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Katelynn Hardee sells cookies and cocoa to help students pay off lunch debt
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5-Year-Old Steps Up to Help Classmates Who Can’t Pay for Their Lunch Debt

It is becoming seemingly common for school children to not be able to afford to buy their lunch. This has often caused schools to punish the children, despite their parents being the ones to blame.

Thankfully, there are kind souls like 5-year-old Katelynn Hardee who are stepping up to help those in need.

Little Girl Sells Hot Cocoa and Cookies to Raise Money to Pay Off Lunch Debt

After learning that there were 120 students at Breeze Hill Elementary school who had lunch debt, 5-year-old Katelynn Hardee decided that she’d really like to help them so “they can have lunch and a snack.”

Since helping other students have both lunch and snack isn’t free, Katelynn said, “I can give lunch money to the lunch people that don’t have the money.”

The idea first hatched in her mind when she overheard another student’s mother talking about how she was having a hard time paying for something. Karina, Katelynn’s mother, said that was when the wheels started turning in her daughter’s mind.

She said Katelynn started to ask her all kinds of questions.

“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.”

“Her idea was, could we do a hot cocoa and cookie stand?” said Karina, who agreed to do it.

The Cookie Stand Was a Success

Katelynn worked hard, sitting out at her stand for a good three hours until all of her cookies and hot cocoa were sold, said her mother. Even then, they weren’t actually sure about whether they could even donate the money to the school to pay off old lunch debt.

Karina said, “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.”

In return for her effort, Katelynn was honored at her school with an award for being so generous. She did achieve her goal, paying off the debt for 123 students total – and just in time for Christmas!

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Maisie Peterson