It goes without saying that having breakfast helps children focus better in school. Without the boost of energy, their bodies’ energy crashes and they fall asleep at their desk. While schools have come a long way in providing healthy snacks to young children, some schools still struggle making sure their kids get the nutrition they need to succeed in school. But 5-year-old Sunshine Oelfke from Ishpeming, Michigan is working to change that at her school. When the kindergartener realized that some of her classmates couldn’t afford to buy milk, she emptied out her piggy bank, which had her life’s savings, and immediately started “counting” how many milks she could buy for her friends at school.
Sunshine’s grandmother Jackie Oelfke was impressed with her granddaughter’s compassion for her classmates. She watched as Sunshine lined up her stacks of nickels and dimes. She watched her then put it into a bag along with a few crumbled up dollar bills and get ready to bring it to school. Jackie didn’t know that Sunshine’s classmates were starving and her granddaughter was trying to help ease their suffering at the lunch table.
“That piqued my curiosity,” Jackie told CBS News. “Nobody messes with the piggy bank.”
Because she had not expected to see Sunshine break open her piggy bank until the girl was older, Jackie asked her to explain herself. And that’s when Jackie realized how good of a person her granddaughter really was.
“What are you doing with that money?” Jackie remembers asking her adorable 5-year-old.
“I’m taking it to school,” Sunshine said without any doubt.
Jackie asked her why and eventually the little girl told her why she needed to bring the money to school.
“I’m going to take it for milk money. I’m taking it for my friend Layla. She doesn’t get milk – her mom doesn’t have milk money and I do.”
Jackie was upset. Her heart sank as she realized how Layla wasn’t getting milk at school. And she couldn’t believe that the school ignored the girl’s plight and that Sunshine had to be the one to make sure the girl got the food she needed to succeed at school.
Sunshine was raised not raised in a traditional home. Her mom is a drug addict who has been in and out of prison many times. Despite this, Sunshine has a heart of gold.
“She’s going to have enough issues growing up with this. I’ve never told her she can’t do something and I didn’t want to start now [when she’s being so generous.]”
After Sunshine had counted out the milk money, Jackie set a meeting with the kindergarten teacher. Jackie handed the teacher, Rita Hausher, the $30 Sunshine had donated to the child in need.
Out of the twenty kids in Sunshine’s class, half can’t afford milk. It costs about $0.45 per carton and it costs about $180 per month to give milk to every kid in the classroom every day.
“Milk is important in our family, so it’s very important for Sunshine’s friends to have milk with her,” Jackie said.
Jackie created a GoFundMe page and dozens of people contributed to Sunshine’s Milk fund.