An 8-year-old student at Challenger Elementary School in Howell, Mich. has donated over $27,000 to his local school board in order to ensure that all students are able to purchase an affordable hot meal for lunch.
The boy, Cayden Taipalus, recently made the donation to Howell Public Schools in order to assist students that need to pay delinquent lunch fees.
According to Taipalus’s mother Amber Melke-Peters, her son decided to raise money for the cause after noticing another student be forced to return his hot meal in the lunch room. The school district currently allows students to charge $5 against their lunch accounts, but if their balance is not paid they are given an alternative lunch of a sandwich, fruit and juice.
“He saw a boy have to put a hot lunch back and settle for a cheese sandwich and thought ‘I’d like to help,’” Melke-Peters said to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
Taipalus initially raised $64 through bottle and can returns and donations from close friends and family, but they saw that amount drastically increase when they set up a profile on the online fundraising site FundRazr with the headline “Pay It Forward: No Kid Goes Hungry.”
Taipalus’s donation ensures that all students with outstanding balances against hot meals can receive those meals rather than being forced to accept the cold alternative.
According to ABC News, Taipalus hopes to reach his goal of raising $30,000 total for the school board.