updated 11/19/2007 3:35:23 PM ET 2007-11-19T20:35:23

All it took for a charity to raise money for South Carolina schools was a brief mention by Stephen Colbert.

When Colbert announced last month that he was running for president, the Charleston native and host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" also asked viewers to give to DonorsChoose.org, which helps fulfill teacher wish lists for books, globes or other classroom materials in schools in the United States.

"So I encourage everyone, go on, make donations to teachers in South Carolina, let's make a difference," Colbert said.

The brief comment by the 43-year-old talk-show host — who has since dropped his bid for the White House — raised $59,000 in 10 days and reached 13,000 public school students in South Carolina, said Peter Bloom, the group's national chairman.

"If anyone gets the chance to thank Stephen Colbert, please do so, because he made a big difference in this state with that simple announcement," Bloom said Thursday at a National Philanthropy Day luncheon in Charleston.

The DonorsChoose program has raised more than $15 million for school projects since 2000, when it was pioneered by teachers at a public high school in New York City.

Colbert abandoned his presidential bid after the South Carolina Democratic party voted to keep him off its primary ballot.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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