PAOLA — A husband and wife walked into Paola High School on Friday, Nov. 8, with a blank check in hand.
The couple, who wished to remain anonymous, told PHS Principal Jeff Hines they wanted to pay off all of the outstanding balances on student lunch accounts in grades K-12 throughout Paola USD 368.
“They have owned and operated a successful business and feel blessed to be in a position where they are able to pay it forward,” Hines wrote in a district news release. “While they want to remain anonymous, they are also hopeful that news of this will inspire others to consider helping someone in need. As they told us this morning: ‘Kids can’t go hungry, they just can’t. Not in this great country that we live in!’”
Hines said the school district ensures that all students that come through the lunch lines everyday are fed, but the donated funds will benefit the families in need of assistance in clearing their outstanding balances.
The total outstanding debt amounted to about $450, but Hines said the couple were prepared to cover the total amount regardless of what it was.
He said they talked about their move to Miami County and the neighbors they now call friends. They did not have a child go through the school district, but Hines said they felt it was important to contribute to the community they now call home.
Hines encouraged others to heed the couple’s advice about helping those in need.
“Next time you have the opportunity, consider paying it forward, no matter how big or small,” Hines said in the release.