LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An ambitious California 5-year-old paid it forward this holiday season by raising money to pay off her friends’ student lunch debt.

After Katelynn Hardee, a kindergarten student at Breeze Hill Elementary School in Vista, found out that some of her fellow students could not afford to pay for their lunch, she decided to help.

“She’s very inquisitive, and so she started asking a bunch of questions,” Karina Hardee, Katelynn’s mom, said. “I tried to answer as best as I could without too much for a 5-year-old, and just explained to her that some people aren’t as fortunate as us.”

Katelynn set up a stand selling cookies and hot cocoa, and after three hours she was completely sold out.

Her mom worked to get all of the money to students in need, paying off the lunch debts of 123 students.

“Now they can have lunch and snack,” Katelynn said. “I can give lunch money to people who don’t have money.”

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