Certain headlines have a tendency to grab someone's attention and inspire their imagination. It is often a problem or issue that is presented and it may cause someone to take a step back and come up with ideas on ways they could help or solve this problem. Too often, however, these ideas do not get put into action. In this instance, though, it was.
The specific headline that prompted action was about school lunch shaming at Seattle public schools, in which schools would shame kids who could not afford lunch. These kids would not receive food, and they would be singled out with wrist band or hand stamps. It is hard to understand why these children would receive this kind of treatment on issues that are seemingly outside of their control. However, it certainly inspired individuals' imaginations, and one individual did not let a good idea remain dormant.
Jeff Lew of Seattle is a product of the Seattle public school system, and sends his own children to schools in the district. This article certainly came at a surprise for Jeff. “Reading that article was really awful," Lew said. "It broke my heart because I was thinking if that was my son at school, and they forced him to clean tables or toss food away, I'd be a very angry parent. No kid should be shamed regardless of if they have money to buy lunch." He took this emotion and used it to create a fundraiser on a crowdfunding site with hopes of eliminating the $20,000 school lunch debt in Seattle.
The response was far more than he expected. Lew hit his goal in just five days thanks in part to a few large donations from The Safeway Foundation and John Legend, who gave $5,000 to the cause. With the success Lew received with his Seattle campaign, he has since adjusted his goal to $50,000 with hopes of erasing school lunch debt in the neighboring Renton and Tacoma school districts.
Eye catching headlines are all around us, in every medium and platform, with hopes of receiving clicks or views. Far too often it stops there, for many reasons, whether it’s not having enough time to do anything, or fear one is not capable of making a difference. Jeff shows how far a simple act and a little time can go, and we recognize him for that!