When Jackie Oelfke saw her 5-year-old granddaughter, Sunshine Oelfke, digging through her piggy bank one day after school, she asked her what she was planning to do with the money. The sweet girl’s reply both broke and melted Jackie’s heart.
“She said she was taking it to school for milk,” Jackie said. “I explained that I had already paid for her milk for the month, then she looked at me and said, ‘My friend’s mom doesn’t have milk money, and I do.'”
“I am taking milk money to school for my friend, because my friend wants milk, and I want my friend to get milk, too,” said Sunshine. “We like chocolate milk, together.”
Sunshine had been saving her extra coins and a few dollars to one day buy a snowmobile, but decided on her own that helping her friend was more important.
Jackie says that her granddaughter drinks milk each day to help her “get strong for snowmobiling.”
The next day, Sunshine and her grandmother went to school together, and the sweet little girl was carrying several plastic bags filled with milk money for her friend. Jackie explained to the kindergarten teacher what the money she brought was for.
“I have always felt sad when I have had to tell a student, ‘no,’ when they ask if they can have milk,” said Sunshine’s teacher, Rita Hausher, who has herself often also paid for milk for students. Mrs. Hauser was deeply touched by Sunshine’s act of kindness.
Jackie was inspired by Sunshine to create a GoFundMe for her classmate’s milk money with the goal of raising $800 to pay for everyone’s milk for the rest of the semester. To her surprise, kind strangers from around the world donated a total of $19,730.
They were not only able to pay for milk for everyone in Sunshine’s class, but now they have also decided to use the extra funds to continue buying milk and food for any of Sunshine’s classmates who are in need in each grade as she grows up.
“The money will stay with Sunshine as she progresses grades to make sure her friends get milk, no matter where she is,” Jackie explained.
“Thanks to Sunshine’s act of kindness for one student, it has grown so much that it now includes everyone, which makes my heart happy,” said Sunshine’s teacher.
“Guess what! My whole class got milk today,” Sunshine proudly told her grandma. “[My friend] now has milk money.”
“She doesn’t understand the impact she’s made,” her grandma said, “but now she knows she can do whatever she puts her mind to.”
Watch this tearful video of Jackie talking about her granddaughter’s pure heart after dropping Sunshine off at school: You are Loved.
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