When 5-year-old Sunshine Oelfke of Michigan began emptying the contents of her piggy bank into her school bag, grandmother Jackie Oelfke became curious. It soon became clear that Sunshine planned to hand this money over to a classmate whose mother was unable to afford milk at lunch.
CBS News reports about Sunshine’s generous act and how that turned into even more good when the community became involved. When Oelfke asked Sunshine what she was planning to do with the stacks of nickles and crumpled up bills she was putting in her backpack, the little girl was quick to respond. Sunshine explained, “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.”
Sunshine has not had an easy childhood as grandma explains her mom has been addicted to drugs and in and out of prison. Oelfke says, “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.” So, both grandma and Sunshine went to school and handed her teacher $30 from the piggybank to help pay for her friend, Layla’s milk.
And because Sunshine drinks a lot of milk in her household, she believes it’s important her classmates are able to drink milk at snack time too, whether they have the money or not. Oelfke explains, “Milk is important in our family, so it's very important for Sunshine's friends to have milk with her.” And after one viral Facebook video of her grandma explaining Sunshine’s small act of kindness, members of the community offered donations so a GoFundMe page opened. They have now raised enough to pay for the whole class to have milk all year. Oelfke explains the lesson she believes Sunshine has learned from all of this: “She doesn't understand the impact she's made. But now she knows she can do whatever she puts her mind to.”
What do you think of this 5 year old’s act of kindness that has spread?
How do you encourage your children to give back in small ways?
*Photo Credit: Jackie Oelfke*