Milk money for all: Michigan girl with 'big heart' raises donations for class

A Michigan girl with a “big, beautiful giving heart” has sparked a grassroots effort raising thousands of dollars to make sure every student in her class – regardless of their families’ financial standing – has milk with their snacks during the school day.

Sunshine Oelfke, of Ishpeming, emptied out her personal bank a few weeks ago in front of her grandmother and put the money in a bag to bring to school.

“I asked her what she was doing with the baggie of money,” Jackie Oelfke wrote in a Facebook post. “Her response put me in tears...’I am going to give it to my friend at school because she don’t get milk for snack. Her mom don’t have any milk money and I do.’”

Jackie, who CBS News reported watches over the 5-year-old girl since her mother has been in and out of prison with drug issues, then took the $30 in money to Sunshine’s teacher at Birchview Elementary School and explained her situation.

“We will do this,” Jackie said the teacher, Rita Hausher, told her, and gave her a hug. Hausher later told Jackie she would make sure students who don’t get milk will get it now on Sunshine's behalf.

"I always tell my students when they do something that really amazes me, I get kindergarten goosebumps," Hausher told TV 6. "I got kindergarten goosebumps from my toes to the top of my head."

Jackie set up a GoFundMe page, which has raised over $3,500 for the effort – enough to cover the entire class for more than a semester.

“Dear Sunshine, I wanted to send you ten dollars to help you raise enough milk money for your entire class. What an amazing young girl you are, to have such a big, beautiful giving heart,” Jackie said a note addressed to Sunshine read, and people are also sending the student cash in the mail.

Jackie told CBS News that Sunshine – who was saving up money to buy a snowmobile – doesn’t see her act as a big deal, but more as just trying to help out her friends.

"She doesn't understand the impact she's made," Jackie told the station. "But now she knows she can do whatever she puts her mind to."