More than 200 families who had outstanding bills for their children’s school lunches in the Ocean View School District received an unexpected surprise recently when an anonymous donor paid off each and every balance.
The donor provided the officials with a check for $7,813 to pay off the district’s entire negative lunch balance. The donor, who has lived in the Ocean View community for 20 years, told district staff that he understands how critical the childhood years are for developing a love of learning and setting children up for success.
He said he was fortunate to not have to worry about money as a child and he wanted to alleviate some of that stress for other families so that children have one less thing getting in the way of learning. The donor was also inspired by an article he read about a gentleman in Florida who paid off the school lunch debt in his district to help children in his community.
District officials said that while they work diligently with families to reconcile negative balances, and children are always provided a meal regardless of their balance, this generous donation will impact more than 200 families that were struggling with negative lunch balances.
When asked what he hopes people will take away from his random act of kindness, the donor said that even though the world seems to be divided into an “us versus them” mentality, he wants to show everyone that people really do care and that we’re all in this together.
He says he is profoundly grateful for his own education and just wanted to pay it forward.
“I want to encourage people to look around the community and ask ‘What can I do to make it better?’”, he said.
Carol Hansen, OVSD Superintendent said, “We are so grateful for this unexpected gift and the spirit in which the donation was made is truly inspiring.”