(CNN) – A 5-year-old student from an elementary school in Vista, California, raised enough money to pay the negative balances of 123 students at her school.
Katelynn Hardee, a kindergarten student at Breeze Hill Elementary School, heard a father say he was having a hard time paying for an extracurricular program.
"She started asking me a lot of questions and I just tried to explain that sometimes people are not so lucky and that we should try to be kind and give when we can," Karina Hardee, Katelynn's mother, told CNN.
So Katelynn decided to set up a stand on December 8 and spent Sunday selling hot chocolate, cider and cookies. Katelynn and her mother donated the 80 dollars raised, which were used to pay the negative balances of more than 100 students in their elementary school.
By doing this, the young woman hopes that other students “can have a snack and lunch. If they don't, their stomachs complain, ”said Katelynn, according to her mother.
"Everyone is very proud and happy and other students are already talking about ways they can also make a difference," said Lori Higley, the principal at Breeze Hill. "It shows that even a small and kind act of a 5-year-old can make a difference for someone in his life."
Katelynn's next goal is to raise enough money to pay not only all the negative lunch balances at Breeze Hill, but also the "thousands of negative bills" in Vista Unified School District schools, Hardee said.
To help with her new mission, which she calls #KikisKindnessProject, other students and Breeze Hill staff will organize a hot chocolate and baked goods stand on Saturday to raise more money to pay the negative school lunch bills.
After all bills throughout the district have been paid, Katelynn will use the money raised to support the school programs that will be eliminated due to budget cuts.
“It's about kindness. Especially in this holiday season, and with everything that is happening in the world, we just need a little more kindness, ”said Hardee.