What were you doing when you were 9 years old? It was 38 years ago for me so the details are a little fuzzy. But I'm pretty sure at the age I was either running around outside with the neighborhood kids playing Capture the Flag, or I was upstairs in my room listening to the Grease album on repeat until I had memorized every word to every song.
I certainly wasn't busy trying to help my family out with finances, like Addison Witulski, the nine-year-old girl who just spent her weekend raising money for her seven-year-old brother Kaden's heart surgery.
Kaden Witulski was born with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, and the little guy is supposed to go to Houston on July 19 for a procedure. So when Addison overheard her grandmom worriedly discussing the cost of travel with her guardian Kim Allred, the savvy nine year old decided to take matters into her own hands.
How? By setting up a lemonade stand on her driveway in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Allred figured Addison was just selling her drinks for fun, and so was dutifully shocked when the little girl handed over $54 at the end of the day. "We're a one-income family who lives paycheck to paycheck," she explained to Today. "The fact that she went ahead and raised money made my heart melt. I still cry every time I think about it. To see a 9 year old want to help her brother like that is incredible."
We couldn't agree more!
And get this: Addison's best friend Erika wanted to pitch in, too. So the girls set up another stand the next day—this time, at Erika's house, where, in addition to lemonade, Addison decided to sell her drawings of butterflies, trees, and birds for $1 each.
"Halfway through the day, she came running into the house saying her butterfly pictures were selling like crazy and she has to make more," Allred said.
Erika's mom Mace Petty had apparently promoted the lemonade stand on Facebook, so cars were lining up for the good cause. "I wanted people to know this wasn't just your ordinary lemonade stand," Petty told Today. "These kids had a purpose."
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That day, the girls raised $568, all of which all went toward Kaden's journey. "Seeing the kids take part in such a real-life situation can give the rest of the world such great hope for humanity," Petty said.
In light of the heartbreaking events this weekend, I don't think truer words have ever been spoken.