It's been a rough week, so I think we all need a story that's sure to melt even the most cynical heart.
When five-year-old girl Sunshine Oelfke of Ishpeming, Michigan learned that her classmates couldn't afford to buy milk at school, the kindergartner took matters into her own hands.
Jackie Oelfke told CBS News that two weeks ago, she noticed Sunshine had dumped the contents of her piggy bank onto the floor, painstakingly counted her coins and bills, and then placed them in a plastic bag in her backpack.
"That piqued my curiosity," Oelfke told the outlet. "Nobody messes with the piggy bank." She asked Sunshine what she was up to, and the kindergartner explained that she was bringing it to school. "I'm going to take it for milk money. I'm taking it for my friend Layla," she told her grandmother. "She doesn't get milk — her mom doesn't have milk money and I do."
As Oelfke explained to CBS, Sunshine hasn't had the easiest life: Her mother struggles with drug addiction and has been in and out of prison for most of the little girl's childhood. "She's going to have enough issues growing up with this," Oelfke said. "I've never told her she can't do something, and I didn't want to start now."
Sunshine handed her teacher, Rita Hausher, the $30 she had saved. Unfortunately, the needs of her classmates exceeded what was in Sunshine's piggy bank: She has 20 classmates and only half can afford milk. At $0.45 a carton, it would cost $180 a month to fund milk for every child in Sunshine's class.
Oelfke posted a tearful video to Facebook after leaving the meeting with Sunshine's teacher. It quickly went viral and provided she and Sunshine with an opportunity to raise money for the kindergartner's classmates.
The pair started a GoFundMe page titled "Sunshine's Class Milk Money Mission" and they've already raised nearly $7,500 in the 11 days since it was launched.
Proving that a whole lot can change in less than two weeks, Sunshine now brings a zipper-bag full of milk money to school every day. In an update posted on October 17, Oelfke wrote: "Yes, Sunshine continues to take money she earns from the night before to school each day for her friends to have milk. I will continue to take the larger amounts to school so no one in her class goes without!! I don’t know how long she will continue this but I do know I won’t stop her....anyone that knows Sunshine knows I can’t when she is on a mission...her milk money mission."
Look at Sunshine in action:
I'm not crying; there's something in my eye.