5-year-old girl sells cookies, hot cocoa to pay off classmates’ lunch debt

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VISTA, Calif. (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.

Katelynn Hardee sold cookies and hot cocoa to raise money to pay off negative lunch balances at her school.

It all started when Katelynn 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.

“I can give money to the lunch people that don’t have the money,” Katelynn said.

Her mother, Karina Hardee, said her daughter wanted to help those in need.

“She’s very inquisitive. 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,” Karina Hardee said. “Her idea was, ‘Could we do a hot cocoa and cookie stand?’ And I said, let’s do it.”

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,” Karina Hardee said.

The money Katelynn raised paid off the lunch balances for 123 students and right on time for the Christmas season.

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

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