Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank.

“I asked her what she was doing with a baggie of money,” wrote Jackie Oelfke on Facebook, “and her response put me in tears. ‘I’m going to give it to my friend at school because she don’t get milk for snack. Her mom don’t have any milk money and I do.’”

So a bursting-with-pride grandmother and Sunshine took about $30 to the Birchview Elementary School, high on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the tiny town of Ishpeming, and the teacher, Rita Hausher, came down with a sudden attack of goosebumps. “I always tell my students when they say something that really amazes me I get ‘kindergarten goosebumps,’” she explained, “and I got them from my toes to the top of my head.”

Mrs. Hauser better get used to it. Thus inspired, the Oelfke girls wondered how many children in the kindergarten class didn’t have money for milk. It costs about $8 a day for the whole class. So they set up a “milk fund money” site on GoFundMe in hopes that other people may help with enough money for the entire fall semester. Within the first week they got over $600 in donations for “the little girl with the big, beautiful heart.” (As of yesterday at noon the story ‘had gotten legs’ and there was about $4,300 that had been given.)

“Sunshine knows that some kids don’t want it, and that some can’t have it, but she wants them to have the option, just in case,” said Jackie. “She doesn’t understand what the big deal is, the impact she’s made, but now she knows she can do anything she sets her mind to.”

School principal Bernie Anderson told a Michigan TV station, “We talk about rules and to do what’s right, to treat others like you want to be treated. This all kind of falls in line and it’s a great example that when you teach it and emphasize it, the children pick up on it. They understand there is a need and they understand the value of helping. This has been a wonderful lesson for all of us.”

For a five-year-old to give all that she had saved to one day buy an Arctic Cat snowmobile is pretty amazing, considering how long she had been saving. “I’ll get more money,” Sunshine said with confidence, her allowance for doing chores and searching for dropped coins in parking lots won’t change.

About 10 days after Sunshine took her money to school, she burst into the house and screamed, “Guess what! The whole class got milk today! Layla has her milk money! We’ve got enough for all year!”

I’m thinking some other children at Birchview Elementary who can’t come up with 45 cents for a carton can get in on the act because people like me around the country have already sent a cash donation – with a warm thank-you note to …

Miss Sunshine Oelfke

c/o Rita Hauser’s Kindergarten

BIRCHVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

663 Poplar Street

Ishpeming, Michigan 49849

royexum@aol.com



Lookout Valley Needs Updated Football Field Restrooms, Not Tennis Courts

It has come to the attention of the parents and grandparents that there is an approved budget of $250,000 for new tennis courts at the Lookout Valley High and Middle School. Well, the problem is we might have five tennis players and while improvement is needed we do not see how they can get that for tennis courts when our football field is not accessible to the handicapped. ... (click for more)

Applying For A Job? Don’t Skip The Interview

If you run for office, you’re essentially applying for a job. And voters are your hiring managers. So if you want the job and you believe you’ve got what it takes to do it well, why would you skip the interview? That’s why when I decided to run to be the next state representative for Tennessee’s 30th State House District, I committed to attending as many forums and debates as ... (click for more)

Government Says Former Pilot Travel Centers President Hazelwood Should Be Sentenced To 168-210 Months; Hearing Projected To Take 11 Hours Over 2 Days

The government is asking that former Pilot Travel Centers president Mark Hazelwood be sentenced to between 168-210 months for his part in a fraud against truckers. The government is also asking that Hazelwood be ordered to pay a $750,000 fine. It was noted that all restitution has been made by Pilot to the tune of some $100 million. Attorney Brad Henry, of Knoxville and New ... (click for more)

Mother Of 15-Year-Old Killed By His Father Said McElrath Had Been Acting "Manic"

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was killed by his father said Michael McElrath had been acting "manic" in the days leading up to the tragic incident in Hixson on Aug. 18. Judge Alex McVeigh bound a charge of criminal homicide against McElrath, a former jail officer, to the Grand Jury. He is charged in the death of Dylan McElrath, who was a sophomore at Hixson High School. ... (click for more)

Baylor Volleyball Pounds GPS, 3-0

It was just 20 days ago on August 29 when Baylor and GPS faced each other for the first time this season in volleyball.   The match was played at GPS.   The Bruisers lost that day, but they left feeling pretty good after winning a set and giving the defending state champs all they wanted at times. The second match between these two storied rivals at Baylor wasn’t ... (click for more)

Lady Mustangs Corral Lady Owls, 3-1, To Keep Share Of 5-3A Volleyball Lead

After dropping the first two sets, Ooltewah gained momentum by staving off defeat and was playing visiting Walker Valley on almost even terms before the Lady Mustangs did what the Lady Owls could only talk about. Walker Valley finished off a 3-1 volleyball victory Tuesday night and stayed tied with Cleveland atop the District 5-3A standings. The Lady Mustangs (16-10 overall) ... (click for more)