Five-year-old California girl raises money to pay off other students’ lunch debts


(CNN) — A five-year-old California girl has a heart filled with compassion for her classmates and a willingness to roll up her sleeves and help. She sold cookies and hot cocoa to raise money to pay off negative lunch balances at her school.

It all started when Katelynn Hardee overheard another student’s mother saying she was having a hard time paying for something. That’s when the wheels in her young mind started turning.

“She’s very inquisitive,” said Katelynn’s mother, Karina Hardee. “And so she started asking me a bunch of questions and I tried to answer as best as I could without too much for a five-year-old and just explained to her that some people aren’t as fortunate as us.”

So Katelynn decided she had to help.

“Her idea was, could we do a hot cocoa and cookie stand? And I said, let’s do it,” said the mother.

She worked hard.

Karina Hardee said little Katelynn sat outside for about three hours and sold all her cookies and hot cocoa. But even after three grueling hours of pedaling delicious cookies and hot cocoa, they still had to find out if donating was even possible.

“I just left a note saying my daughter held a hot cocoa fundraiser over the weekend and would love to donate the money to any of the negative accounts,” said Karina Hardee

The money Katelynn raised paid off the lunch balances for one hundred and twenty-three students and right on time for the Christmas season.

This week, little Katelynn was honored by her school with an award for her act of generosity.

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