When Cayden Taipalus was waiting on the lunch line at his elementary school in Howell, Michigan, he was presented with something he wasn’t expecting.
No, it wasn’t a choice of entrees or the life changing decision of “chocolcate milk vs. soda.” It was something that would soon become a campaign of good for the entire school…with Taipalus leading the charge.
Taipalus was dismayed when a student standing in front of him was denied a hot meal. The child apparently did not have enough funds in his account to pay for the meal everyone else was getting. So the cafeteria aids gave him a cheese sandwich instead.
This was due to a school policy that is very clear-cut: when a child’s account balance drops to a negative $5 balance, that student is given an alternate meal of a sandwich.
The young boy was disappointed, but accepted the sandwich and walked away.
This experience affected Taipalus so deeply that he became determined to make sure no other student at Challenger Elementary School would have to face such a humiliating experience again.
So Taipalus and his mom launched a small-scale fundraiser in an effort to raise funds for children throughout the school who faced similar circumstances.
They started recycling empty bottles and asked friends for donations as well, in the hopes of paying off families’ outstanding balances.
Once the word got out about Taipalus’ campaign, he began to think about additional ways to fuel it even further. That’s when he took his fundraiser online. And in a matter of weeks, the initiative has inspired donors from as far as Taiwan to give.
Within a very short time, their campaign had raised more than $14,000. And to-date, he now has raised close to $40,000!
Cayden has now raised enough money to fund more than 34,000 meals. So he is now taking the extra donations to additional schools in the area to help out other local kids in need as well.
If you would like to donate to Cayden’s cause, visit their page at Pay It Forward: No Kid Goes Hungry.
Inspiration for this story came from the Huffington Post