A school project turned into a country-wide enterprise.
Last year, San Francisco 49ers cornerback, Richard Sherman, donated over $27,000 to cover students' lunch debts at multiple schools. This charitable act ended up having a ripple effect that benefitted more lives than just those of the students' debts that he personally paid off. 8-year-old Keoni Ching of Vancouver, Washington was inspired by Sherman's donation to also tackle the issue of student lunch debt.
For "Kindness Week" at his school, Benjamin Franklin Elementary, Ching decided to sell handmade keychains to raise money for this cause. He started selling them to his own classmates. "I love key chains. They look good on my backpack," he told CNN. However, his little enterprise ended up expanded to reach customers across the United States. "We have sent key chains to Alaska, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Arizona, all over the country," his mother, April, said. "There was one lady who said she wanted $100 worth of key chains so that she could just hand them out to people. ... There were several people who bought one key chain and gave (Keoni) a hundred bucks. It was absolutely amazing how much support the community showed for his whole project."
Ching, with the help of his family members, ended up selling 300 keychains, which amassed a grand total of $4,015. He gave these proceeds to his own school, but they only kept $1000 and distributed the rest to six nearby schools to help resolve their lunch debts. While it's absurd to think that young children and parents have lunch debts hanging over their heads - at times even resulting in punishments for the students - this is a heartwarming story and Ching did a remarkable thing.