Here’s a story that is both sad and thrilling at the same time. It’s sad that there are kids who can’t afford to eat lunch while at school, but I love the example showed by this young kid here in Michigan to raise money to make sure they can. Whether he knows it or not, he is setting an example for all of us.
When 8-year-old Cayden Taipalus saw that some of this fellow classmates at school were forced to forgo hot meals because their lunch account balances had dipped into the negative, he came home upset. His school’s policy was to allow students to go $5 into the negative before replacing their regular hot meals with cheese sandwiches and milk, according to Tom Gould, director of public relations for the Howell Public School District where Cayden attends…
So he decided to do something about it. First, he and his mom began to collect empty bottles and cans and exchanging them as part of a recycling program. That got him about $64, and bought about 150 lunches. Pretty impressive for an 8-year-old, but Cayden was just warming up…After he got a little local press for his act of kindness, people began contacting his family asking what they could do to help. Seeing an opportunity to make a bid difference, he started a campaign on an online fundraising site that got money to put towards his schools lunch program. The dollars began pouring in.
Hundreds of people from across the United States and abroad have donated, pitching in a staggering $10,800 to the cause so far. That’s enough money to pay for well over 4,000 school lunches. Cheese sandwiches will be a distant memory. Cayden probably just got a lot more friends around the school yard.
Clearly the project has outgrown it’s original purpose, so instead of calling it a day, Cayden and his mother have begun going to other schools to pay off their account balances too. Cayden says his goal is to raise enough money to help all students in his county.
Rock on, young man. And thank you for your generosity and your example.