Wausau man raises $26K to pay off students’ school lunch debts

Rob Mentzer:

A Wausau-area pastor raised $26,000 in less than a week to pay off students’ school lunch debts in two central Wisconsin school districts.

The Rev. Yauo Yang is an Iraq War veteran and the pastor for The Cross Church in Schofield. He launched a GoFundMe fundraiser on April 10 and publicized it with posts on social media. The goal was to raise $20,000, the amount needed to pay off lunch debts accumulated by students in the Wausau School District and neighboring D.C. Everest School District. 

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Yang, a parent of six kids in the district, said he knew from his own experience that sometimes his kids’ school lunch accounts can get low or go temporarily into the red.

“Thankfully, my wife and I are in a position where we can pay off their student lunch debt,” Yang said. “But … there are other families who truly do struggle with that.”

The fundraiser attracted 344 donors who gave a total of $26,514. While there were a handful of anonymous donors who gave $500 or $1,000, most of the donations were much less. Yang said he was “overjoyed” and impressed with the community’s generosity.