In the past few months, the issue of some kids not being able to afford school lunch has popped up in the news a few times, and even though there are laws protecting these kids, some of them still get “lunch shamed” because they can’t pay. When 9-year-old Ryan Kyote saw a story in the news about a kindergarten student in Indiana having to return her school lunch because she didn’t have money in her account, he was outraged and immediately went to ask his mother what he could to help kids at his own school in similar situations.

Using allowance savings to pay off classmates’ lunch debt

Today reports that Kyote and his mother, Kylie Kirkpatrick, dis some brainstorming, and then Ryan remembered that he had saved six months’ worth of his allowance. He decided to use that to pay off the $74.50 lunch debt of his entire class at West Park Elementary School in Napa, California. After he donated the money to the Napa Valley Unified School District food services department, he had only one request – that they would let his friends know that they no longer owe any money.

Ryan Kyote Bad Yogi

Ryan decided to use his savings to pay off all his classmates’ lunch debt.
Image courtesy of Kylie Kirkpatrick

Kyote was initially going to spend his savings on a new pair of basketball sneakers, but paying off his fellow classmates’ lunch debt was more important to him than a new pair of shoes. Lunch is his favorite part of the day, and it broke his heart that there were some kids for whom it was the worst part of their day. Kyote was not aware of the California law that was passed in 2017 that ensures kids will not be denied a full lunch because of their parents’ debt, but we bet he would’ve paid the debt anyway.

Kyote didn’t want any credit for his act of kindness

In addition to requesting that his friends be told that they no longer owe any lunch money, he also asked that his donation remain anonymous, but his mother was too proud of him to keep it quiet entirely, and she took to Twitter to share a picture of him. The post quickly went viral. Some people seemed to think that it was unfair to let Kyote donate his savings to pay off fellow students’ debt, commenting, “Give this kid his money back. No child should be covering lunch debt for his class with his allowance.” Well, it’s his money, isn’t it? And shouldn’t those of us who have more than others see it as an opportunity to give? The rest of the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. One person commented, “Love this story … Special kid.”

This is not the first time Kyote has done something kind

Kyote is indeed a special kid, and this is not the first time he’s done a good deed. According to his mother, he has a very kind heart and loves to help other people. “I’ll go into the garage and Ryan’s bike is missing because he gave it to a friend in need,” she says. “One time, a friend didn’t have shoes that didn’t fit, so Ryan gave him shoes.”

Kyote’s good deed toward his classmates didn’t go unnoticed. An investor got wind of what he’d done and contacted Kirkpatrick, telling her that he would like to put some money in Kyote’s savings account, but the 9-year-old, who lost his father to ALS not too long ago, had a better idea. He told the investor to pay it forward, so he made a donation to the ALS Association. According to his mother, Kyote was ecstatic by the donation. “I can’t even begin to tell you what that meant to Ryan. All he wants is to make the world a better place.”

If you have something to give, give it

Most of us are so caught up in our own lives and problems that we sometimes forget that there are people who are worse off than we are and that we have a lot to be thankful for. Ryan Kyote is a stellar example of someone who, even though he didn’t have much, still took the time to give to others. If you have something to give, no matter how small, give it. Nothing makes one happier than giving to others. Even if you do something small to help just one person, you’ve helped to make the world a better place for someone, and there’s no better feeling than that.

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