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11-year-old student raises $7,300 to pay off his entire school’s lunch debt

11-year-old student raises $7,300 to pay off his entire school’s lunch debt

Missouri fifth grader Daken Kramer went way beyond his original goal

A fifth grader has raised thousands to pay off his entire school's unpaid lunch bills.

Daken Kramer, an 11-year-old student at Thomas Ultican Elementary School (TUE) in Blue Springs, Missouri, started a fundraiser in a bid to help pay off the bills which have accumulated as a result of other students and their families being unable to afford school lunches.

And his mom has shared the latest update on his efforts. Prepare to be reminded there is still some good in the world:

Daken's mom Vanessa Kramer has been active in sharing his journey and fundraising efforts on her social media, telling CNN: "Children in elementary school should not have debt tied to their name. We found out that there are high schools that keep seniors from attending prom or walking at graduation if they have stuff like student lunch debt.

"Some families can’t help it. They can’t pay it off."

In a post to Facebook on 22 May, she shared a video she originally uploaded to TikTok which sees Daken explain why he started the fundraiser in the first place.

In the clip, Daken introduces himself, explaining he's in his last year of elementary school and credits his school for 'shap[ing] [him] into an outgoing, kind, compassionate, respectful, strong leader'.

"I'd like to do something to show my gratitude," he adds.

The 11-year-old revealed he would be launching his own personal fundraiser called 'Daken feeds TUE' - live until he graduated on May 21 - to 'collect money to help pay off student lunch debt' - which is reported at his school as having accumulated to 'over $3,000'.

The student challenged friends, family and local businesses to donate 'what they can' to the cause.

Daken wanted to try and raise enough money to clear the school's lunch debt (Facebook/ Vanessa Kramer)
Daken wanted to try and raise enough money to clear the school's lunch debt (Facebook/ Vanessa Kramer)

The video documents Daken's fundraiser seeing an increase in donations, first raising around $500, then around $900 and also his heart-warming reaction when his 'new total' went over the target, coming in at $3,370.

And the donations didn't stop there either.

As of 21 May, Daken managed to raise a whopping $7,470 - more than double what was needed to wipe the student lunch debt at the school, the additional money reported as going towards the high school's lunch debt.

Daken took to the stage at his school to present the school the cheque, alongside thank everyone for taking part and staff for keeping him 'healthy both physically and mentally,' the administration for 'keeping [him] safe' and to a specific teacher too.

Vanessa's caption to the video of Daken noted: "This will be an experience that stays with him his whole life.

"This has sparked something in Daken that makes him want to continue to change the world for the better.

"He has already asked me what the next step is to help with school lunches. I told him we can definitely start researching this summer if he’s still interested, but for now let’s just enjoy these last few days of elementary school.

"Thank you once again to everyone who has donated to 'Daken Feeds TUE'."

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/ABC 7 Chicago

Topics: Education, Food and Drink, Money, US News, Community, Good News