Remember that 8-year-old with a heart as big as Michigan’s Mitten who launched an online fundraising campaign so his classmates wouldn’t have to eat cold cheese sandwiches?
Cayden Taipalus paid it forward in a huge way this week, turning over $27,000 to Howell Public Schools at a special ceremony in his honor, The Daily Press & Argus/Livingstondaily.com reports.
The first $64 was raised a dime at a time after Cayden and his mother, Amber Melke-Peters, went door-to-door in Howell gathering returnable cans and bottles. Cayden had come from school one afternoon about a month ago, still upset after he saw a classmate refused a hot lunch because his lunch account was empty and instead given a cold cheese sandwich.
The money was enough to replenish Cayden’s classmate’s bank account and also provide some cushion, but the third-grader at Challenger Elementary School in Howell wasn’t satisfied.
The solution was an the online campaign on FundRazr.com, which caught the attention of “Today,” “Good Morning America” and good-news-hungry media outlets around the country.
The world responded, with money – nearly $28,000 had been raised by Wednesday evening – and with genuine admiration.
“With more and more people in need of a helping hand and government agencies unable to meet these needs, it is wonderful to see everyone step up to help. Keep up the good work young man,” wrote a donor who gave $100. “You have a bright future ahead.”
“You are raising a very special kid,” wrote another contributor to Cayden’s cause. “At eight, he already realizes the cure for greed is generosity: the cure for apathy is compassion. At eight, he observed something wrong and took the steps to make it right and has rallied support to feed the hungry. He is a little hero, seriously!”
Yes, he seriously is.
Cayden is also getting high-fives, fist-bumps and effusive praise from everyone from Howell Republican Congressman Mike Rogers to the Howell school board to the Michigan State Police.
The Howell school board put its esteem for Cayden’s thoughtfulness toward others in the a resolution passed at Monday’s meeting.
“What Cayden has done is very commendable,” Challenger Principal David Cherry said. “He demonstrates that our future leaders are kind and compassionate individuals who care deeply for others.”Did we mention he’s only 8?