Reese Witherspoon is donating 250 dresses from her fashion label, Draper James to teachers across the United States, as a gesture of thanks for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.
The clothing brand announced the news on their Instagram handle.
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Dear Teachers: We want to say thank you. During quarantine, we see you working harder than ever to educate our children. To show our gratitude, Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress. To apply, complete the form at the link in bio before this Sunday, April 5th, 11:59 PM ET. (Offer valid while supplies last – winners will be notified on Tuesday, April 7th.) ✏️📓👗 x The Draper James Team Know a teacher who deserves a pick-me-up? Forward this post or tag your favorite educator in comments. 🍎 #DJLovesTeachers
The actress said in a statement: “I have been so encouraged by the ways people are really showing up for each other. During quarantine, teachers are broadcasting lessons from their own homes and figuring out new remote-learning technology and platforms on the fly, all while continuing to educate and connect with our kids. Advocating for the children is no easy task, so I wanted to show teachers a little extra love right now.”
To get the free dress, teachers must fill up a Google Form till April 5, which is listed in the brand’s bio. The form asks teachers to upload a photo of their school ID, provide the grade level and subject they teach as well as their school name and state. The offer is only available for teachers while supplies last.
Unfortunately, the giveaway did not go as planned. According to NYtimes, the application form crashed almost immediately days after the Instagram post went up. Many teachers were sharing it to one another online. By the end of the application period, Draper James had almost one million applications.
“We felt like we moved too quickly and didn’t anticipate the volume of the response,” said Marissa Cooley, the senior vice-president for brand marketing and creative at Draper James. “We were really overwhelmed. It was way more volume than the company had ever seen. We expected the single digit thousands.”
Even though the intention of the brand was to give out only 250 free dresses , it turned into a complete disaster. The company tried to handle the deal by contacting everyone who applied to let them know it was a raffle, not a mass giveaway. To control the damage, the brand posted the giveaway number twice on its Instagram Stories.