Taipalus came home very upset from Challenger Elementary school and told his mom that it was because his friend had to forego a hot lunch because of a negative account balance and instead got a cheese sandwich. He and his mother then came up with a plan to raise money from family and friends and solicit donations to pay off all the delinquent school lunch accounts. After one week, they were able to pay off all 150 accounts.
After his efforts earned some media attention, Taipalus and his mom started an online campaign that has raised over $15,000, which they are using to pay off the negative balances for other schools.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this would happen," said his mother, Amber Melke-Peters. "He's just a little local boy trying to do some good."