Sometimes all it takes to positively impact someone’s life when tragedy strikes is a little bit of lemonade and a whole lot of heart.
A couple of Missouri siblings, Cooper Wallweber, 5, and his older sister Olivia Boyer, built a lemonade stand and raised more than $3,000 for a firefighter who was critically injured during a shooting last week.
Arlydia Bufford, a firefighter with the Kinloch Fire Protection District in St. Louis County, was eating dinner on June 22 with her best friend, Kimberly Ratliff-Penton.
The two were enjoying what they thought would be a nice get-together at the local Applebee’s restaurant in St. John, Missouri, when a gunman entered and opened fire, KTVI-TV reported.
The gunman took Ratliff-Penton’s life that evening and injured Bufford as well as another customer, Lakisha French, according to Fox News.
On June 25, Arlydia’s mother, Rebecca Bufford, posted an update on Facebook regarding her daughter’s condition:
“Mostly everyone knows that our world was turned upside down Monday 6/22/20 when a senseless shooting that left our baby girl Arlydia Bufford in critical condition as we go through this tough time please keep praying for her and our family!!”
Just after the shooting, Wallweber and Boyer saw Bufford’s story of survival on the news and were immediately inspired.
“We were watching the news and we were just so touched by her story and felt that this is what we need to do, we need to do it for Arlydia,” Boyer told “Fox & Friends” weekend co-host Jedediah Bila on Sunday.
Boyer explained that the idea to raise money from a lemonade stand came after Wallweber had put slime inside his shoes and his mom made him come up with ways to earn money for a new pair.
After they heard the news about Bufford, the two decided to keep the lemonade stand running so they could donate money to the family.
“From 11:30 am – 6:00 pm on Thursday 6/25, we have raised $1,307 for a 20 year young volunteer firefighter who was shot in the head on Monday while enjoying dinner at an Applebee’s restaurant after an EMT Training class,” Boyer wrote on Facebook.
According to Boyer’s last update on the funds raised, she and her brother ended up with a grand total of $3,342 to donate.
Wallweber isn’t the only boy who went out of his way to give back to first responders.
In early June, 7-year-old Trey Elliot, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, took it upon himself to pray with more than 100 officers after protests and riots broke out across the city.
“Tulsa had a really big peaceful protest on Sunday, and then Sunday night it turned into rioting and businesses being destroyed — busted out windows, things like that in our area,” Elliot’s mother, Brittany, told The Western Journal. “So, Monday I was telling Trey about it because we drive right through that area.”
“I was just kind of explaining it to him and explaining to him what was going on and the difference between protesting and rioting, and what was happening with our police officers.
“And so he said, ‘I think I’d like to pray for the officers.'”
Acts of kindness like Trey’s prayers over his local police officers and Wallweber’s idea to raise money for Bufford and her family after such a tragic incident won’t soon be forgotten.
And Wallweber’s not quite finished with his mission in supporting the 20-year-old firefighter.
He and his sister had so much success with the lemonade stand, they decided to hold another fundraiser for Bufford hosted by local Mexican restaurant Los 3 Compadres.
Los 3 Compadres will be donating 30 percent of all proceeds from the fundraiser to the Bufford family.
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