Awesome Kids

Published on October 10th, 2014 | by Mike


The Boy Who Helped Everyone Get A Lunch

A single slice of cheese. Plain white bread.

That’s all that some of his classmates were receiving for lunch when 8 year-old Cayden Taipalus decided he wanted to help them have a better meal.

In some schools, when the account balances dip below zero, children are served small lunches like the one described above. Cayden collected bottles and cans, made a post on Facebook, and asked his friends and family, eventually raising enough money to pay off all of the expired accounts at his school. The whole thing cost him only $64, paying for around 150 lunches!

The School Board honored him. Then a local radio station told Cayden’s story, and soon others donated to his cause. Nationwide support rolled in, bringing his fundraiser up to $10,000! With more help from his mother, he brought this money to more schools and paid off even more lunch accounts. The family dubbed their fundraising site “Pay It Forward: No Kid Goes Hungry” and to date has raised over $500 more than its original $30,000 goal, with over a thousand contributors from all over the Internet. Check it out at:

This eight year-old saw a problem and worked to make a change, ensuring hot lunches and full bellies for kids in many schools. Do you see anything in your community that could use a fresh look, a new spirit and some of your talents? Share it below!

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

Mike travels to schools with his program, DON'T WAIT® to UnMake A Bully, and helps students write and produce their own anti-bullying or character education movies. He is a regular in NY, WA, CA and recently Melbourne Australia schools. Previously, he produced the youth Sci-Fi web series 'eScape' which is now on several web TV platforms, has done cinematic work on games like 'Guitar Hero', and produces television and theatrical works.

Back to Top ↑