Teaching kids the value of money is part of responsible parenting. But with so many advertisements and gadgets produced with young people in mind, it’s hard to fault them when they want to buy something new.
Many learn later in life that it’s better to invest in people, not things. Brecken Hayes, a middle school student in Avon, Indiana, appears to have already learned that lesson.
Brecken managed to save $450, which he intended to spend on some things he wanted for himself.
When a child earns and saves their own money, most parents are willing to leave it up to them to decide what they’ll do with it. Brecken’s parents were no exception.
Their soon-to-be eighth grader had saved a whopping $450, a considerable sum for someone who spends their waking hours at school and doing homework.
And while nobody would have blamed him for spending his cash on a few video games or afternoons out with friends, he had something different in mind.
Brecken wanted to put the money to better use, and he knew just where to address the check.
Brecken decided to give his entire savings to the Mary Lee Maier Pantry.
The pantry, which provides food to those in need who have children attending a school in the Avon Community School Corporation, is a necessary service that relies on the kindness of their own community.
Last year, the pantry’s cupboards were nearly completely bare ahead of an extended school vacation. They feared students in need would have a hard time finding a meal without access to their daily school lunches.
“I often say we don’t have a lot of cash in the bank, but by God we’ve got food, and so we should get it into the hands and mouths of the people who need it,” Chef Suzanne Rockwell said to WTHR in 2017.
The community responded magnificently, helping to restock the shelves of the pantry and provide meals. But keeping food on the shelves is always a struggle, and the pantry is always accepting cash and food donations.
Brecken, along with several of his classmates, pooled their money and presented the check to the food pantry on May 24.
Brecken and his class raised a total of $1,000.76 to donate to the pantry.
The kindhearted junior high student cited the difference between want and need as the deciding factor in his donation. While he wanted to purchase a few things for himself, his less fortunate schoolmates needed food to eat.
“I don’t really need that stuff,” Brecken said to WTHR. “Those are wants. People need food and water to live, and they don’t have that. And I already have it. So I don’t want to be greedy. I just wanted to help them.”
While Brecken’s donation was the largest, a number of other students gave as much as they could to the effort. Their help will ensure shelves are stocked, and members of their community will have everything they need to keep themselves well fed.