Cayden, a compassionate third-grader at Challenger Elementary in Howell, took a heartfelt initiative when he witnessed his friend being denied a hot lunch at school due to insufficient funds in their meal account.
The incident deeply affected Cayden, leaving him visibly upset when he returned home from school. He turned to his mother, Amber Melke-Peters, seeking a way to help his friend and prevent such situations from happening again. Inspired by his desire to make a difference, Cayden created a fundraising webpage titled “Pay It Forward: No Kid Goes Hungry.” He reached out to his family, friends, and neighbors, urging them to contribute and help cover the lunch debts of his friend.
Cayden’s determination didn’t end there. He took the initiative to recycle and raise additional funds independently. After successfully paying off the lunch debts for his friends, Cayden requested that the school cafeteria staff add funds to the accounts of children in need to ensure they never faced a similar situation. Through his efforts, Cayden managed to raise nearly $7,000, providing hot lunches for over 300 students. His goal is to continue this initiative so that no child ever has to go without a hot lunch.
Amber expressed her immense pride in her son, stating, “I am so very proud of my son. He is only 8 years old, and his understanding of this concept is truly remarkable. He has a heart of gold.”
I’m incredibly proud of my son,” Amber remarked. “At just 8 years old, his understanding of this concept is truly amazing in my eyes. He truly has a heart of gold.