13 Schools Sent Mystery Gift Cards To ‘Pay It Forward’
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LAKEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — The season of giving is upon us, and some Lakeville schools recently got a lesson in giving back. On Monday, schools across the district received an anonymous gift in the mail: a $100 Cub Foods gift card.
The only instruction was to forward it to a family in need.
“To my knowledge this is the first time this has ever happened in the Lakeville Schools,” Orchard Lake Elementary School principal Marilynn Smith said.
When Smith first saw the envelope sitting in the pile of mail on her manager’s desk, she thought it might be junk mail.
“There was no return address, no signature, no nothing to indicate who it was from,” Smith said.
Luckily, she didn’t throw it away. Inside was a $100 gift card to Cub Foods and a letter with one small request.
“It asked me to select a family in my school that was in need and that this family felt very blessed and wanted to give to others in this time of Thanksgiving,” Smith said.
Orchard Lake was actually one of 13 schools who received an anonymous letter and $100 gift card. It didn’t take them long to figure out who to give it to. Twenty-five percent of students at Orchard Lake receive free or reduced lunch, so on Tuesday afternoon the school gave the card to one of those families in need.
At Eastview Elementary School, they plan on dividing the donation into $25 dollar gift cards to help four families.
“The only piece that’s missing for me is there is no way to say thanks,” Eastview principal Taber Akin said.
The only identification is that the mystery gift-givers signed the letter as a “Lakeville couple.” It’s likely these schools will never know who they are, but they want them to know just how much of a difference they’ve made.
“The person is anonymous, so there is no way to go back to them and say thanks for doing this. But we certainly do appreciate their generosity and it will make someone else’s Thanksgiving a little bit better,” Akin said.
Smith said she posted the letter on Orchard Lake’s Facebook page and so far it has had more than 5,500 hits. Smith said it’s a good lesson for students about “paying it forward” during the holiday season.