Cayden Taipalus, 8, came home from Challenger Elementary School feeling really upset after witnessing a friend foregoing a hot lunch because of a negative lunch account balance.
As an alternative, the school provided his friend with just a cheese sandwich. The third grader sat down with his mom and came up with a plan to help. They would collect plastic bottles and cans, collect money from family and friends and solicit donations so that they could pay off all the negative balances for the entire school.
After just one week, Cayden was able to cover about 150 lunches, and with the help of some media attention, Cayden's kindness spurred others to act.
He and his mother have since set up an online campaign to help other students in need and have raised about 15 thousand dollars. They've already paid off two additional schools' negative lunch balances, and they hope to handle three more in the next week.
His mother Amber Melke Peters told TODAY.com, "Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this would happen. He's just a little local boy trying to do some good."
And Cayden isn't the only person who has been paying it forward. In February, a tutor and mentor from an elementary school in Houston, Texas, gave $465 of his own money to pay off his school's negative accounts. He called it the best money he'd ever spent.