Good Samaritan pays off Stanley elementary lunch debt as part of #FinnsArmy movement

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 8:54 PM CST
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STANLEY, N.D. (KMOT) – The rising costs of basic goods have put a real strain on families putting children through school.

Families of elementary students in Stanley who are experiencing food insecurity just received some help, due to a stunning act of generosity.

An anonymous good Samaritan came to the school last week and paid off the current outstanding student lunch debt for elementary students.

The person who made the donation did so in honor of Finn Waitman, a boy with ties to the Williston area who died last November.

They left a card and a sticker explaining their motivation.

People have been doing good deeds in honor of Finn with the hashtag #FinnsArmy.

The school’s principal would not reveal a specific amount but indicated it was at least a four-figure donation.

He said some families who benefited from the donation were overwhelmed by the news.

“You could tell the emotion on the phone call. You could tell that they were bothered by it, that it’s causing stress in their household, the fact that they’re just doing everything that they can to try and pay off this lunch debt, and the fact that just one random act of kindness was able to provide some relief to that, and most likely will help out during that holiday season,” said Brooks Stafslien, Stanley Elementary Principal.

Stafslien said the donation also helped Stanley’s high schoolers, as it allowed them to use money from what they call an “angel fund” to pay off some high school lunch debt.

He added that they welcome donations of food and other items from area organizations for students to its “SACK” program, which stands for Stanley Area Cares for Kids.

Stanley Elementary has roughly 430 total students. The entire school, including high schoolers, has around 750 students.