Justin Sears, a young boy from Vermont, decided he wanted to give back this past Christmas. So, he raised hundreds of dollars to cover his classmates’ lunch debt! The kind act touched the lives of many across the state and made the holidays better for dozens of families…
A Christmas Miracle From A Vermont Student
The holiday season is over, but we are learning of more and more Christmas miracles fulfilled by human beings, who decided to make a change in someone’s lives. Or, in this case, multiple someones.
In early December, Justin Sears, a teenager from Colchester, Vermont, decided to start a GoFundMe page to cover the lunch debts of all of his classmates. Sears attends Mallets Bay School, where hundreds of kids use the lunch program every day. In the worst of cases, the students’ lunch debt can reach hundreds of dollars! And thus the idea came to Sears: pay off all of the lunch debt.
“Small Action + Lots Of People = Big Change”
Sears launched his campaign on December 18, 2019. The opening message read, “Hello, family and friends! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season! This year for the holidays, our family is focusing on helping others in our community. Justin decided to skip a couple presents and instead donate money to the lunch program at his school, the Mallets Bay School.” According to the principal of the school, the school had a lunch debt of around $600. “Please donate any amount you are able. Small actions + lots of people = Big change,” the message concluded.
Shortly after, the GoFundMe page went viral. By Christmas, people had donated over $1000, far surpassing the original $600 goal. “Receiving, I don’t think, is as good as giving to people,” Sears said. Initially, the high schooler had planned on simply asking family and friends to make a modest donation to the school instead of giving a gift. However, he decided that an online campaign would garner more donations. And they were right!
The lunch debt campaign touched many people’s lives. Online users who donated left heart-warming messages for Sears on the GoFundMe page and on other social media platforms, sharing their experience and praising the boy. “Selfless young boy who gave up Christmas presents to helps others!! You are amazing!!! You should be so proud of yourself!!” one donor wrote.
There are currently over 17,000 children in Vermont who live in food-insecure households (according to Hunger Free Vermont). Among these children, about half eat the school’s lunch, which comes at a price. This is why Sears’ incredibly kind Christmas gift made a real change for many children and their families, who can go on knowing the debt is paid. May 2020 be filled with these human-made miracles!