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8-Year-Old Helps Pay Off Student’s Lunch Debt

1288-Cayden-TaipalusRecently, a campaign was launched by an 8-year-old kid to assist pay for lunches of students from low-income families, and for this he trounced the heart of people living all around the globe.

Donations have increased tenfold since Cayden Taipalus, who is a student of a third grade at Challenger Elementary School, launched a campaign 2 weeks back with the name of “Pay It Forward: No Kid Goes Hungry”. He began the campaign after he saw another student at his elementary school in Howell, Mich., struggle to pay for their lunch.

According to Amber Peters, his mother, almost $7,000 worth of donations have purchased hot lunches for more than three hundred students with plans to reach another 5,000 this week.

Today, Peters told ABC News, “I am so very proud of my son. He is only 8 years old and to grasp the concept around this is just amazing in my eyes. He has a heart of gold”.

On 17th of February, his mom said about the encounter, “Cayden was in school buying his lunch and the little boy in front of him had to put down his hot lunch due to no funds on his lunch account. It upset the little boy, which in turn upset Cayden”.

Cayden and his mom began recycling cans and bottles to collect money until friends and neighbors saw their struggle on Facebook and wanted to assist them.

Peters said, “We went from just paying off his elementary school to paying off the entire Livingston County”.

According to his mother, he gives the money to each school prior to going to class in the morning. His first donation was $64 that paid for almost 150 lunches. “Doing something little can turn into something big and go a long way. Paying it forward is a big deal”.

Each student is offered an alternate lunch in which a sandwich, juice and fruit is included when they can’t afford the hot lunch options, according to the school officials. Almost 30% of students in Livingston County are enrolled for free- or reduced-priced lunch, a federal program offered to students from low-income families.

Director of public relations for Howell Public Schools, Thomas Gould said, “What Cayden is doing is very generous and it shows how caring all of our students are. It’s also important to know that all of our kids are offered lunch no matter what”.

While noting some kids may not be bothered by it while others are she said, “They are sitting there with a cheese sandwich on their plate when the child next to them is having French toast, milk, juice. The idea is to remove the negative stigma”. She said that their efforts don’t rely on recognition from families that benefit from the campaign nothing that giving back is enough. “I didn’t even ask Cayden for a name [of the boy who inspired the campaign]. I don’t want to make somebody look different. Our target focus is on reduced lunches”. She said her son “just sees that the money equals lunches for the children”.

News Source: ABCNews.Go.com