"Hard times can fall upon anyone, and that sometimes a family just needs a little help to get back on the right track," said local mom Adelle Settle. "And that compassion is really important."
Those are more than just words to Settle, who is raising thousands of dollars to help families she's never met pay off lunch debts in Prince William County.
Settle has started a crowd-funding effort to retire lunch money owed to elementary schools. It's a huge effort; Prince William County, unlike some other counties, does not deny kids lunch when they can't pay.
"There is no shaming here; the idea is there should be no stigma," said Phil Kavits of Prince William County schools.
But that means the schools debt runs into the hundreds of thousands and could result in program cuts.
Settle -- who doesn't have school-age children yet -- would rather take care of the debt and help the kids. "Those are programs that your child and every other child isn't going to take advantage of because of them having to eat this cost of food," she said.
She's looking for help. She's started a GoFundMe crowd-funding effort to raise money.
And she's already paid off three schools' lunch debts.
"When you’ve got parents and community members stepping up and saying, 'We want to do something, we want to make sure this is done right' -- that can make a huge difference," Kravits said.
To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.