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Papillion-La Vista teacher tackling student lunch debt with gaming channel fundraiser

The high school German teacher raised more than $12,000 through Twitch
Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 6:18 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Zachary McCarter has spent the summer playing video games.

“As a teacher, I kind of want to keep things family-friendly here because sometimes my students find me,” he said while playing a game.

When he is not teaching German to students at Papillion-La Vista High School, he’s a Twitch streamer.

“Twitch is basically an online platform where you play video games and people can come and watch you. And they can also donate money,” McCarter explained. “If they like what they see, they can support the channel.”

So far, his supporters have not disappointed.

“It’s currently sitting at $12,660.24,” he said.

The money is for McCarter’s charity fund.

“I should at least try to give that back to people who definitely need it more than myself,” he explained.

It’s called All Kids Deserve to Eat. His goal is to tackle student lunch debt.

“I would always just not eat lunch because I knew I didn’t have any money in my account. I didn’t want to go into debt,” he said. “And so it’s like some students may feel the same way.”

McCarter initially set his fundraising goal to just $2,500.

“Every school in the United States who accrue lunch debt is about an average of $2,500,″ he said.

Within a few weeks, he shattered that goal. Now, he has more than enough money to pay off the more than $10,000 student lunch debt at Wildewood Elementary.

“As an elementary school with that amount of debt, with only 308 students, I just knew right then and there that, that was the school,” he said.

Ralston Public Schools said they appreciate the generous donation.

“That’s one less thing parents have to worry about,” Jim Frederick with the district said.

Frederick said the money makes room for new opportunities.

“It gives some funds back to the district that we can you know divert into other ways,” he added.

McCarter, who regularly hosts gaming marathons with others across the world, said this is just the beginning.

“My goal in life is 100% we talk about lunch debt in the past tense,” he added.

Any extra money will be donated to other area schools.

McCarter has more information about the charity event on his Twitch channel and said anyone can donate via PayPal.

Correction: Due to an editor’s error, McCarter’s place of employment was incorrectly stated in an earlier headline. 6 News regrets the error.

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