DETROIT (WOOD) — Ellen DeGeneres surprised a struggling school in Detroit with one of the biggest gifts she’s ever given away on her show.
DeGeneres said she wanted to help Spain Elementary Middle School where many of the students are underprivileged and homeless. She went on to add that the school’s technology doesn’t work, the entire roof is falling apart and the gym is completely shut down.
Students and staff thought they were staying after school on Wednesday to be part of a documentary on the problems plaguing Detroit Public Schools for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” but instead they received a huge surprise, reports WDIV-TV.
From her LA studio, DeGeneres announced that she had partnered with Lowe’s to donate a half million dollars to the school to pay for improvements, new technology and services. Every staff member was also given a $100 VISA gift card.
“Of all the people in the whole world. I am the happiest principal on Earth. I love you. We love you,” said Spain principal Ronald Alexander.
Following the announcement about the donations, pop singer Justin Bieber made a surprise appearance. He announced he would donate $1 from every ticket sold for his concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills in April.
You can watch the surprise on The Ellen Show at 4 p.m. Thursday on WOOD-TV or by clicking on the video player below.
DeGeneres has also set up a GoFundMe page to help the school. More than $15,000 has already been raised since the page was created Thursday morning.
The Detroit teachers’ union filed a lawsuit against the district In January calling for repairing “deplorable” conditions. Dozens of schools were also closed for several days due to teacher sick-outs over poor pay, crowded classrooms, unsafe buildings and other issues.