DURHAM-- When Rebekah Miel first came up with the idea of helping fill the balance left from the reduced lunch program where she lives, she had no idea how large that number would be.  The Durham Public School System's negative balance was roughly $4,500 for their reduced lunch program, which was only a portion of the $103,000 total debt.

To help lower the debt, she launched a campaign called Pay Down Durham Lunch Debt in Novemeber and the first goal of  raising $4,500 was reached in less than 12 hours. 

With a response like that, she decided to up that amount.

After talking to teachers and Jim Keaten, the Director of Nutrition Services, organizers decided to raise their goal to $32,000, the lunch debt owed by all middle school students in the district.  Then in less than 4 days, the campaign raised $16,000, or 50 percent.  

To put this in perspective, over the last hour, the fundraising campaign has raised $500 in donations from various people in the community.  Miel says she's proud to be a part of this community, especially on this Giving Tuesday, and hopes to raise the entire $103,000 by the end of the holiday season. 

If you would like to learn more or donate, visit the fundraising website