Kids & Family

Five-Year-Old Pays Off The Lunch Debts Of Other Kids

Find out what she's doing to help students at her school in a big way.


Most five-year-olds spend their Sundays playing with toys and watching cartoons in their pajamas. Katelynn Hardee has different plans.

On a recent Sunday, Katelynn set up a stand and sold hot cocoa, apple cider and cookies to collect money to pay off negative student lunch balances at her school. She started the project after overhearing a parent talking about how she couldn't afford to pay for an after-school program for her child.

"She started asking me a lot of questions and I just tried to explain to her that sometimes people aren't as fortunate and that we need to try to be kind and give when we can," Karina Hardee, Katelynn's mom, told CNN .

The pint-sized philanthropist made over $80 from her stand, all of which went to paying off the overdue lunch accounts for over 100 students at her elementary school in Vista, CA.

She's hoping that other students will be inspired to do similar acts of kindness, to make sure their classmates "can have a snack and lunch so that their tummies don't grumble."

Related Story : Police Department Pays Off Student Lunch Debt

Katelynn is calling her fundraising effort #KikisKindnessProject and she already has the community on board. Students and staff members have agreed to host their own hot cocoa and baked good stands to raise money for her cause, and (with the help of her mom) she created a Fundly page to raise money online. After she collects enough money to pay off all of the student lunch debt in her district, she plans to fund programs at her school that are set to be removed due to budget cuts.

"Everybody is just so proud and happy and other students are already talking about ways they can also make a difference," Breeze Hill Principal Lori Higley said.

"It goes to show that even one small, kind act from a 5-year-old can mean the difference for someone in their life." - Lori Higley

Kateleynn will host another hot cocoa stand this weekend at Breeze Hill Elementary School in Vista, CA. And with the help of big-name sponsors like Starbucks and Albertsons grocery store, it sounds like she's well on her way to meeting her goal.

If you aren't in the Vista, CA area and would like to contribute to #KikisKindnessProject you can do so by visiting the fundraising page .

Inspired by Katelynn's incredible act of kindness? You may not be able to pay off an entire school's lunch debt, but you can chip in to help pay off overdue balances in a district near you. You can start a crowdfunding campaign (like this one), or donate to organizations that are already in place (like this one). Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

(Source: images Breeze Hill Elementary School PTA Facebook )

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