Seattle Dad Raises Nearly $25K, Becomes a Hero for Students Owing Lunch Money

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As we near closer to the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation, it seems that parents and kids alike are dealing with more issues than simply picking the right camp. Lunch shaming is a problem that has been popping up in schools around the country, especially as end-of-the-year debts are distributed. And after reading about a number of these incidents, one Seattle dad has decided to try to put a end to this form of bullying by starting a GoFundMe to wipe out the lunch debt not only at his son's school, but from his entire district.   

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In a matter of days since launching the page, Seattle dad Jeffery Lew reached his goal to help pay off the $97.10 worth of debt at his third grader's school.

Inspired by the numerous donations from those willing to help out, Lew has continued his efforts by taking on Seattle Public Schools, reportedly the largest K-12 district in the state. 

And you'd think that he'd have his work cut out for him. But this determined dad wasn't discouraged in the slightest. Using social media to spread the word, Lew kept pushing to eliminate this one problem for the kids in his community.

When asking for the collective debt for the 99 schools in the district, he was given the total of $20,531.79. (Wow!)

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Taking about what drives his desire to help, Lew told CBS News:

If a kid doesn't have enough money or owes money they may not end up getting a complete meal ... Kids can be cruel and make fun of them. That can be really harsh on a child. They don't have a concept of what money is. No kid should go hungry because they don't have any money. They should eat the same food their classmates are eating and not get shamed for that.

As of today, the campaign that was started on May 9 has raised more than $24,000, which will completely clear the lunch debt for this district. Excess funds will go to other school districts. And now parents don't have to worry about handing over money that might be able to go to feeding their children over the summer, when they are not receiving school lunches.

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"It was quite amazing that the community came together to tackle this. Some people would say, 'This guy's a hero,' but I'm just a guy who went online," said Lew.

What happens next? "I want to keep this cause spreading, give back any way we can ... Maybe we can cover the state of Washington or help other parents create campaigns for their school districts -- bring this nationwide," he explained. 

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Lew's actions show more than anything that all it takes is one person to make a change. And maybe, through his efforts to make a difference in his community, others will be inspired to help -- not only with lunch shaming, but any number of issues that their communities may face. 

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