“It’s really cool to see that people care for this cause,” Lew said. “It’s really getting out there.”
Nearly 100 Seattle schools were saddled with a $21,000 debt relating to school meals for students, but that debt has now been settled thanks to the people who contributed to a GoFundMe campaign — one of whom is musician John Legend.
As the Seattle Times reports, Jeff Lew organized the GoFundMe campaign to help wipe out the debt at 99 public schools in Seattle, and was thrilled to see that over the weekend a $5,000 contribution was made by someone named John Stephens.
A fan of John Legend, Lew is aware that the singer’s real surname is Stephens. He immediately wondered if the John Stephens who made the contribution was the same guy who wrote and recorded “All of Me”.
“I thought, ‘It could be him, let’s try sending him a personalized note,’” Lew told the newspaper.
To find out, he sent an email of thanks through GoFundMe to the donor, ending the message: “By the way, are you also known as John Legend? Regardless of who you are or not, thank you. You’ve helped a lot.”
Shortly after, Lew received a reply. “Yes, it’s me,” read the subject line, with Legend writing that he had seen a news story about the GoFundMe campaign on Twitter and decided to help out.
With confirmation that the $5K donor was indeed John Legend, Lew sent the star a note of thanks on Twitter, which earned a reply.
“My pleasure!” tweeted Legend. “We should have free lunch for all of our public students!”
As the Seattle Times explains, in Seattle public schools a student will be provided with “a modified meal” if that student owes $15 or more for meals, which can lead students to feel embarrassed or singled out.
Lew says he created the campaign to make sure no student will have to experience that shame.