Michigan Kindergartner Donates Own Money to Pay for Classmates’ Milk, Then Raises Thousands Online

A 5-year-old Michigan girl’s plight to ensure all of her classmates could have a carton of milk for snack time achieved her goal for the school year after an online fundraiser helped her raise thousands of dollars.

Sunshine Oelfke is seen in a photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

Sunshine Oelfke is seen in a photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

The campaign began two weeks ago, after Sunshine Oelfke’s grandmother saw the kindergartner empty the contents of her piggy bank onto the floor of their living room and start “counting,” CBS News reported Monday.

At first, Jackie Oelfke thought the girl was playing with the money. Then, she saw her granddaughter carefully stuffing bills and coins into a plastic bag, which she then placed in her backpack — something that piqued her interest, she told CBS News in an interview.

“What are you doing with that money?” Oelfke recalled asking her granddaughter.

Sunshine replied she was taking it to school, then elaborated on the reason.

“I’m going to take it for milk money. I’m taking it for my friend Layla,” the little girl explained. “She doesn’t get milk — her mom doesn’t have milk money and I do.”

In a Facebook post, Oelfke wrote that her granddaughter’s response moved her to tears.

“As I turned my head to wipe my eyes, I handed Sunny her backpack and in it the baggy of money went,” her post read.

Two days later, Oelfke started a GoFundMe page to help her granddaughter raise milk money.

“Sunshine would like for all of her friends in her Kindergarten class to have milk for snack break every day with her,”  Oelfke wrote on the fundraising page. “She went started to count the money in her snowmolbe bank and stated..my friends mom doesn’t have milk money but I do so her mission to help her friend began.”

According to CBS News, half of the 20 students in Sunshine’s class do not get milk, which costs $0.45 for a carton. For every child to have a milk during snack time, it would add up to $180 per month.

So, when Oelfke began the GoFundMe, she set out to raise about $700 — enough so that every child in Sunshine’s class could have a carton of milk each day for the rest of the semester.

“Milk is important in our family, so it’s very important for Sunshine’s friends to have milk with her,” Oelfke explained to CBS News.

But within a week, the GoFundMe had raised more than $1,000 — enough for every student in Sunshine’s class to have milk for the rest of the school year, should they want it.

“Guess what! My whole class got milk today,” Sunshine told her grandmother last week, after the GoFundMe hit the milestone. “Layla now has milk money.”

As of Tuesday evening, the page had raised more than $7,500.