A class of kindergartners in Michigan won't have to worry about milk money this year, thanks to the kindness of a pint-sized girl and hundreds of strangers.
Sunshine Oelfke, a 5-year-old girl from Ishpeming, Michigan, decided to break open her piggy bank when she realized that a friend in her kindergarten class at Birchview Elementary School didn't have money to buy milk.
In a Facebook video that's been viewed more than 8,000 times since Oct. 5, Sunshine's grandmother Jackie Oelfke said her granddaughter's generosity brought her to tears.
Posted by Jackie Sue Oelfke on Thursday, October 5, 2017
"I was sitting my chair just doing some work ... and Sunshine brought out her piggy banks and dumped them on the floor next to me. She just started counting," Oelfke said. "She counted her money, then put it in baggies, then put it in her backpack. She said she was taking it to school for her friend ... because her friend's mom doesn't have milk money."
Oelfke said she didn't want to discourage Sunshine's spirit, so the pair met with her teacher and agreed she could use $30 of her own money to help buy the other girl's milk, which costs 45 cents a carton, according to CBS News.
It turned out there were some other kids in the class who couldn't afford milk either.
"[Sunshine] said, 'It's not right that [I] have milk money and she doesn't'," Oelfke said in her Facebook video. "I can't give everybody milk money but what do I do for Sunshine? Because I can't tell Sunshine she can't help somebody."
After further questioning from Sunshine about why they couldn't provide milk for the entire class, Oelfke said she planned on donating her commissions from her job selling Younique cosmetics that month to help the entire class get milk.
But then Oelfke came up with the idea to start a GoFundMe page on Oct. 6, with the initial goal of raising $700 to cover the cost of milk for the entire class for a semester. The page ended up raising more than $7,000, with donations from at least 300 people as of Oct. 18.
"At this point, Sunshine has earned enough money for the entire class to have milk (if they choose) for second semester," Oelfke wrote in an update on the GoFundMe page Monday.
She said her granddaughter's initiative made her realize some hard truths.
"I feel really naive because you forget that this is an issue. We're doing OK and Sunshine always has milk money," Oelfke said in her Facebook video before the GoFundMe page was started. "But for her, at the age of 5, to realize that there are other kids that don't get something as simple as milk for snack ... She's so genuine."
Sunshine was originally saving up her piggy bank money in order to buy a snowmobile.
Clint Davis is a reporter for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis. Keep up to date with the latest news by following @ScrippsNational on Twitter.