Kindergartner philanthropist helps pay off peers' lunch debts

It’s not often you find someone who embodies the word, ‘precocious’, but in the middle of the Oakdale Elementary Cafeteria, munching on his carefully packed lunch, Max Weimer fits the bill.

Last spring, when the school needed to raise $20,000 for new playground equipment, Weimer, in pre-school, helped raise $1,000 of it himself.

When you’re 6 years old, last year seems like ancient history, as Max called his first fundraiser, “a long time ago.”

This fall he learned that some kids can’t afford school lunch and, while they were never denied lunch, they wound up with debts that needed to be covered by the principal.

“Last year, a teacher and I both put money towards school lunches at the end of the year when kids couldn’t pay off their account,” said Tracy Buhl, the principal at Oakdale Elementary.

When Max and his mom found out, they started a GoFundMe campaign, raising money to cover those kids who fall short.

“It was actually my mom’s idea,” Max said.

While it may be his mom’s doing, Max felt strongly about it and did much of the work. He took the campaign to social media and who could say no to Max.

“Everyone in Max’s world we asked for money, and then a lot of people we didn’t even know heard that story and wanted to help our school,” Sarah Fossen, Max’s mom, said.  

It was $650 dollars to cover school lunch accounts that go into the red.

“To do something extra special for kids in need is really a great thing,” Fossen said.  

Max’s mom is hoping to instill a strong sense of giving in her son and she hopes he instills it in the kids around him.

“Maybe his friends, maybe other people who see that and other kids will also get motivated to want to help their school and help other kids,” Fossen added.