Myles Eckert, and 8-year old boy, found $20 on his way into Cracker Barrel. He had considered buying a video game with it, but changed his mind when he saw a Soldier in uniform. He wrapped the $20 bill in a note and gave it to Lt. Col. Frank Dailey. The note read:
“Dear Soldier — my dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.”
A gold star kid is a child that has lost a parent in the line of duty in the US’s military. Myles’ dad was killed in Iraq when he was 5 weeks old. All Myles has of his dad are pictures, dog tags, and others’ memories. After giving away the money, Myles asked his mother to take him to see his daddy. For quite some time, Myles hugged and talked to his father’s tombstone, telling his dad all about what he had done.
Lt. Col. Frank Dailey says his life has been changed by this gesture. It has given him direction. He looks at the green Post-it everyday, remembering the gesture this boy made.
However, Lt. Col. Dailey is not the only life that is going to be changed. As people heard about this story, money started flooding in. The Eckert family forwarded this generosity to the Snowball Express organization that provides a weeklong fun experience for families of lost service members. With the help of American Airlines, the organization brings together all the families for bonding, shared experiences, and fun.
But this isn’t the only pay-it-forward gesture. Highland Capital, upon hearing of Myles Eckert, offered up a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $1 million, for all donations before Memorial Day. This will keep the Snowball Express Organization up and running in what they anticipated to be a year of cuts.
Not enough? Gary Sinise, through the Gary Sinise Foundation, has already donated $75,000 toward the grant offered by Highland Capital.
What an amazing story of paying it forward. And you can be a part of it. Continue paying it forward by donating at www.snowballexpress.org.