Let’s face it: You and I both know that when a headline contains the words “Florida” and “man” in sequence, you don’t expect to read anything redeeming.
The case of Andrew Levy is a very prominent exception.
According to WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach, Levy is a real estate agent who does most of his business in Jupiter, Florida. When he found out that kids in the school district were going hungry, he started a chain reaction by paying off their lunch debt.
See, more than 400 kids in the area didn’t have access to a proper lunch because of the fact they had outstanding debt to one of nine schools in the area.
“These children that were in debt were going to either not eat or they would get just cheese sandwiches, and I thought that’s crazy,” Levy said.
“I thought, ‘You know something? If for a modest sum I could make that change, I’m gonna do it,'” he said.
So he paid off all of the lunch debt in the area schools — all $944.34 of it. And what’s more, after meeting with the district, Levy has come up with a way to pay the lunch debt of students in the future as well.
“Every quarter, I’m going to do either a GoFundMe page or a fundraising page that can raise money every quarter, so lunch debt never accumulates so that children never have to worry about a hot meal and parents never have to worry about paying the bill,” he said.
If it stopped there, this would be the best Florida man story we’ve heard in a while.
However, this wasn’t all. Levy posted about his act of kindness on Facebook and people responded in a major way.
According to Levy, he got over 200 comments, some of which were offers of help.
“I even have had some clients over the past 48 hours say, ‘You know something? I want to help I want to give too,'” he said.
Levy isn’t the first person who’s paid off school lunch debt for some needy kids and sparked a reaction.
This summer, when Wyoming Valley West School District in Pennsylvania made the draconian threat to have children put into foster care over their parents’ unpaid school lunch debt, Todd Carmichael, the CEO of local company La Colombe Coffee Roasters, stepped in with a promise to pay the $22,000 in debt.
And, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, the CEO of a roofing company, Todd Price, embarked on a mission last year to get all of the county’s school lunch debt paid.
As Levy’s simple act demonstrated, these acts of kindness multiply themselves. Sure, this may just have been $944.34 for Levy, but it’s clear he’s inspiring a lot more in others.
Beyond that, who knows? Maybe one of the kids that he affects via this program will grow up and pay it forward themselves.
That would be quite the “Florida man” story, indeed.
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