.”

According to Woodson, the fundraiser has now generated $5,500 as of Wednesday morning.

Woodson plans to give 55 teachers in the Selma-Dallas County area a $100 gift card on Monday in order to purchase school supplies. Woodson says that teachers from Selma City, Dallas County and area private schools have been entered into a computer program, which will randomly generate names of teachers to be chosen.

“Public school, private school, I don’t care,” said Woodson. “I want to make sure these teachers get every cent of this money to purchase school supplies for their classrooms.”

Woodson, a friend to many teachers in the area, said he’s often heard about the lack of funding educators receive for the classroom.

Dallas County Schools Superintendent Hattie Shelton stated that any extra money teachers can get is a huge help to their classrooms.

“Many teachers have to pay out of pocket to purchase hands-on type projects for their classrooms due to lack of state funding,” said Shelton. “A lot teachers also buy supplies for children who show up to school unprepared, so every little bit of money helps.”

Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams agreed with Shelton, calling Woodson an asset to the community.

“Mark is an amazing attribute to the Selma community,” said Williams. “He truly embodies servant leadership and I am so grateful that Team Selma counts him as a valued partner.”

Rex Jones, who organized a fundraiser to benefit both the Selma Police and Fire Departments earlier this year, said that a fundraiser like Woodson’s is a positive example of the city unifying to benefit a great cause.

“[This fundraiser] Is a great reflection of Selma and how we can come together to support a good cause,” said Jones. “This fundraiser has the ability to positively affect so many people’s lives from teachers to students.”

Due to the surprising success of the program, Woodson now plans to hold the fundraiser annually.

“I don’t see why I wouldn’t hold the fundraiser next year and every year after,” he said.

At the end of the day Woodson, a life-long resident of Selma, said he just wanted to do something good for the city.

“Selma is my home,” said Woodson, “You’re supposed to do what you can to take care of your home.”